When I started one of my first websites, it was impractical to be continuously adding content everyday, so I set up a guest book to allow users to add content instead. Years later, someone coined the phrase blogging and blogging became the big thing. At the time, I remember hearing the phrase for the first time and learning what it meant, and I thought to myself, “I was already doing that.”
Since the late 1990s, I always owned a bunch of websites. Over the years, I learned the secrets of traffic generation and Search Engine Optimization. So much so that web host after web host would tell me that my website crashed due to traffic overload. I was on the economy package and to allow the amount of traffic I was bringing to their servers would have required me to be on a high traffic package. Those were the good ones. Most of them would just shut down my website or suspend my account and punish me for traffic spikes. Quite foolish but that’s the reality website owners have to live with. Recently I’ve noticed some web hosts claiming that this is precisely what gives them their competitive edge.
So I started backing up my websites on my hard drive. Guess what happened. Yes, that crashed too, again and again. This was back when I was using Windows instead of Mac. (I’ve since fixed that problem.) So I got fed up and decided that I would no longer store anything on my hard drive and that everything had to be stored online. So I created a number of free storage accounts and would save all my material there. This was my de facto cloud.
Software became increasingly available online so I would try to use online software as far as possible. The idea was simple: to be as independent as possible of any computer and to be able to work from anywhere. That was what “cloud computing” afforded me.
Some years later, I heard, at an ICT conference, the phrase “cloud computing.” I found this to be a most unappealing name. The perception of a cloud was always something negative. Every cloud has a silver lining. There is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the economy. The prime minister’s vision is clouded by greed. I don’t know who came up with the term “cloud” but it is rather lame and negative-sounding.
So now, before anybody else comes up with a term for it, let me lay claim to the next big thing, not that I take part in it much, but I seem to be able to identify trends before they are labeled and marketed as “clouds” and “blogs.”
In my mind, I don’t need to come up with a new name for it. It already exists and you may very well be reading this article through it.
For marketability, however, let’s call it “smart media” because I believe the next big thing will be mobile social media. Everything is going to be happening on smartphones. An application will be created that will transcend all platforms. It will not be limited to BlackBerry or iPhones. It will be usable on all platforms. Twitter comes close to what I have in mind but it is still too complicated. The application will be a no-brain-required kind of app. It will be fast and in real time. Users will be able to get news, updates from friends and even free videoconferencing like FaceTime.
In my next article, I will tell you about another prediction. I believe people will revert to the rolodex and start writing things down again. As more and more computers crash, as more and more smartphones and tablets drown in the red sea, as newer and newer systems systems take root, as websites keep updating and upgrading, often to the chagrin of the user, the goo old pen and paper will resurrect, so that every time a device changes, the user would not have to try to re-enter all of his contacts’ and information.
Mark my words, this is what is coming next.