Where is the social web going? Predictions and trends for 2010 and beyond

2009 December 16

What will the social web evolve to? What are the trend predictions for social web in the coming new year.

A variety of recent trend predictions for the social web see an evolution in the making – but no big breakthroughs. To sample just a few:

Axel Scultze presents an interesting prediction for the social web 2010. The outstanding trends he foresees are:

  • Twitter will become the leading news system
  • Advertising will flood the social space
  • LinkedIn will grow significantly
  • Social business will thrive as more businesses will enter the social web
  • IT departments will open up to social web and adapt the new processes needed for opening up
  • Social media marketing will use social media differently
  • Social mobility will enhance distributed enterprises and new working models
  • Exposure of social graph information will cause some loss members due to privacy concerns
  • Corporates will monitor social networks to listen to the customer’s voice in social networks to fine tune offerings
  • Social networks will converge with other applications, media and platforms
  • Gaming industry will have a stronger presence on the social  web
  • Gadgets and add -ons will be developed and used for social applications to enhance communications
  • Search will include geo aspects and will include relations
  • Groups, communities will not consolidate but will strengthen in impact

He concludes by speaking about the need for earth shattering innovations to manage relations, but assumes that won’t happen in 2010.

David Armano points at 6 social media trends for 2010:

  • Filtering will make social media less sociall
  • Social business will beef up
  • Corporations will look to scale their social business activities and will create incentives for social participation
  • Companies will develop social media policies
  • Social media will go mobile as users and workers will want to be part of their social sphere
  • Sharing no longer means e-mail
    Jennifer Leggio concentrated her 2010 predictions around the question will social media reach ubiquity?  And asked over 30 people from her social media network their opinion on this question.

A variety of views. Fascinating.

 Joel Postman , foresees in 5 social media predictions for 2010 foresses that:

  • Augmented reality applications will become mainstream
  • Location-Based Applications Will Dissolve Into General Social Networks
  • Enterprise Social Software Applications Will Become Commonplace
  • More Social Media Regulation Will Follow the FTC’s October Endorsement Guides
  • Social Search Will Shake Out, and the Search Metaphor Will Change.

All of them look at the social web from the point of view of the system or from that of corporate who want to use it to reach a goal, as Brad Ward compares it to  a horse race.

To take to a higher scale, beyond next years’ predictions, Jeremaiah Owyang, when he was still at Forrester, wrote a very interesting analysis on where the future of the social web.  He looks at the future of the social web from the point of view of the system.

“…If you can’t see where this is headed, I’ll tell you: all of what we’re doing from our clicks, queries, wall posts and tweets is teaching the ’system’. In the long run we’re creating a massive global computer, an artificial intelligence, and someday, a thinking being.

When the system will reach a stage that it learns about our behaviors, preferences, relations… When such a system’s automation becomes a holy grail, we users should be very afraid – no,  Panic Stricken.

What exactly is that system? Who owns it? How much does it know about me? Is it transparent? Is it all in my consent?  Who owns all this knowledge about me?

When considering an intelligent web, the first thing we need to guarantee is that this web is ours, the people who comprise the people’s grid.  Anything short of a user-owned-web there is no guarantee of who will end up serving whom and what giant wars will evolve over the hegemony of all this.

Adrian Chan ponders on the future of the social web  and examines the system from a user centric prism that looks at my past interactions, forming a social centric prism that learns from my social usage patterns and my interactions with my social sphere.

It still assumes some top down external management that combines several aspects of learning – and as such – raises the same apprehensions.

The future of the web from an Icentered point of view – a people’s grid

The next evolutionary stage of the social web will exceed systems’ learning and will take the human side of the web – us, its users, as the anchor point. From an Icentered point of view, the future of the social web is about the people that comprise it, each one of us, as a member in the people’s grid. It will create a social web that harnesses personal context to add meaning to the communications.

As such my social sphere is all about me.

 I am an Itom in a people’s grid.

With me at its center, my context is the anchor point through which I interact with my social sphere. Taking a holistic approach I am complex, dynamic, holistic, me all across and therefore exceeds the current closed boundaries of social networks.  It means that  I will no longer have to actively sift for relevant friends from a multitude of accumulated social network contacts and actively take care of portability between communities.

Same is true to all others.  All Itom will create  a people’s  grid. Relations and conversations will be contextualized.   It will turn six degrees of separation into a context based social graph of connectedness, both within my social sphere and in its extended perimeters. So that I can communicate with my social spheres through a contextual anchor that ties us ad-hoc to that communication,  regardless of network, place and time.

It will assume:

  • Portability and harmonization of my context across disjoint networks,
  • Adaptivity to my usage patterns across platforms and devices
  • Proactive privacy management of my social relations
  • Ad hoc context based sharing around an interaction
  • Active participation in business models and food chains around me and my social sphere   
Be Sociable, Share!