We've reviewed over twenty different opinions from the blogosphere, from financial analysts and the self appointed technological gurus.
It is based on these reviews and our own opinions that we end this year with our own prognosis as to what we are likely to see and experience over the next twelve months.
Our predictions are centered around the rapidly changing dynamics of the social web and the themes that are driving its adoption. These themes include:
1) There is an old saying "People don't resist change rather they resist being changed". Institutional forces of the past have created policies, mediums and rules upon the masses attempting to manipulate the masses for the purposes of producing an institutional objective. The social web empowers individuals, connected into swarms, to reverse the power historically controlled by the institutions and creates the much acclaimed upside down structure. In the case of the social web the power transfers cut across every institution and literally turns every institutional framework of control upside down. So the first foundational basis of predictive impacts for 2008 is "People will use the social web to accelerate massive change and institutions will resist being changed".
2) Power is an attraction that pulls and the more attraction the greater the power. The social web represents power attracting masses of people, businesses, media and transactions. The social web fuels innovation facilitated by the imaginations of people as to how the social web can be used for unlimited purposes. Innovation will abound and as a result past experiences used as a frame of reference for use of the social web will be invalid. Experience is meaningless if we're doing the wrong things.
3) The social web is not a thing rather it is a convergence of people and technology, a matrix. At the fringes of the social web is a learning curve accelerated by boundless sharing of content, thoughts, ideas and creativity. Content, thoughts, ideas and creativity are no longer contained in the walls of Web 1.0 rather Web 2.0 has torn down the walls and created "openness" never before experienced. Openness fuels engaging conversations and these conversations create new markets never before envisioned or experienced.
4) Understanding the cause of the social web is more important than reacting to current results. Understanding the very dynamics that fuel the social web is fundamental to learning and leveraging its potential for both personal and professional reasons. Many are attracted by the current results, few will succeed or understand its value until they understand the cause which has produced current and future results. The cause lies in understanding the basic human needs and the power of the technology.
5) Future improvements to the social web are invariably driven by needs. The list of needs is to long for a post but they center around five common areas which are:
- Security cuts across multiple facets of the social web and an overriding concern both for consumers and businesses alike.
- Portability will be fueled by advances in mobile technology.
- Economic transactional engines to facilitate value exchanges and move financial markets to the social.
- Value metrics and tools centered around measuring value attributes of connections, products and services.
- Education and learning products, services and events will explode due to the needs of individuals and institutions.
The five themes and the five areas of improvements are the basis of changes likely to occur in the coming year. The results of these changes will fuel yet a whole new level of social dynamics globally. The five themes discussed above and the advancements aimed at the five areas of needed improvement represent the collective dynamics that will fuel further transformational changes that lay the groundwork for The Emergence of The Relationship Economy.
Change is certain but its outcome is not. The best way to prepare for change is to get grounded in the foundational elements required to understand the issues that drive these changes then individuals and institutions will be better prepared to adapt to change successfully.What say you?