OK, so this post has been sitting in my Drafts since I left for CES, and it was only this weekend, after I finally mentally landed back, that I had a chance to prepare it for a live reading audience. Better late than never…
As all major and independent voices on the net tweet, publish and broadcast their predictions for 2009, it’s good to take a moment and look back at 2008. In an industry where every start up and ‘new found technology’ are ‘a killer app’ and the next big thing’ it is easy to come out with major statements and forecasts and so sometimes easy to miss what’s right in front of us.
So 2008 is done and dusted. Looking back, what were the major achievements, milestones and moments of last year? This is my list, feel free to add to it:
Identity management: facebook connect, open ID, Google Connect. MySpaceID – all offering the user one ID to log in to different sites and exchange data. The idea is simple and allows sites offering the functionality to become major content – and data – aggregator for – and of – a user. Are you attending a cool meet-up (meetup.com) next week and want your friends on Facebook to join? Connect the meetup event into Facebook and voila! It’s shows on both your Facebook profile and activities stream on the Facebook homepage.
This, of course, hands the golden key to extremely valuable data to the one company. And I would not put all my cards on Facebook yet: “Few things carry more value than your digital identity, and yet most web users have only a tenuous grasp of it. That’s because on the social web, identity is no longer just who you are. It’s who you know, how you know them and how much you want them to know about you. On the web, your identity is explicitly tied to your relationships, both with your friends and with the websites you visit. “ [Wired].
Age of conversation – yep – I am talking about Twitter. Twitter represent the epitome of ‘age of conversation’ message – direct, conversational tool, a Killer application of 140 characters to micro blog, engage in and follow conversations with friends, colleagues, competitors, industry and the world. Though Twitter has been here since 2006, it was only around mid last year that a sudden wave of success has risen and it got a real big push to achieve mass market. Equipped with a variety of tools and language, twitter is micro blogging, self promotion, PR and learning tool. It can be whatever you want it to be.
Better control of your networks and feeds – Friendfeed – so now that your connections and friends are on facebook, linkedin, myspace, twitter, youtube, ebay, amazon, netflix – it is hard to spend so much time following everyone on each site, it’s time consuming and a tedious task. That’s why lifestreaming sites such as Friendfeed, which are offering aggregation of all sites into one place, are so brilliant. But it’s not just that – FriendFeed is so brilliant because it gives you such granular control of who you are listening to, and who has visibility of which of your feeds: you keep the personal feeds to your personal group of friends, and the professional bits channeled through to the professional connections. And, if you want less noise from one person – you can define settings to get more or less information.
Chrome – Can’t argue with quality. A browser that is faster than speed of light, that offers quick access to your content, “What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build” Google said when launched the new browser. It is Android-compatible (i.e. mobile/future mobile technologies compatible). It has better UI, a homepage of most visited sites, you can drag a tab into a new window And you can opt for an incognito browser which doesn’t collect cookies and/or history of browsing.
For those interested in reading more about the best and worst predictions of 2008, there is a great article in the SAI: http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/12/the-worst-predictions-for-2008-and-some-of-the-best