February 4, 2008

"Four fake, and one true, predictions about the future of the Internet."

What does the future of the Internet look like? Nobody can really say, but they can make predictions. And if you dig through enough predictions about the future of the Internet, you are bound to stumble across something that is right. Right?

Well, I have done just that. I have scoured the Internet in search of snippets about the future of the internet. So, take a look into the future by reading through these four fake, and one possibly true, predictions about the future of the Internet.

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz: "I expect that new social communities will emerge and leverage the power of users to an even greater degree. One day, we might even see something like Naver in South Korea - where human answers and opinions precede algorithmic results (source: Internet Hunger)." In other words: the people - you and I - will be in more control, and search engines will no longer give us results based on calculations, but rather real answers from real people.

James Thomas, web developer for Oakley: "The future of the Internet is your desktop (source: CenterNetworks)." Not only can web-integration be found already in Apple desktops and iPod Touch and iPhone apps, it can also be found in Mozilla's Prism, and other upcoming technologies.

Vinton Cerf, vice-president and chief internet evangelist at Google: "Peer-to-peer services are not only here to stay, but they are undoubtably gonig to expand; it's not just for file transfer, it's for collaborative computing (source: Financial Times)." So we can expect to see an increase in peer-to-peer computing, not just for file sharing, but for a whole new world of networking.

Jonathan Zittrain, Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University: "Instead of personal computers being able to run any program from any source without approval from a third party--which many of us were used to in the 1980s and 1990s--Zittrain fears we're entering a world where centralized approval becomes necessary (source: News.com)." Which means that our systems - including all internet access - will be completely controlled by corporations or government agencies.

1,286 technology leaders, scholars, industry officials, and analysts: ". . .in the next 10 years the Internet will be more deeply integrated in our physical environments and high-speed connections will proliferate – with mixed results. . . .the dawning of the blog era will bring radical change to the news and publishing industry and they think the Internet will have the least impact on religious institutions (source: Pew)." In a way, these 1,286 "experts" predict that the Internet will dominate almost all areas of our lives within 10 years.

After reading through these quotes, I'm interested in hearing you thoughts on the future of the Internet. So, what do you think the future of the Internet has in store for us all? And which of these predictions do you agree most with?


nick said...

I like what the 1,286 experts had to say. Except for the part about churches not being impacted. Have you seen how many church websites are online using web standards?

Cheryl said...


Manizesto said...

David Drummond, Sr VP of Corp Dev at Google has also weighed in on this. In writing about MSN's hostile takeover of Yahoo:

"Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets."

I don't think it's easy to define what the future of the Internet will be, aside from saying it will become more and more a part of our lives. But the possibility of Yahoo! being acquired will certainly have ramifications.

Tanner Christensen said...

Nick: I'm with you on the religious point. I don't know what those "experts" were thinking.

Thanks for the comment Cheryl.

Manizesto: I completely agree. If Yahoo does accept Microsoft's bid... things are going to get crazy.

If you haven't yet, read Google's official statement on the matter here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/02/yahoo-and-future-of-internet.html

LinkBenefit said...

The future of the internet is uncertain because it is always changing.