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November 18, 2008

Predictions for 2008 - were they right?

The eLearn magazine from the ACM published an article where they had asked a number of scientists what they predicted in technology for 2008.  This is focused on e-education but it's good to see some of these predictions anyway as they concern us all really.

This was in January, and seeing that we are approaching the end of the year, i thought I'd take a look and see who was right and who was wrong and who needs a little more time to be right.  I'll pull a few out, read the article for more.

The author, Lisa Neil predicted: meaningful connections in social networking, less democratic processes to allow for us to find quality info, and it being easier to locate and create quality content.

I think that social networking hasn't yet matured to the point where people are forming meaningful connections.  A lot of users are collecting followers or friends for the sake of it or for marketing in a blind way.  It is easy to create content now, but maybe it gave way to more rubbish being published.

Stephen Downes predicted that users would shun Facebook, itunes and so on for commercial software, the filtering of social network feeds, syncing digital devices and lots more academic material available online.

Yes for the digital syncing (iphone etc...), not a chance for commercial applications, OpenSource and free things are almost the norm now.  I think we are better at filtering social networks, but we don't yet have very good tools to help us do this.

Jay Cross: 2.0 will be appended to everything - Yes, he was quite right!

Michael Feldstein: institutional support for FaceBook and other web 2.0 tools - Universities are indeed embracing those and including them in modules and so on.

James Hendler: Semantic web will spread: Yep! (mind you he would say that)

Mine were: more semantic web, loads more going on in social networks, more ubiquitous web stuff, and more research in natural language systems and Q&A.

Verdict: right about semantic web and social networks, NL systems and Q&A are indeed in research, not so much ubiquitous web around yet but getting there.

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