In an earlier post, I described that we are now at a post-digital point where buyers don’t care whether the interaction is digital or not. As I was thinking about it, I thought I would outline what a 2020 post-social world would look like. A point where social was so ingrained in our behaviors that social didn’t matter. Yes, I am possibly going to be wrong on most things or the timing (think 1950’s forecasting flying cars by 2000), but interesting to see how much I get right over the next 10 years. (Yes, I know this will still be out there on the web floating around).
Smart Markup Language (SML) – Think HTML, XML, and Web Services for the semantic and social generation. This language will allow applications to share and consume smart applications and will include semantic tags, pre-built categories of tags, descriptions of taggers (history, context, etc), and support for smart apps to apply processing and preference handling.
Smart Applications (Smart Apps or “Smart Asses”) – Component applications designed to consume personalization and plug-in-play assemblage. These applications will contain configuration for systems, information, data, and user preference management elements.
Social Objects- The definition of social will blend back into the background. Everyone will become a social object. The definitions of relationships won’t have to be pre-defined, but rather a seamless spectrum from transactional to permanent. Much like how people interact offline today. I need to buy something from a vendor, I interact. I want to connect with a friend, I connect. The idea of my own social network will disappear as people will not define how they share things with fixed labels. I will share some things with some friends, or some colleagues or the world depending upon my preferences around the information or application.
Personal Digital Assistance (PDAs) – Won’t be an AI, but rather a series of smart applications designed to work together. Communications, information, contacts, work-flow, presentation, etc will work to present information and support your environment. The idea of personal versus professional will no longer be limited dimensions (time and location). I will share information and collaborate with whom I need to, when, where, and how on a personal and informational level. My PDAs will screen, catalog, filter, and connect me to the right people, information, data, and applications as needed. I will set personal guidelines for when I respond to certain types of information, communications, etc. I will set priority codes for individuals so that my wife can always reach me for emergencies. As for that annoying co-worker, you seemingly are always busy, right?
Smart Information Grid- Markets, businesses, and communities will be highly connected in a series of Smart Apps, Social Objects, and PDAs. Businesses will be architected to plug in the right people, information, data, and applications to get the job done. The idea of a fixed information architecture will move to a more dynamic, consumption driven architecture. Think the idea of a network of applications and people working together. Virtual will fade away as the need to define what or where something is will be irrelevant.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get there or even if we make it to the vision above. The reality is that these trends are emerging today. The idea of virtual work and the fixed idea of work and personal are blending. Applications are becoming smarter, interfaces are becoming more personal, and social networks are proving that the rigid structures of traditional applications don’t really need to be so structured.
When you apply this to consumers, you also realize that the over-automation of the web-based, self-service model of customer experience is really a dinosaur, but only now are we seeing the tools emerge to make these tools extinct. For those who have sat on the phone waiting for a call center to fix a problem, it can’t happen fast enough.