10 years ago seems so 10 years ago in the world of search, social and mobile.
We’ve definitely evolved and rightly or wrongly so depending on your point of view. Take for example search. In 2000 Google was a 2 year old start-up still trying to create an identity and compete with Yahoo and MSN. We all marveled at the simplicity of their interface and as a starting point for our queries, it simplified and created a less cluttered entry into a sometimes messy and confusing search result. Little did we know what was on the horizon.
How do we use search now? Search is and has been woven into the fabric of our daily lives thanks to Google. It is a utility that drives our online and offline interactions. We use it for online transactions, travel decisions, job searches, purchases, research, and a dozen other activities. We use search the same way we use our lights, drive our cars and brush our teeth. Google has changed and redefined what search is for you, me and all the companies that rely on it for business.
What search will ultimately be, is as much for us to determine as it is for Google to create and beta test. We will define it.
Online social networks are redefining our offline relationships both casual and personal. What drives that redefinition? search? The barriers for connecting with someone are next to none. Social networks are not what they used to be. Looking back at MySpace, it almost looks like pre-Y2k web Dev. doesn’t it? If you think about what made MySpace popular, it wasn’t as much about the conversations as it was about creating your own content, your own page-it struck a nerve. Facebook has taken that aspect of MySpace, and simplified and reduced the ability to create, and amplified the ability to connect and share- and 500 million people have embraced it. Where does it go from here?
Social continues to evolve into something devoid of privacy and chock full of transparency with authenticity caught somewhere in the middle.
In the world of mobile, the evolution has been nothing short of dramatic. 10 years ago we were an evolving world of mobile adoption, the mobile handset was a utility for and an extension of the land lane. Now the mobile device is an extension of our desktop. The ratio of mobile handsets to people is approaching one to one. Search and social have migrated to the mobile device. SMS drives conversation and just as search has become somewhat of a utility for the desktop, the smartphone is now the defacto device for driving purchases, for buying tickets, for research, for email, for being social and oh by the way…making phone calls.
So what does this all mean? The same thing that has happened to all great inventions and milestones in history-Their original intent looks nothing like their eventual outcome.