What is the future of communication?

What is the future of communication?

My rant from Yesterday made me think about the future of communications. Currently, we have e-mail, SMS and IM as the three dominate forms of non-spoken electronic communication. I poked around the Net and landed on a press release from Gartner about the mobile messaging market. The numbers blew me away. They estimate mobile messages will exceed 2 trillion messages in 2008. This is close to a 20% increase from 2007 levels.

I did not find estimates, from sources I trust, for 2007/2008 e-mail volume, but for 2006 the Radicati Group estimated that 183 billion messages were sent per day. That is over 66 trillion messages per year and I would bet that volume has gone up 20% per year.

E-mail is here to stay and IM/SMS is not going anywhere, however, I would expect that Mobile IM will overtake SMS at some point the future. More mobile devices are connected to the Net than ever before and that number will just increase with time. I do not think that SMS is doomed by any means, but Mobile IM has a lower cost for the consumer and will keep the “buddy list” in sync with the desktop computer, the transition by consumers is just logical.

What are the new technologies and devices that may change the rules of the game? I am no insider or futurist so I have no clue. I am eager to see what is cooking up in the R&D departments or the tech giants and tech garages of the world.

These are just my thoughts from the cheap seats on the online and mobile communication market.

  • IM will continue to grow and become more accepted for business level communications. Corporations are adopting IM which is demonstrated by the increased acquisition of internal hosting infrastructures so they are able to keep IM communications in compliance with laws, regulations and corporate policies.
  • “Twitter type” applications will grow and should become an accepted communication vehicle for both individuals and businesses. For instance, I can see managers’ monitoring remote staff by reviewing their twitter logs verses the traditional e-mail or phone call for status updates.
  • I am sorry to say that I believe blogging has peaked and it will take some sort of catalyst to move it to the next level. I have not read anything that reports blogging is declining but nor have I read anything that says that it is increasing. It certainly does not have the Buzz that it once had. I think that the MySpace and Facebook of the world have really eaten into the “traditional” blogging space.
  • Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others have changed the interactive web forum for good. More non-media or entrainment companies are creating corporate presences in this space in order to tap into the younger generation of consumers.
  • Push content will become more prevalent in corporate settings as more people continue to adopt the Blackberry model.
  • Discussion boards and Wiki’s have moved on to the corporate Intranet and corporate web sites. This level of interaction has never really been seen before with the faceless corporations of the world. The best you would get a couple of years ago was a poorly done FAQ.
  • Mobile phones will continue to evolve into two separate paths. One path will be the micro device that is trendy and has the “cool” factor while the other path will take you down a road that will try to replace your laptop in a casual way. We will not be giving up our laptops anytime soon but I am certainly less reliant on one as long as I have my Blackberry.

It is a fast paced market with real powerhouses behind it. These giants in the tech world will develop products as fast as us consumers can write purchase orders or whip out our credit cards. Ah, such a great time to be alive!

Well enough of my mental musing for now, some real work is intruding on my evening and must get done soon.

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