The internet has made it very easy for anyone to make a name for themselves as a foreseer of the future. These days anyone can set up a blog, start posting anything from abstract conspiracy theories to sound and useful advice, and find a captive niche audience somewhere online.
When the web was first becoming popular, there were many such people making bizarre and elaborate predictions about the impact that it would have on society. This is a genuine quote I just found from an old chat room debate about the future of the web: “The internet is beamed from superior beings on Jupiter and one day when we are all so addicted to Justin Beiber videos and social media validation that we can’t look away from the screen, the aliens will come and enslave us”.
Okaaay….and when will that happen exactly? It’s just that I have 4 episodes left of the Trailer Park Boys season 5 on Youtube that I MUST WATCH BEFORE I BECOME AN ALIEN SLAVE, please?
For more level-headed people with less spare time on their hands, sensible predictions about the future development of the internet can actually be very useful. The most successful businesses plan their strategy as far into the future as possible to try and ensure that they are ready for any changes or opportunities that arise.
For a field as fast-changing as the web, it is definitely a good idea to consider how your business might be affected by future developments. Here are three realistic predictions that we have seen growing traction with the experts online:
The internet will be everywhere
This one seems obvious, but every day millions more people gain access to the web. This makes your potential market larger every day, so when you are planning your small business website design, make sure you consider the possibilities of an international customer base.
The web faces greater security and safety risks
As the web grows bigger, so does the minority pool of dishonest people who try to defraud or attack innocent people online. If you are not already taking virus protection, password security and fraud prevention seriously, please start now.
Social media will enable change and opportunity
As has already been the case in Egypt and other countries in the process of social change, websites like Facebook will provide important and previously unavailable lines of communication between groups of people. Social media enables people to organise events and demonstrations, promote political ideas, or simply provides a platform for people to speak freely. As more people sign up to these social media sites, this effect will increase every day.
Sorry for those of you wanting aliens or evil ‘robot-president’ dictators to play a significant role in the near future of the web. They are not going to.
If you are looking into how the internet could help your business in future, please get in touch. Rosco Digital Media provides low cost website design for small businesses and we would be very happy to discuss your project.