Every day I’m reminded that we live in swashbuckling times. Not that we should have parrot on our shoulder, or a snarl on our breath…rather a swashbuckler — in the truest sense — is an adventurer.
Every generation has it’s opportunities for adventure. Think of the explorers, the railroad or oil barons, even Bill Gates. Each met a challenge on the frontier — be it Cape Horn, the Wild West, or a threshold of digital technology.
What is the world-changing opportunity lying right under our noses, that history will look back on in 50 years and say: “Ya know, it really began in 2010…starting small with _________.”?
The last such frontier was computer technology, the internet, the dot.com bubble…each building on the platform of the technology preceding it. Microsoft and Apple were revolutionary outcomes of electricity, the phone system, and vacuum tubes. And THOSE advances were built on advances in metallurgy, glassware, and the assembly line.
Make no mistake, THE NEXT BIG THING is forming right now…right here in the US…its nascent stem cells so defying prediction that we can’t see the thing-it-will-be.
Here’s my take on it anyway: that “next big thing” will be some sort of paradigm, cultural revolution, or gizmo that binds us even more to one another — almost telepathically…and it’s being born in Social Media.
Ah…so that’s what you’re getting at, CourVO!!!…too many late nights on FaceBook!
…JUST AROUND THE CORNER!
But hear me out. Three little recent developments — perhaps just insignificant baubles in the corporate world — that will be swallowed up by a Google, or a Lenovo, or a Zappos, may be the harbingers.
Gist. This golden little software/cloud/assistive chunk of digital awareness will help put online social connections in perspective. You can join online at Gist.com. You can download the add-on version to MS Outlook, and you can further utilize Gist on your smartphone. Gist is quietly amazing. In Outlook (which BTW is not-so-slowly embracing social media itself: see the new OutLook Social Connector), Gist immediately adjusts to each email highlighted, telling you more…much more, about the person who just sent you a message, in the form of links, contact info, and social media sites. Another great program of this ilk is XOBNI (inbox backwards).
StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit. I group these together, ’cause they share a similar approach, which is to let YOU choose the headline, the trend, the hot topic. NewsVine is in this category. Digg — a surprising survivor of Social Media competition — is about to launch a whole new site revamp that everybody is anticipating, and StumbleUpon just launched it’s new iPhone/Android app. Actually, mobile is EVERYTHING. Forget, radio, TV, computers…the trend is all towards personal info & communication on the go.
THE NEW WORLD
Which leads to the capper of my little diatribe today: GeoLocation services. This sector is going wild. Yelp and Loopt and a hundred other start-ups launched into this sector, built upon the capabilities of GPS (remember the history lesson above?) FourSquare popularized it, but over the weekend, FaceBook got on the bandwagon, and Google is right in the mix too, with “Google Places“.
Detractors caution about too freely sharing your whereabouts. But advertisers are lovin’ this one…offering incentives, coupons, and special buys for those who check-in, reach out and take-advantage. Amazing stories are emerging of people finding the very person they’re looking for (!) in the next store over, all because they both checked into FourSquare within minutes of each other on their smartphones.
Don’t ask me this question! I’m just a blogger, not Rasputin…but let’s brainstorm for a minute. Gist is easy: it puts lots of handy information about possible voice clients and leads right where you can use it… on your computer and your smartphone. StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. are like mini RSS readers that keep you up on business trends, and might give you ideas for warm-calling certain leads.
But Geo-Location? I’m coming up blank on this one. I gotta call my VO bud Terry Daniel who is absolutely rabid about this technology, and have him explain the big advantage for my voice-over business. Will it help me to know, for instance, that the production supervisor hired by McDonald’s advertising agency is having coffee at the Starbucks just down from where I’m picking up my dry cleaning? Hmmmm.
Will there be “places” barons in our near future?