29 May 2008

Some future trends for the Internet and museums

I was part of a panel at a seminar - "Collections and the Web: Audiences, Content and Technologies" - organised by CAN (Collections Australia Network) on Tuesday, 27 May: "Future Trends". I began with a short presentation in which I attempted to plot a number of future possibilities in terms of probability and desirability:
  • Spam to increase (almost certain), which may lead to...
  • The total collapse of email, as we now know it, under the weight of spam. While this would undoubtedly be a major disaster, it may have at least one beneficial consequence:
  • RSS (syndication) to become mainstream.
  • Internet connections to become faster and/or cheaper, which should allow...
  • Rich content (video, audio) to increase.
  • Online advertising to increase (but there is evidence that returns are diminishing).
  • Smart commercial links (in which success depends on how useful the user perceives it to be) to also increase.
  • Semantic web to become more pervasive (content not just for human consumption but for also machine consumption, making mashups possible - eg: US Presidents) But, perhaps more importantly...
  • Semantic web to become easier for non-tech people (MIT's Simile project is a step in the right direction).
  • Visitor-generated content to increase. (But there needs to a move towards quality visitor- generated content.)
  • Copyright restrictions to decrease (at least for the museum/cultural/non-profit sector). This is more of a hope than a prediction!
  • Open standards to increase, allowing...
  • Greater separation of content and presentation, and hence...
  • Greater diversity of platforms and personalisation.
  • Will non-standard (Flash) navigation increase? Hopefully not.

Here's the actual plot (sorry if it's a bit hard to read):

(This has also been posted to Museum 3.0)

Update: See the video