Last Minute Predictions for 2011

‘Tis the time of year for predictions and resolutions. As I am not a New Year’s resolutions kind of gal (I try to resolve at will during the course of the year), I will try my hand at a few predictions. As this is a tech blog, I will focus on a few predictions on tech developments to come in 2011. Bear in mind that I am by no means a tech “expert”, but I am very well read on the subject – as my tech blogs and social connects keep me pretty informed on what is happening. Couple my voracious reading with a penchant for pattern recognition, and maybe I might get a few of these right.

Over the past year, web interaction, particularly social web interaction, has moved increasingly to our mobile devices. If you consider the iPad and its tablet progeny mobile (many tend to run mobile OS, although not exclusively), then I predict mobile computing will only rise significantly in 2011. Cutting edge adopters are leading the way in exhibiting what can be accomplished with smartphones and tablets. The justifications for preferring a traditional laptop to these more pocketable devices are dwindling. I see the real driving factor behind the trend to be professional adoption of these devices. I myself have stopped carrying my keypad mobile devices in favor of ‘Phone and ‘Pad for business and personal use. As the options increase (read: Blackberry’s Playbook and the myriad Android and Windows-powered units, as well as a possible WebOS device or two from HP), these form factors will likely take over for mobile users. And mobile use itself will only increase as devices become more able. Sort of like a feedback loop, with each end feeding the other. More devices and users, more uses and better apps. Breeding more users and more devices. Etc.

Another trend I predict in 2011 is the rise of niche social networks. This is not to say that Twitter and Facebook will fade away, nothing of the sort. These giants will continue to be giants but a sizable piece of the action will shift to niche networks for specific purposes. Sites like Amplify for reblogging, communication and conversation, Storify and curated.by for curation, apps like Instagram for photo sharing, and communities like Quora for (mostly) knowledgable questions, answers and information gathering are becoming hot properties and will only get hotter. Lawyers – take note. If you are interested in sharing your expertise, don’t get left out of the opportunities that sites like Amplify and Quora offer – a ready audience lurks there looking for information, particularly of the intelligent variety.

And consider the lure of group buying – it is hard to ignore the success of Groupon. Why? Well, my sense of it is that the same motivations that are driving Groupon to unprecedented valuation are behind the forced changes in the legal industry. Every one loves a deal, and a deal usually represents the marriage of value and price. If the buyer believes he or she is getting the best value for the best price, its a winner. Group buying via the social net offers just that – a tangible cut in price on valued items. Look for more group buying apps and communities and consider how you can leverage these sorts of opportunities in your own professional pursuits. And keep an eye out for more interesting e-commerce developments in the near future.

I foresee even more migration to the cloud, objections and security concerns notwithstanding. It just makes sense. While not everything may become cloudworthy in the immediate or near future, I believe that professionals and non-professionals will move more and more of their data to that unified location, accessible from anywhere and not necessarily limited by the size of your local storage. This will be facilitated by the integration of unique applications to cloud storage sites, making your data more maleable and useable in unique ways. And SAAS will become more attractive as the tech behind web applications improves.

Finally, like the exponential increase in tech wonders that have rolled out across the latter part of the twentieth century, the convex tangent curve of tech development over the next year + promises to rise more sharply still – keeping people like me glued to their favorite news delivery sources.  Whatever comes, I have no doubt it will keep us wide-eyed with wonder. Happy 2011!

3 comments on “Last Minute Predictions for 2011

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Last Minute Predictions for 2011: ‘Tis the time of year for predictions and resolutions. As I am not a N... -- Topsy.com

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