Over the next few years we are likely to see the continued integration and convergence of devices, media and channels, with users taking technology with them wherever they go, instead of being tied down to the immovable PC at home or the office. The term mobile will have a greater meaning and we can expect to see integrated wearable technology available in daily life. Already there are Nike Plus and Adidas adiStar Fusion running shoes that deliver data on distance and pace via an iPod.
The recent link between Seesmic and the BBC is another great example of these changes. The BBC is asking people to share their thoughts and opinions on issues of the day via Seesmic and the material may then be published either on BBC online or on BBC television. User created video is about to experience substantial growth and the change the face of social media as we currently know it.
We are moving from a one-way video publication model of YouTube to the conversational model as evidenced in Seesmic.
Soon we will be able to do many of the social activities that are now only possible with close physical proximity via social media. For example, women often approach shopping as a social activity where they can share opinions and advice as part of the shopping experience.
Growth in social applications that enable this, such as search and shopping, are already here. My Virtual Model ™ has just launched a new visual search application. Users search visually for outfits and put them on their customised virtual model, share them with friends, ask for their opinions, and put the model against different backdrops. They can then purchase the outfits online.
Thus social computing enables us to adopt real life social modes of being in an online context. This makes the next generation of social uses interesting to contemplate. It also makes monetization and commercial adoption critical.