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The Future of the Internet

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DACS Review of December 2005 Presentation

The Future of The Internet

by Jamie Yates


At our Tuesday, December 6, DACS General Meeting, John Patrick, President of Attitude LLC, presented his perspective of the current status and future of the Internet. John has kept the DACS membership updated each December for the last dozen or so years on where the Internet is and where it is going.

He started out by telling us that the Internet is currently only being used to about 5% of its potential. Although this seems like a low number it is several times better than the 2% number he stated last year. Also, he pointed out that many of the businesses on the Web still don’t get it as to how customers want to use the Internet and how many improvements are needed to make the experience easy and productive.

He gave many examples of both good and bad business use of the Internet. For example, a company that requests contact for some items using electronic communication (email) and other items requiring phone or fax only during business hours. In a 24/7 world this makes communicating difficult when customers may be in time zones that make phone contact difficult or impossible.

John’s presentation was excellent, and provided the audience with food for thought, setting a higher level of expectation for what the Internet can eventually do. For every example of what isn’t being done today, he gave examples of what could be done.
With the number and types of mobile devices growing rapidly and the ability to stay connected whereever you are via hotspots and cell phones the ability to access and use information and communicate is becoming more and more important.

He pointed out that user expectations are rising everyday. When a service is provided by one organization to the user community, it quickly sets a new level of expectation throughout the Internet.

The Internet is becoming more democratic, with services like blogging and podcasting available to all. Everyone has the ability to easily and inexpensively publish their points of view for the world to see and critique.

One of his biggest points is that end-to-end solutions need to be provided. For example, why can’t you book a hotel room on a hotel site and easily use your airline miles to pay for it without having to go to multiple sites to complete the transaction.
His advice to organizations implementing services on the Internet is to think outside-in and listen to what users want, and not what is easiest for the organization. Think big, act bold, start simple, and iterate fast is John’s mantra.
He also believes strongly that bad things (spam, viruses, spyware, etc.) should be blocked with technology not laws.

We all will wait patiently for John to return next year to hear about the progress that has been made and what we still have to look forward to in the future.
If you want to know more about John Patrick visit his web site at www.johnpatrick.com.

JAMIE is DACS program director, and a prolific volunteer in the area community.

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