Friday, 21 December 2012

2012 - The End of Online

Online has heralded a golden age of new media over the past decade. But not any more - online as a marketing term has become redundant with the advent of mobile. Why? Because a mobile device is also online, so to eradicate confusion - Online (i.e. surfing via PC/laptop) has now been demoted to desktop.

Still confused? So let's try to nail down the terminology in a single sentence: 'Any internet enabled device that permits an application or site to use your location, is mobile and all other devices that are non-location specific are desktop.' This is why ipads are mobile devices but laptops aren't.

Desktop is actually a horribly fudged phrase to describe how the majority of people still use the internet for entertainment which is via a laptop in front of the TV. I don't know about you, but the laptop tends to follow me around the house so feels mobile enough for me.

The main issue here is convergence of technology which is forcing people and companies to think differently about what electronic products exist now and what may be adopted in the near future.

Take TV for example. I'm pretty sure within 18 months, we will need to come up with a new word for TV. The phrase Television will look wholly inadequate to describe what will be Social Internet Video (SIV). SIV is the way everyone will consume TV media in the future. A few years on, it will impossible to think of how a football match could be watched at home without tweets and not having customised fan vision overlaying live football matches. Or, how about X-Factor (with or without Louie Walsh!), - imagine reading people's ranting tweets tickertaping across the bottom of your screen. Forget the phone line, imagine how instant SIV voting will decide results in real-time.

Why doesn't it happen sooner? The only other factors that appear to hold back the tide of consumer demand is the way the TV market is currently structured by government and the dominant companies. Whilst the internet relentlessly innovates, TV appears thus far to be resistant to rapidly changing tastes in consumer media consumption.

The future of TV, Radio, Internet & Books, of course, will look nothing like it does today. Let's just hope whatever happens will help us to get information and entertainment faster and better than ever imagined before.

Lastly, in a case of art imitating life (a la The Social Network) and imitating art again, Facebook TV is coming... check out Facebook's secret plans here.



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