Why aren’t we allowed to ‘delete’ any more?

DeleteThere’s a new class of apps available to business professionals, allowing us to delete emails and other electronic media for good, rather than archiving them forever.

It’s an interesting concept; the ubiquitous nature of social media means that any inappropriate or unintentional communication can be beamed around the world in the blink of an eye, potentially ruining a company and a person’s career for good.

The ability for us to expunge those mistakes would seem to be a good thing. And for many a blessed relief. But there are those who would wish that people who’ve made a mistake should never recover.

Forget wearing a hairshirt for a couple of weeks, months or years – once you’ve committed that ‘sin’, that’s it, as Jon Ronson discovers as part of his article in The Guardian.

Unconscious mind

Most people – especially those in positions of responsibility – aspire to high standards and for the most part adhere to them. Continue reading “Why aren’t we allowed to ‘delete’ any more?”

Why this year’s ‘big digital trends’ will still be here in 2018

Last week I gave a presentation at work about the big Digital Trends that are engaging the best minds in the online world.

I wasn’t setting myself up as some sort of futurologist or digital guru – merely keeping people who don’t spend every day up to speed with what’s happening and how it might affect Age UK.

What struck me, however, is that almost none of what I was talking about was particularly revolutionary. For all its visionary nature and apparent speed of thought and action, digital trends take a long time to reach a tipping point and become – at the very least – common currency.

Let’s take one example: Mobile – when I worked at AOL back in 2005/6, everyone was talking about how mobile was the next big thing. Well, to be honest, it’s only just got here.

In fact 2014 will be the first year that mobile (in which I include tablet) finally overtakes desktop usage – talk about a long gestation period.

Another example is ‘big data’. That’s been a term that’s been bandied around for a couple of years and is only now coming to the forefront – although the concept and the practice are two very different things.

As for the ‘Internet of Things’ – the term was originated back in 1999 by a Procter & Gamble brand marketer called Kevin Ashton.

Why the delay?

So why are these trends taking their time? The obvious reason is money – in many cases, any large brand who wants to get involved first has to wait to ensure it’s not a flash in the pan, and then commit a large amount of money, time and resource to get it in place.

The other main reason is that we’re often waiting for the technology to catch up with the idea. Mobile has only become such a powerful trend with the convergence of high volume of tablets and smartphones, plus better connection speeds.

And the ‘Internet of Things’ was a marketing fancy in the first place. It’s taken the likes of Google to buy Nest for $3.2bn this year to really take it mainstream.

So don’t be surprised if you go to a presentation in 4 years’ time that is still talking about ‘personalisation’ and ‘real-time’ as being big trends. Digital doesn’t move quite as fast as everyone thinks it does.

What I’ve read this week… 2 March 2013

This is the second of my weekly round-ups – a motley collection of the silly, serious and surprising

1 Black Mirror reality

The first episode of the second series of Black Mirror realised the prospect of a person living on after their death, through the power of social media.

It’s clearly meant to be futuristic horror, but it may not be as fantastic as it seems.
Read this piece from Salon.com and you’ll understand why
(via @moriza)

2 Stranger danger?

Making friends online has had its ups and downs. Time was you were looked at like a weirdo if you met someone ‘who you met on the Internet’.

Now online dating is commonplace, but there are quite a few recent examples of people being duped into believing into talking to someone completely different.
The modern reality of online friendships
Continue reading “What I’ve read this week… 2 March 2013”