Monthly Archives: December 2013

What’s Next for Video on the Web in 2014?

When Web 2.0 was first being discussed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, much of the talk was about how to direct the development of the internet to encourage user engagement and user-created content. On top of that, building a digital community of users was an important aspect of the idea of Web 2.0.

One aspect of the current internet that was a little overlooked in the past but is unavoidable now is the sheer amount of video content available on the web. Much of it is user-generated and much of it is also created by advertisers and businesses. Regardless of who makes the video content or why, there’s no denying that video on the web has become one of the most important ways to consume content.

With that fact in mind, it’s interesting to see what could happen in 2014 with video. Basho Mosko has written a great article on Venture Beat concerning predictions for video in 2014.

Basho makes some interesting predictions which very well may come true in the New Year. One of the most striking is the idea that online video is going to start replicating the “TV experience” for users. Technology today like Chromecast and other online-connected boxes and TVs makes this more possible than it ever has been.

Another interesting (and good for consumers) prediction is that Basho believes providers like Netflix and Amazon will begin creating more in-house content. If Netflix’s previous attempts at this are any indication, that means we’ll be getting more high quality content accessible from more platforms. In addition to that prediction, Basho believes that crowd-funded video content is more likely than ever to happen in a big way in 2014.

Basho has a few other predictions that are worth checking out, so be sure to click on the link above. Whatever happens in 2014 you can be sure that online video is going to be making some serious leaps forward and there’s no telling how far it will go.

New Messaging Service WhatsApp Gaining Users Rapidly

The Web 2.0 movement started out slowly in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Once it got started and users realized how it could improve the ways they used the internet, many of the major ideas took off like wildfire.

Social media and user-generated content exploded. Thanks to sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, hundreds of millions of people became connected in ways that people never thought were possible. Now that the rapid changes from the adoption of Web 2.0 design have slowed down, essentially people rely on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to interact with others on the internet. These services have been the juggernauts of the new social and data-driven internet and will likely be here for a long time.

However, things always change, and when it comes to messaging and communicating with others, one app has been growing incredibly rapidly recently. That app is called WhatsApp.

According to recent news, this messaging app is serious business when it comes to how individuals are communicating online. CNET reports that there are now over 400 million people using the app as active users. In fact, in the last few months, WhatsApp added over 100 million users meaning their growth has simply been incredible.

It seems that WhatsApp is making the case that there is always room for new platforms to do old things. Sending messages in an ever-connected world seems like an issue that has been solved already through e-mail and social media. However, as the above information suggests, it seems that people are always ready for newer and better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and anyone else they may run into in the digital and real world.

There’s not telling how fast WhatsApp could grow, and many are thinking it may be able to take on the real juggernaut of communication and social media: Facebook. We will have to wait and see.

What Does “Web 1.984″ Mean?

The internet increasingly brings people together. More and more areas of the world are getting connected to the web, especially through mobile devices in places less developed. A high percentage of citizens in developed countries have easy access to high-speed internet as well. Never before has human civilization had this capability to communicate or access the entirety of human knowledge almost instantaneously.

There are countless other benefits to the internet that affect people every day. Work, socializing, planning, educating, learning, and much more are improved by the internet. Still, there are some warnings of the dangers of the internet, especially the explosion in data and social interaction online that the Web 2.0 movement created.

Jonny LeRoy at openDemocracy recently wrote an article concerning “web 1.984.” This title is in direct relation to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.” In the novel, the government had surveillance of its population and control over every aspect of society. In his article, LeRoy is warning us of the problems that come with free, user-based platforms like social media that connect the negative aspects of Orwell’s society with reality.

Essentially, LeRoy is concerned about the massive amounts of data out there on individuals and groups. This data is being mined and analyzed by private corporations and by organizations within the government that have little oversight from the public. He also writes against the business model of providing free services and profiting off of the sale of the information a business collects from its users.

The concerns go deeper than that, especially since Edward Snowden began releasing his information about the data collection of the NSA around the globe. LeRoy stands strongly on the side that individuals should expect privacy online. He rails against the argument that if you’re doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide. To find out more about his perspective, feel free to read his article linked above.

New Book ‘Status Update’ Looks at Current State of Web 2.0

Believe it or not, but the term Web 2.0 was coined all the way back in 1999. That means next year the idea will hit 15 years in the minds of internet denizens around the world. However, for many people online, the notion that a concept thought up in 1999 guided the creation of the web as they know it is missed.

Others that know of Web 2.0’s influence often forget about the concept and continue enjoying the results that it brought to the web. Every now and then it’s important to take a look at where Web 2.0 has taken us and how the concept holds up today. That’s exactly what Alice E. Marwick has done in her new book, Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, & Branding in the Social Media Age.

The book makes no secret about what it aims to do. It really is an update on the status of Web 2.0 and where it has taken the internet. She mentions that by this current decade, the term “Web 2.0″ quickly “became passé.” Furthermore, she mentions a more serious problem. Based on her research, she found that all of the Web 2.0 developments like social media, “self-branding,” streaming, and “micro-celebrity” have created a system that “reinforces social stratification and inequities based on class, gender, and race.”

This isn’t exactly what many proponents of Web 2.0 would want to hear, but it’s important that Alice’s work be read by tech and web enthusiasts. There is still hope in Web 2.0, as the technology it created has connected the world more closely than ever in the history of humanity. However, her book reminds us that how we utilize this connectivity and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes are two points people on the web need to be constantly vigilant and reminded about.

With that in mind, maybe you’ll look at how you interact with social media and other web 2.0 darlings in the future. It looks like Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, & Branding in the Social Media Age is a worthwhile read, especially if you’re interested in the future of the web. It’s sure to broaden your perspective.

Hollywood Turns to Social Media to Make Predictions

Every year, more users young and old adopt social media. The widespread use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter has created new ways for people to stay in touch and for them to voice their opinions. For business and entertainment, social media has been a huge boon to these organizations, helping them figure out what their customers want.

The old way of tracking and predicting how well things are going at the box office for a certain movie is finding itself pushed out of style thanks to social media. Before social media, Hollywood relied on “focus groups, exit polls, pre-release tracking interviews.” Now social media has taken a more important role in determining what level of buzz there is for a new movie.

It turns out that social media can not only inform businesses about what products and brands they are most interested in, but it can also predict how well a film will do once it hits the theaters. Even better is the fact that social media attention can predict success or failure with more accuracy than the older methods that Hollywood used to rely on.

It’s rather amazing how much influence and change web 2.0 technologies have had on the world we live in. There is so much data out there now that businesses and industries are just beginning to tap into the wealth of that data to make better decisions and predictions.

As one studio exec says, “You have to put money into digital because if you don’t you’re going to miss people.” There’s no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue as we merge our entertainment into devices like tablets and smart phones compared to the older traditional methods like television.

Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. More and more people every year begin using it regularly. Expect to see this sort of shift to using social media over traditional methods to track popularity and opinion of brands and products.