The Internet: our instant connection to the world.
What does the future hold? Andrew Gaspar is something of a futurist. In 1980, he predicted the Internet. (I don’t know if he consulted first with Al Gore.)
In those days, he says, it was easier to forecast the future because things moved much less quickly. Today, everything is on super-drive.
With that caveat, what does Gaspar see in his cyber crystal ball now?
· More and more local focus by local media; focus that is continually narrowing to news as close as your neighborhood and constantly being refreshed.
Editor’s Note: Traditional media—your local TV, newspapers, radio—are being forced to increase their local coverage, too. You see it in many metro newspapers today; cutbacks in national and international reporters; AP and Reuters can do that for them. Instead, they are putting their dollars into more local reporting. At least, the smart ones who want to resume being profitable are.
· Advertising still is catching up and will catch up because advertisers will learn in order to survive they will have to follow these local trends.
· Social networks will influence our behavior more and more. Learning about a book a friend read, you’ll be able to see other books they might like. The same for movies. And your contacts in social media will be major influencers in your buying habits.
· A future online business might be one that can help you erase embarrassing postings, pictures and videos you may have made at an earlier, more naïve age.
· Mobile networks will be able to spot where you are located and run an advertisement on your phone for a nearby story to entice you in. Of course, you’ll feel like you’re being followed, because you are!
· Education will be transformed, according to Gaspar. He envisions taking the enthusiasm of playing online games and moving it into a classroom environment where various media can be used in teaching along with live Q&A between the students and teacher.
· The life we’re seeing developing in the virtual world—Avatars and the economy that world is generating—is just the beginning. It’s a safer, less stressful world to escape to.
Video of Gaspar’s 1980 prediction followed by video of his latest forecast are below for you to click on.