The Internet of the future will look very different from how we enjoy it today. A driving force of this will be the recent explosion of social technologies. Just look at how someone just 5 years younger than you uses social technology. Then look at how your parents use these same resources and you will see social is here to stay. We are fortunate to live at the dawn of the “social era”.
As with with everything else in life there are only two ways to monetize the social web of tomorrow:
Help us become more social
In only a few years we have gone from sharing friendships to sharing thoughts, pictures, steps and even beers. It is almost a certainty that these technologies will grow stronger, faster, smarter in the coming years. The real question is whether or not we chose to adopt them. Perhaps we will live in a world where sharing is the norm and truly frictionless.
Help us become less social
Privacy and anonymity are all the rage on the Internet these days. Whether it is disappearing video or sharing secrets we now have the ability to leave our identities at the door. Perhaps the future is a more personal internet.
The current answer is to become selectively social. Despite its often lamented efforts with G+ Google gets how it should work. G+ is brilliant. Having the ability to categorize people into circles is ideal. The problem is nobody likes the task of putting people into buckets, we want it done for us.
Adam Smith will tell you that specialization is key to national prosperity. I believe that this will apply to the internet as well. We are already seeing the start of it with the Saas Revolution : niche products for niche industries. The really winners of the future will create products that appeal to a niche instead of everybody.
It is simply amazing that the consumer Internet is not yet 20 years old .It has not graduated college and it cannot legally buy a beer. It has not decided what it wants to do with the rest of its life.
I am very excited to watch the Internet mature and you should be too.