Gone are the days of mass media. Today, with massive amounts of news and information available in the media and journalism landscape, people can pick and choose what they will consume and what they can ignore. This raises some important issues for journalists, the creators of news and viewers, the consumers of news and the advertisers who pay to have their name attached to news and content. The most important question is how the personalized and segmented news and information landscape affects the quality of news produced and the intelligence of the news consumer.
I have not been actively posting anything recently mainly because I am blogging for Study Breaks Magazine. My posts have been light-hearted and full of non-serious, inconsequential content So keep that in mind while perusing.
In a decade, everybody will know where everybody is. Weird isn’t it? Geolocation is making this possible.
Currently, people can voluntarily share their location with others via Gowalla, Fourquare and other GPS-based social platforms. It amounts to a game of sorts. Friends check in around the city and earn titles and badges to show their adventurousness. Of course, behind the façade of play there is a tangible advertising and marketing aspect to this advance. Companies can know where you go and how to market to you.
Looking to the future, Geolocation technologies could bring about a number of things. In Minority Report and other Sci-Fi movies people where tracked via their retinas. The cell phone will replace the retina in these dystrophic futures. Here are a few possible consquences of Geolocation.
- Tailoring billboards and physical signs to the desires of those who frequent that area.
- Analysts will be able to track the movement of people, to spot trends.
- Law Enforcement will be able to know where people are and use that to pinpoint people during crimes.
- Google Goggles times a thousand. The augmented reality seen in Google Goggles and other graphic overlays of cell phone cameras will become more and more sophisticated. Simply looking at an object will reveal details about. In the near future, pointing the camera to a face could bring up a facebook profile or Google search of that person.
Google’s autocomplete (aka autofill and autosuggest) feature makes me feel like I am a member of the Borg. Sure, it provides quicker results to the internet, but it makes me feel like everything I think (and then search) is cliche and been done before.
Back to the implications for the ordinary user. Is this autocomplete and future variants of it leading to us having hive mind of information and thought patterns? Probably not, but if I type something in Google and it isn’t autocompleted I do feel special.
On the lighter side, Google autocomplete does lead to sometimes baffling and funny results.
In this post, I will ask you to recall the internet 10 or 15 years ago. Back to the mid to late 90s era internet. Everything was pushed at you. Websites existed and they were self-sufficient. The website was the be all and end all. Today, the concept of actual webpages is being changed into something wholly different from what it was a decade ago. We are entering into the era of the “site-less internet” where people pull in whatever content they desire.
The evidence of this is present everywhere. In commercials, it is as common to see a plug for a companies’ Facebook page rather than a static company page.
The flow of information in this new landscape is different. Information is made on one platform and is trickled down to others and flow through the internet via RSS readers, link aggregation sites, twitter and others.
Of course, some sites exist as stand-alone behemoths, but I believe to be a successful content creator or organization making content available, easily transferable and open is vital. Having a Facebook fan page or twitter with followers allows companies to “manage” their followers or fans and communicate with their fans on the fan’s own terms with a system that they trust and are comfortable with.
I googled site-less internet and found just a few other people that recognized and commented on this phenomena. This change will not be realized over night, but one day we will look around and see that what we first imagined the internet to be will have changed.