I generally hate to think about What’s Next because it implies that there’s going to be a Next Big Thing. As I see it, the very best next big thing we could hope for would be to transcend big things altogether.
Who needs them, except marketers, Wal-Mart, and business plan writers hoping to demonstrate how their brilliant schemes can “scale” to infinity and beyond? But what is next? I can deal with a bit of that by projecting forward from what’s now.
As far as the Internet is concerned, what’s next is not pervasive computing or technology. It is the coming realization of the real role that content plays in our lives. We think of a medium as a thing that delivers content. But the delivered content is a medium in itself. The many forms of content we collect and experience online are just forms of ammunition, an excuse to start a discussion with that attractive person in the next cubicle: “Hey! Did you see that streaming video clip at streamingvideoclips.com?”