Future 2049: Can you hear me now?

15 June 09

By 2030, we have a social (and psychological) issue that we can no longer ignore – and some say has reached a crisis. Technology and ‘on the go’ lifestyles force us to interact more using shorter bursts with ‘get to the point’ sound bytes and bullet points. We speak in headlines not prose and while we continue to be connected – we ask, are we personally CONNECTING at all? Essentially, communal places are where everyone goes to be alone, together (think Starbucks today…but everywhere). Isolationism – or a feeling of it when even surrounded by people is common. We know so much about each others habits, whereabouts, friends (think Facebook) but have lost the ability for deep conversations. We spend so much time living in a world of ‘doing’ that ‘thinking’ and ‘being’ has been, well, lost. Communicating on these deeper levels is hard to recall – and harder to ‘learn’, complain many. Each generation has of course morphed its communication abilities to match the context of the world they live in but it appears at this point, we lost too much. A surprising result happens – something that hasn’t happened for a few generations (at least not in Western cultures). Elders are respected for their skills and capabilities on this subject and are paid great sums of money to reintegrate communication skills into our technology driven world. Getting ‘Connected Again’ becomes a movement. The past 20 years we spent so much time knowing information about each other, we forgot how to connect the dots.

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Digging Politics

9 September 08

Here at futurethink, we’ve tried to stay pretty quiet about the upcoming presidential election. But we recently caught wind of something that’s just too good not to blog about. 

A couple of Obama supporters recently launched a new site called OhBoyObama!. According to the site: 

OhBoyObama! is the unofficial campaign think-tank. Created by Obama supporters for the purpose of giving the Obama grassroots a platform to submit and vote on ideas to better the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama. All supporters are welcome to participate. Just register a new account and submit a “scoop” or start voting. Read the rest of this entry »


The New Facebook

22 July 08

Yesterday, Facebook launched a new version of its popular social networking site for testing at new.facebook.com. The site (not compatible with Internet Explorer), marks Facebook’s first major redesign basically since the company launched in 2004. I, for one, am excited to play around with some of the new features and enhancements… and at first glance, I think other users will be pleased as well. Here are some of my initial thoughts and reactions: Read the rest of this entry »


Google Gets Lively

9 July 08

Google just announced its foray into yet another Web domain: the virtual world. Lively, which is Windows-only at the moment, operates through a browser plug-in for Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, which is probably what most differentiates the service from Linden Labs’ Second Life. Unlike Second Life and other virtual worlds, Lively isn’t one single world at all—it’s a series of virtual rooms that users create and attach to their existing Google accounts. Rooms can then be embedded into blogs or other Web pages, meaning Lively users can go in and out of rooms as they stumble around the Web.

At first glance, the service is relatively easy to set up and use, as Google has provided a number of templates for both rooms and avatars. At present, Google is driving all the content creation for Lively, though it’s likely they’ll allow users to generate content for the world in the future. Read the rest of this entry »


The Future Of Social Networks

20 May 08

Last week, I attended A Look to the Future, a conference at NYU. There were a number of panel discussions and speeches about topics as diverse as the future of risk to the future of green as a business strategy. One of the talks I enjoyed the most, however, was entitled The Digital Future: What Social Networking and Marketing Tools Mean for Businesses and Entrepreneurs. The panel included Douglas Atkin, Chief Community Officer, Meetup.com; Bant Breen, President, Interpublic Futures Marketing Group and Director of Strategic Development and Innovation of the Interpublic Group; Rob Master, Director of Media North America for Unilever; Kenny Miller, EVP and Creative Director for MTV Networks Global Digital Media; and Marc Sirkin, Lead Social Networking Strategist at Microsoft. Read the rest of this entry »


AOL Gets Social

25 March 08

futurethink AOL Bebo

AOL recently announced its purchase of Bebo, the third most popular social networking site on the web (behind Myspace and Facebook) for $850 million. From the New York Times:

“Bebo combines the features of Facebook with the focus on media and self-expression of MySpace. The three-year-old site is most prominent in Britain, where the measurement firm comScore recorded 11.4 million unique visitors in January. The site had 4.1 million visitors in the United States, comScore said.” Read the rest of this entry »


Enabling Stalkers

26 February 08

futurethink buddy beacon

Buddy Beacon, a mobile geo-locating service, recently unveiled new services that allow it to work across carriers and in conjunction with the popular social networking site Facebook. Now, Buddy Beacon users can use their mobile phones to automatically update their location and activities, and see where their friends are and what they’re up to. Using the Buddy Beacon application on a mobile phone, a user simply clicks “show” to broadcast their location. Friends that have the application will then be able to see that user’s location and status – “having a cup of coffee: Café Deville, 103 3rd Avenue, New York” – and users that have integrated the application with their Facebook profiles will also send the update to their Facebook page in the form of a “status” update.

Buddy Beacon is the first geo-location application to work across wireless carriers, and is just another example of how they hyper-connected are choosing to stay in touch. Learn more, or sign up at Buddy Beacon.