5 things we may already know about the next big thing

What’s the next big thing after microblogging and lifestreaming? Here are five things that we may already know about it.

Now that Twitter and Friendfeed are starting to be better and better known and even adapted by mainstream media – well, maybe excluding Germany, where a large computer magazine tried to convince David Weinberger in an interview that Twitter was nothing more than a tool for kids having fun after school – I’m beginning to ask myself: What’s the next big thing in social media after Twitter and Friendfeed?

Actually, I don’t know what it will be – if I did, I wouldn’t be blogging right now, but talking to VCs -, but maybe a few things could be guessed about it. So, here’s a list of five things, we could assume about the next big thing after microblogging and lifestreaming:

  1. It’s already there. There is a blog or forum where someone already talked about this thing more or less detailed. Maybe someone did already code this thing. It could even be already in use. History shows that almost nothing is invented from scratch and suddenly appears on the scene. Moreover, most things have been invented not once, but twice or even three times.
  2. It’s hard to see because it’s just an element of another application. That’s the way Flickr started and that’s the way Twitter started. Both were just relatively minor features in another application. But after a while they became the center of attention. So the next big thing may already exist but is hard to see because it’s “buried” in another service.
  3. We will learn about it on Twitter or Friendfeed. This is where it happens right now and it seems to be some kind of rule that the last big thing announces the next one. Think of it as some kind of torch relay.
  4. The first time, the next big thing will only be mentioned in passing. There will be a short debate, but it will probably not be a huge burst. Then there is relative silence again before the real hype will catch on. You will have to be very sensitive to notice it.
  5. You can be certain that this will be the next big thing if there are two discussions about it running in parallel: A) X is nothing new, there always has been something to X around. B) X is the Twitter/Friendfeed/Blog/Flickr etc. killer.

What do you think, where do we have to look for the next big thing? Do you have other points to add to the list?

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Comments (2)

  1. Mona N wrote::

    Location based Social Networking, ie: BrightKite, with integrated GPS

    …creepy!

    Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 1:35 am #
  2. What if there wasn’t much more to invent in webbased social media at this point? I’m not really sure about this but put it just as an idea – better here than on my own blog… 😉

    The larger impact in the years to follow will come from (fast) growing adoption of social media on a world wide scale on a huge variety of fields (administrations, health care, even agriculture…).

    Another (selfmade) prediction is that the next huge wave of innovative software will come only with next generation of wireless and mobile web accesses. Mobile Web still is slow and very expensive – no good playgroud for innovative software programmers.

    Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

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