Monthly Archives: February 2015

Crystal Bollocksing

Back in 2007, the Arts Council commissioned me to deliver a programme of presentations to officers across the country on the impact and potential of digital technologies.

Just today, I accidentally stumbled upon the Powerpoint I created for the programme and, if I say so myself (which I self-evidently do), I don’t think it was too shabby.

I emphasised the growing importance of Wikis (bit of a sitter, that one), ‘The Cloud’ & the less-than-one year old Twitter.  Admittedly I sold virtual worlds and especially Second Life a bit strong, but then I’ve always been a sucker for web3d (it’ll happen, just wait…)

I listed the UK’s top ten social media sites (according to Nielsen Netratings; Quite how Slide got in there I’m not sure).  They were, in order of popularity:

1          YouTube

2          Wikipedia

3          Facebook

4          Blogger

5          MySpace

6          Bebo

7          Slide

8          Yahoo! Answers

9          Windows Live Spaces

10        TripAdvisor

Funny to see those mighty which have fallen.  Windows Live Spaces was Microsoft’s blogging platform which died of awfulness in 2011.  Bebo was quite an interesting modular social media app which I had quite a lot of time for, especially it’s ‘Bebo Groups’ module.  It was popular with yoof for a while and, bemusingly, had a massive take-up in the Republic of Ireland.

Then there are the glaring absences; no LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or Whatsapp, to name a few on 2014’s top ten.  Twitter and Whatsapp, and their many fast-growing cousins like Instagram, Snapchat & Vine, really had to wait for the mass roll-out of the smartphone, their natural platform, before they could grow to their potential.

I concluded my presentation with four ‘Shiny Space Suit and Food Pills’ predictions for nascent or emergent technologies that I believed would have a major impact in future.  My predictions were:

  • ‘Rapid Prototyping’ (as we called 3d printing back in the days when the internet were all fields)
  • Augmented Reality
  • Crowdsourcing
  • ‘Artificial Creativity’ (ie., creativity by artificial intelligence)

Well, three out of four isn’t bad…