That’s true, even of the super geeks. No doubt, the Super G’s are infinitely better off than the hopeless Luddites among us — who wish the whole thing to go away — and are light-years ahead of the rest of us who simply struggle through the brave new way of things.
But the reality is, the wired world is changing faster than a mutating computer virus. No one can keep up. If, however, you want to get a sniff of what is happening beneath and what is likely to be in store, pitch up at a gathering of minds that specialize in trying to.
Such a get-together took place a few days ago at Kennesaw State University, north of Atlanta. The school’s fifth annual Social Media Conference brought in people from all over the world and from all parts of society, including business.
Ford, for example, played a big part in the conference, as well as AT&T. Many of the workshops were aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, including media outlets, offering strategies for ramping up interaction with the public and measuring return on investment.
Obviously, it is essential to know these things if you are in any business. The numbers alone ought to convince you of that.
Lee Rainie, of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, rattled off a few of them, including the fact that two-thirds of Americans now have broadband access.
There is more significance to that item than an increased number of people watching their favorite sitcom on Hulu from their laptop. No, broadband, Mr. Rainie and Pew tell us, has caused the populace to become content creators. When something like that happens, it is normally entered into the history books as a paradigm shift.
So, things are moving fast indeed with innovations occurring every day. But it is social media that seems to be the new transmission in this super-hot vehicle of change.
Facebook and Twitter, many at the conference said, are altering the way people think about the underlying structure of the Internet, opening up all sorts of possibilities.
The point kept coming up that Web technology from five years ago now looks old and clunky. So what, then, will we be saying about today’s blast-off instruments and methods of communications five years from now?
If you are searching for that face of tomorrow, look to someone wired in and under 21. That was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg a few years ago. The next one is floating around out there, nibbling around the edges of an explosively wonderful idea that will set some yet-to-be-determined normal way of Web life on its head. Count on it, was the consensus.
Who knows, maybe in 10 years, the Web will be dead. As we learned a long time ago, no one knows where this is going and it’s anyone’s game.
Anniston Star Editor at large John Fleming explores issues related to the area’s economy and businesses in this weekly news column. Send topic suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.