Shel Holtz Ragan Presentation: What’s Next?

I’ve known Shel for several years, and I try to keep in touch via Twitter, his RSS feed and listening to his For Immediate Release podcast (with his sidekick Neville Hobson.) Still, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve heard him present, and this talk at the Ragan conference with SAS was really interesting and helpful.

As I sit in the Charlotte airport, loving the free wi-fi, I’m taking the opportunity to clean up my liveblogging post from his talk, and to add some links to the sites he mentioned.

The title of the presentation was, “What’s Next?” and he had ten key trends he saw as important. I missed #9, so if anyone else (or even Shel) can fill in the missing info, I would appreciate it. But before I get into those trends here were a few of Shel’s observations.

Shel says the high-end webcast is going the way of the DoDo, because now anyone can do a webcast using Qik or Ustream.tv.

Seesmic – lets you record videos at your Webcam. Put video up instead. Twitter for video. And WordPress now has a plug-in that lets people comment on your posts via Seesmic.

Integrated social networks. Websites, networks merge. Conversation with customers becomes part of the online presence.

Fastcompany.com has redesigned its Web site extensively to incorporate conversation. All of the content except one cover story is contributed by the community.

Tulane University is using LiveWorld.

Google Open Social will enable you to turn your Website into a social network, just by copying some code.

Shel says Web 3.0 involves these key trends:

Trend #1: Ubiquitous connectivity

  • Broadband
  • Wireless
  • Mobile computing – get to the Web anywhere you have a phone signal. Very few organizations have mobile phone strategies; they (we) really should.

Trend #2: Network computing. Web services, cloud computing, grid computing, distributed computing

Shel uses Live Mesh. I like Dropbox. Google has a video service just for corporations, available only to employees. Videos are hosted outside the firewall. Company IT departments will need to get comfortable with software as service like this. Shel uses Google Docs to develop and store his documents. He mentioned Yammer, too.

Trend #3: Open technologies – APIs and protocols, software, data. This is a huge trend. Why spend a half million dollars on a CMS when you can download a free open source package that is just as powerful, and pay someone $10K a year for support?

Trend #4: Open Identity – Open ID, Open reputation, Open portable identity

Business world doesn’t like this because companies want to gather your info.

Trend #5: The intelligent web. Use Pandora, for instance. It looks at music you like and finds similar songs that are what you’ll like. Recommendation agent. Natural language search instead of keywords. Semantic Web. Check out Twine.

Trend #6: Distributed Databases

Trend #7: Technology Populism: Tech has gotten so easy that you don’t need an IT person to help you implement it. That’s really one of the main ideas behind SMUG. “It’s Not That Hard.”

Trend #8: The information workplace. Getting people whatever information they need when they need it.

Prologue is a WordPress Theme that can be added to a blog you have behind the firewall.

TownSquare is a plug-in for Microsoft SharePoint that adds functionality like Facebook. Not available yet.

As Shel mentioned, FriendFeed is a great way to pull together information.

Yahoo Pipes is a really interesting service and Shel showed a video that demonstrates it. Here it is:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3h6ROs__II]

Gotta play with that.

Trend #9: (Updated) Aggregation–Friendfeed, Dubpages, Google Reader, Yahoo Pipes (mashup feeds), Feedburner – (Thanks to sktuttle for providing in the comments.)

Trend #10: Widgets will also increase in importance for distributing your content.

Comcastcares uses search.twitter.com to do customer support. Symantec has a fan page on Facebook.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 14. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

3 thoughts on “Shel Holtz Ragan Presentation: What’s Next?”

  1. Lee:

    So nice to read that Shel mentioned LiveWorld and the new LiveBar product we’re launching with Tulane. We really do think this opens up new opportunities for companies to build community around the content on their sites.

    As for Trend No. 2, I’m a big advocate of working “in the cloud.” As a guy who travels a couple of times a month, works out of cafes and libraries, and sometimes has his hands on more than one computer, storing and retrieving my files to and from the Web is a lifesaver — as long as I have Internet access, of course. Google Docs is a key application in my arsenal.

    –Bryan Person | @BryanPerson
    LiveWorld social media evangelist

  2. Let’s talk more about #7 distributed databases — coming from the association world this is a biggie and frankly not getting nearly enough traction. I think associations need to look outside the association world for answers. What do you see?

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