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Forecasting the online future... notes from J.BoyePhiladelphia2011

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Forecasting online tools and policies: J.Boye conference delegates speak

Forecasting the future is the theme of the closing Town Hall event each year at a J.Boye conference, a session that's both fun and informative. Two volunteer experts offer their respective "yes" or "no" opinions on possible future trends on the online world. And then the delegates vote on which possibility they think is most likely to happen.

Here, with a few notes about the discussions from yours truly, are the questions and answers from last Thursday at J.BoyePhiladelphia2011

Do you say "Yes" or "No" to these predictions of the future?

QR codes will be huge.
    • No. Several things are holding them back. Most people, at least in the U.S., don't know what they are. The apps to read them don't come installed on smartphones. Here is the U.S. you don't see them often on ads. For those who have the apps now (I have Bakodo), they simply don't always work on every QR code on every device.
Just pick the "cool tool" for social media or undertake a procurement process to decide what an organization should use?
    • Pick the cool tool. Many people cannot stand formal procurement processes and don't feel that a procurement review would result in better decisions about the most appropriate social media tools.
Websites are "sooo dead."
    • An emphatic "no" on this one. Present websites will adapt but some tasks that people expect to do online are best done on a regular website, now and forever.
Keyboards and a mouse will vanish.
    • No. Lots of division on this one, with some taking note that today's 5 year old child may not ever use a traditional keyboard or mouse. But for many in the room, keyboards allow much faster writing than smartphones and tablets and are not going away anytime soon.
"Governance" of websites is a waste of time.
    • No. Although few felt that present "governance" or "management" schemes were especially effective, even fewer could imagine letting anarchy reign.
Forgo text, video is the new thing.
    • No. Video is important, but almost nobody felt it was going to replace text.
Facebook is the next Google.
    • No. I couldn't sense how much of the sentiment here was a wee bit of latent hostility re Facebook but the best comments suggested that Google was a much broader enterprise than Facebook and was not about to lose its current position as had IBM and Microsoft.
Steve killed Flash.
    • No. Some discussion here of the HTML5 impact on web development, but Adobe remains vigorous in defense of flash and Adroid tablets use it. A majority felt it would continue to exist in the future.
How far away is the future?

At least one person asked just how far away everyone felt the "future" was. From the discussion, I'd say it was at least as far away as the working lifespan of everyone in the room. Safe to assume that's about 25 years old and up. Only a brave few were trying to imagine the future for today's youngest children.

J.Boye Future Conferences

Plan now to explore the future this year or next at a J.Boye Conference
New "Writing Right for the Web" Event

My first 2-day "Writing Right for the Web" Conference is set for San Diego on July 26 - 27. Check the detailed outline and register to improve your website content.

That's all for now.




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