I'm late with mine. None of them startlingly original. All overlapping and connected. But here they are:
1. The Hundred Year Career
I've just written something about this for Wired. Don't think I thought of it as concisely as '100 Year Career' though. Lifetimes are being extended, retirement's being pushed back. Many of us will have working lives of 100 years +. How do you prepare for that? Or even think about it? I started thinking about it when I was wondering whether to take a new job. With a working life that could easily last another 40 years, probably longer than any of the industries I currently know anything about, what should I be doing next? My answer - learning - more learning about people and organisations. Because they, at least aren't going away. All those people thinking about jobs now, I'm tempted to say, do what you need to do now, because you've got plenty of time.
(Derived from an original conversation with M. Jones.)
2. The Buried Web
One of the best things about the London Cycle Hire scheme (among a lot of good things) is the way you interact with it. There are screens at all the cycle hire stations and you need to sign up on the web etc but, if you've got an account and you're a regular user you don't need to go near them. The normal way you interact with it is by putting a stick in a hole. You put your key/stick thing in the slot on the machine, the light goes green and you take your bike. No tapping, no typing, no swiping, no passwords. Put your stick in a hole.
I think a lot about that. About how to get the web in and out of physical stuff. Putting it in the world rather than layering it on top. Supported Reality not Augmented Reality.
(I guess technically, I may mean the internet here, not the web, but it didn't sound as good.)
3. The Internet of Products
The Internet of Things is a brilliantly useful and provocative idea. Got lots of people excited. Got me excited. But it's big and vague and woolly. It's hard to know what to do. Is it about networking? RFID? Barcodes? Is it, in fact, Barcode Battlers? It's especially too hard for commerce to grok. Business can't think about 'things'. So I've been trying to think about subsets that might be useful - and started thinking about an Internet Of Products. Meaning, for me; physical products with communication channels and commerce built in. Meaning products with programmable behaviours. Meaning products that never had demo-modes suddenly acquiring them. Meaning..to be honest, I don't know. That's why I'm thinking about it.
4. The Internet Marginal
Watching the Labour leadership campaign and the post-election analysis there's a pronounced return to thinking about constituencies. Labour are hiring community organisers, the lesson they seem to have taken from Obama's victory is that digital tools are there to enable local activism. Well, yes, sort of. That's true. And that's probably how you need to work to get elected by the party. But to get elected by the country I think you need to realise that most people think any form of local political activism indicates unhealthy obsession. And it doesn't recognise that lots of people don't live in their constituencies, they live on the internet. Alright, that's not a huge amount of people but it's at least the size and importance of one marginal constituency - and labour threw it away at the last election. With the Digital Economy Bil and assorted silliness they alienated a group of people who could have been theirs. It'd be good not to do that next time. I've been thinking about how Labour might win the internet. (The obvious answer being - put Tom Watson in charge.)
5.The What Next?
A lot of the people I see in the BRIG and around and about on the internet grew up with the web. They invented jobs to do on it and became very good at them. They built good bits of it. They understand it. But a lot of them did it, not because of something intrinsic about the technologies but because it was the new thing to understand, the new thing that other people didn't know about, it was arcane, unformed, novel. It needed inventing. Now, however, they're bored. They've done that. The web is baked. They're wondering what to do next. I'm loving watching that. I'm wondering too. Will there be another thing as big? Will the invisible high school fragment? Will they settle into middle-edge and do letterpress?
That's going to be interesting.