Your Guide to the Internet's 'Next Big Thing'
Where is technology taking us? There are a few schools of thought
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2010 1:10 PM CST
In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, the Apple iPad is examined after its unveiling at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

(Newser) – Michael Wolff hears so much about the Internet’s future “that I should be in a position to get rich, finally.” But it’s tough deciphering all this chatter, “because the technology business is at least as much talk as it is science,” he writes. So in his latest Vanity Fair column he’s broken down the big competing theories about the Internet’s future, kind of like "a Next Big Thing for Dummies.

First we have Platform Theory, the idea that “ubiquitous, octopus-like, hydra-headed, chameleon-ish” platform sites will control the world. Google’s a prime example and Facebook—which is sure to go public soon—could be next. In the next corner lurk digital behaviorists, building business models around freely-given user-generated content, even if it creates a “mountain of crap.” Still others think Big Media is still king, and that a magical machine like the iPad can restore its power.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Feb 8, 2010 11:03 AM CST
Trading souls for microchips one social network/multifunctional website at a time.
Feb 8, 2010 10:29 AM CST
Technology in computers has been coming to a wall...there is so much processors that they can put into supercomputers until nothing improves drastically. That's why scientists are trying to develop the light computer where circuits leading to processors are no longer powered by electricity. It will be fun to see what effect that has in the future.
Feb 8, 2010 8:39 AM CST
Technology waves are often just fashion trends. Its all about the social aspect of it, not the truth of it. If someone asks your opinion about some new tech and you express any skepticism about it at all, you are immediately marginalized. People assume you are just an old fogie and ignore you, while someone else in the crowd talks up how it is going to revolutionize EVERYTHING and every listens in rapt attention. Then a couple years later the new technology is often forgotten or superseded but by then everyone is off to the new thing. If you want true and good advice about some new technology, listen to someone who was spot on the last time around. If you just want to be entertained with gee-whiz wizardry, listen to the latest self-appointed experts and twitter all your friends with the juicy details.