Some Predictions

I have not posted anything in a while as I have been busy working with a group of students on an iMovie project.  Now that it is over we are looking at the end of term and some final tech projects.  One teacher has asked her students to create a memory using some kind of digital format, movie, podcast, or whatever.  Hmmm, just thinking, VoiceThread might be a good idea.

Anyway, while discussing this with students today we started a discussion of memories and keeping things to share with their children.  Someone suggested a blog would be a good memory.  I quipped that the blog server (we host the students’ blogs locally) will not be around in 20 years and they were shocked.  What did that mean?

So I had to break the news to them that the Internet is not permanent.  Indeed, I told them, the Internet will likely not exist as we know it in 20 years.  I stand by that prediction.

Even now the Net Neutrality issue threatens to change the nature of the democratic web.  If companies and countries can control access to sites and give more bandwidth or more access to certain sites and kill others if they disagree with them or if they can’t pay enough, the web as we know it will change irrevocably.

And I think, soon is my guess, that the need to upload things, to use WordPress or a hosting company, will go away.  A computer, on the network, has an IP address and a unique hardware address.  That can and will likely be accessible from the Internet or the wider network.  Why should I have to post my photos on a photo sharing site?  I have my photos in iPhoto and I can chose to share them on the network.  Anyone should be able to find me and see them.

And I will not really need my computer much anymore.  Perhaps if I am doing some work of a particularly complex nature, or that visually requires a big screen, I might need a computer, but otherwise, my iPhone is pretty good right now at most things I like to do.  I can browse the Net, send and receive messages, cal people, watch videos, etc.  Soon devices like that will also take video, allow simple editing and uploading or sharing and then, I won;t really need my computer to create content and share it.  I can type alright on the iPhone, update my blog, connect to FaceBook, etc. right now and these kind of small portable devices wil only get better and more powerful.  The Network they exist on will become more and more ubiquitous and soon I will be on-line all the time.  Connected all the time.  So then I can be sharing content and viewing content anytime anywhere.  So why would I need a hosting company?  Why would I need a computer?

I don’t know if something like the iPhone will be able to do all the things I do with a computer, but my prediction is that we will change what we want to do with the computer based on the devices we have and the services and software that wil be created to harness their abilities and size.

So, no Internet (as we know it) in 20 years (likely sooner) and no bulky computers (for personal use).  Mark my words, becasue this blog won’t be here in 20 years to come back and check.


~ by mcglaysia on April 22, 2008.

3 Responses to “Some Predictions”

  1. Mike,

    Interesting ideas, and totally agree ‘as we know it’ the internet will change, what do they say “the only certainty in life is change”. Though can’t agree with ‘this blog won’t be here in 20 years to come back and check.’ With all the archiving going on, I only wish some things I’ve posted would disappear… the fact is everything now will be there for ever… a little scary.

  2. I love this line: “So I had to break the news to them that the Internet is not permanent.”
    That is a shocker to many kids, who don’t quite realize the pace of change that inhabits their lives. And I agree: everything will be different, and that difference is unknown, in the near future.


  3. @Chad: I know what you mean about nothing on the web ever going away, even when we want it to, but I think even that will change in a few years. Now storage is cheap and plentiful but the amount of information is growing at such a rate that the cost-effectiveness of keeping things longer than 20 or 30 years will likely go away. Even though storage will remain cheap, I predict a move to different kind of storage media that will necessitate a selection of what to keep. That will likely eliminate much of the original web material.

    I also stand by what I told my students, that their blogs will not be there. They may be somewhere, in the wayback machine perhaps, but they will not be THERE. The links they are generating now to a page on a web server, will be broken in the near future.

    Finally, one more prediction about information on the web: with FaceBook in particular being so widely used amongst the future leaders of the free world, I can totally see a backlash coming when they start to run for Senator, President, etc. When it matters to the rich and powerful that their high-school shenanigans are on record, they will find legislative ways to hide those records away.

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