This post revisits one that was originally published in 2011 and has been updated it with two additional web verbs to adopt.
In the next 20 years, eight dramatic technology trends will influence our connected world.
We are already watching how these forces are shaping modern web culture.
Kevin Kelly, co-founder and senior maverick of Wired Magazine, identified these six trends in his opening keynote at the 2011 Web 2.0 Conference. His reflections give us a window into what is important now and what we should be planning for in the future.
Is your association prepared to use these web verbs to their advantage? Are your meeting and event organizers considering how these trends will impact your conferences and events?
Screens are everywhere! In our pockets. On our desks. In our living rooms. In our kitchens. In our backpacks. In our classrooms. At our conferences. On our tablets. In our transportation hubs.
Instead of thinking of platforms for delivery of your content, think of screens. Which screens are your customers using to connect with you and consume your messages? Are you providing ways that they can consume your content in small chunks on their mobile devices? Are you live streaming your conference content? Are you using Skype to your advantage? Are you considering telepresence?
The movie Minority Report is an omen of what’s to come. Today, most of our interaction with the Web is through our fingertips. Kinect gamers interact with gestures and body movement free of controller devices. Many people interact with Web content via their mobile devices using hand gestures.
As we interact with content, the Web adapts. Developers use detailed analytics to measure our Web movements. Then they make better apps that adapt to our movements.
Customers want to interact with your conference and association content. They want to make it their own. They want to digest it, repurpose it, expand it, shrink it, customize it and discuss it. Stop information indigestion by pushing too much content too fast. Let them digest it properly with face-to-face and online participation. Let them interact with it and others!
Anything and everything that can be shared will be shared. Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter only scratch the surface of where we are going. People can measure and track everything in the new “quantified-self” movement. And they are sharing that data with others. Why? We can learn and benefit from each other’s data.
Are you keeping your association and conference experiences and content exclusive and behind fire walls? Customers want to share your content with others. They want to showcase the experiences they have with you. Let them. Help them do it easily.
And consider creating apps that allow them to quantify their involvement with your association, your content and your conference. Blend gamification with the “quantified-self” movement to create another layer of the experience that is shareable and spreadable.
4. Flowing AKA Streaming
Originally the metaphor for the personal computer was the desktop. Then it became the web page. Now the metaphor is flowing or streaming.
Some lifestream their daily events. Some click a link to a YouTube video and expect it to begin streaming immediately. We can tap into streams of content, information, and data anytime. And they stream on the screens that are everywhere.
Your customers will expect live streaming from your conference. When you don’t, they will think that the event had nothing of value worth sharing with others.
Your customers want to see a lifestream of your organization’s experiences. Consider creating a graphic time-line of past, current and future events so people can get a quick grasp of your organization and where it is going. Show them how they can merge their life stream with your organization’s stream to create a better future.
We used to want to own CDs, computer games, movies, etc. With streams flowing everywhere, we now just want to access it. We are fine renting it. Within seconds we can connect with a movie in Netflix, download an eBook from Amazon, or listen to a recording.
Have you moved your association content to the clouds yet? Who is overseeing the institutional knowledge and the brain wealth of your members? Can your customers access your knowledge, content and experiences in a matter of seconds or does it take an experienced trekker to navigate your web archives? How easily can your remote attendees access the conference experience?
“The Internet is the world’s largest copy machine,” says Kelly. Immediacy, personalization and customization are critical keys to value. While digital piracy wiped out the old, traditional music model, the music industry is thriving by allowing for personalization and customization. Live concerts are experiences that can’t be recreated.
Your same old, same old way of doing conferences is stale. They can be recreated and copied. You must create unique, unpredictable conference and association experiences. They must be different and if you want to succeed.
Today we need to be able to quickly judge valid, scientifically sound information coming from legitimate, official sources from those that are opinions and editorials. As professor and cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham says,
“The the word ‘research’ has become meaningless… Every product is claimed to be research-based. But we all know that can’t be the case…”
We need to understand why we believe what we believe in order to believe if something is false. Willingham suggests a four step process to evaluate good experts from bad experts: Strip it; trace it; analyze it; judge it.
We have to be careful of embracing every trend, theory or idea that captures the public’s attention. Be wary of speakers that claim to be experts when they’ve never applied or practiced their own expertise.
Sources: When Can You Trust The Experts?
While many of connect with others via the Web, it is also driving us to want to meet face to face more. We yearn for human connections with others. Our mobile devices keep us connected with each other and the more we connect online, the more we want to connect face to face.
We need to create more social spaces at our face to face events and less lecture halls. We need to design experiences around connexity and less around information transfer of content. Our conferences need to be more about human experiences and uncovering content instead of “covering content.”
Which of these Web verbs excite or scare you? How can associations or event professionals take advantage of these trends?