In the Future...Internet and Communications

I mentioned a while back on my old site, Alien's Planet, that the Internet was one of the most useful tools for communication.  It is still very useful and moreso now than ever with such technologies as Google's GTalk client which allows people to talk for free over the Internet and Skype, which allows the same, but with video.  We are going to see much more of this in the near future and into the distant future.  Once ISP's stop capping bandwidth and throttling users, many new audio and video technologies will follow.  The phone companies, both landline and cell-based, will not like this because it allows people to talk for free.  The cell phone carriers will just have to raise data rates to make up for the loss of minute usage.  The landline companies will lobby for restrictions on Internet communications, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

One of the most useful forms of communication online today is not one-on-one personal conversations, but one-to-many.  This is the realm of YouTube, the online video channel owned by Google.  Many people already have channels that deal with a broad range of topics from comedy and silly stuff to more serious information and education.  Sites like these will continue to grow as people become more connected to this technology.  It's not really that necessary to know how to make a video to post a video, but then there are videos on YouTube that show how to do it.

As many people know, I just joined Facebook within the past year and I have reconnected with many people that I have not seen in over twenty years.  It's definitely making the world a smaller place, but also a more social place in one respect.  Unfortunately, part of me sees this centralizing of the online experience to be a little scary.  Facebook is becoming a portal to the Internet rather than a social network on the Internet.  I can see some negativity coming out of the social network including a compromise of personal privacy.  Facebook tend to turn its users into voyeurs while also making them the watched.  All in all, the technology behind the network is allowing people to become more connected.  Pretty soon, six degrees is going to be way too far out for most.

The prospect of things to come on the Internet are only limited by our collective imagination.  Years ago, if somebody told me that I would be able to post video online and it would reach a million users, I would have scoffed at the notion.  Today it happens hundreds of thousands of times per day.  People are more connected than ever, but there appears to be some disconnect.  Genuine social interactions are necessary for the good of society.  Of course, all of the good of the Internet can be lost if we're not careful.  That will be the topic for tomorrow.  Have a nice day.