Predictions for the next 10 years

2020 predictions vision of the home video media center family roomBack in 1999 I went to a conference at the Field Museum in Chicago called The Next 20 Years (sponsored by ZDNet, I still have the button that says Believe in Technology).

Now that we’re rolling over the odometer to 2010 I can honestly say that none of the predictions about string theory have come true.

It was an interesting idea though, to think about what is possible now and in the future and speculate in ways that may inspire people to do more, make things better and improve life.

I have been thinking a lot about this decade ending in the last few weeks and aside from an obvious comment about how blindingly fast it went by, I’m skipping the recap and these are some thoughts for the next ten to twenty years.

Disclaimer: These are just my ideas as one person, who analyzes things for a living, and I don’t have a lot of data to prove any of it. Take it with a grain of salt or as entertainment only.

1. Photo Recognition will be big. And I am not talking about face recognition software. But with smartphones we mostly have decent cameras at our disposal that are connected to the internet 24/7. I have been thinking I’d like to be able to redeem the coke-points my husband collects by snapping a picture of the cap rather than entering the number on a form online (boring and slow). This is the exact stuff that QR code readers are used for that work for UPS tracking and a whole bunch of other applications. Expect them to be used as the new coupons, contests, offline-online gaming and a whole bunch of other stuff. Then maybe by the time all that is common place facial recognition of images will be working online.

2. You will probably work in an industry that does not exist yet. Continuing education is a must. I say this because my life is an example. I work in Online Marketing and data tracking for ad agencies and this didn’t exist as a job or a technology available to most companies in 1999. I have to make sure I spend time learning on the job and off the job each year because things change a lot. This does not make having a family easy and we have no idea if we will do that as a result, but it means that you have to be curious about new stuff and be willing to investigate it and you may end up the local expert when you’re the only one with that knowledge. And learn a lot of math.

3. Taxes will go up. All this BS about lowering taxes to stimulate business and rich people spending will go away since we can’t fund the programs required, can’t borrow any more as a government and we would still have the lowest taxes for those rich people to pay when compared to other developed economies. Interest rates and inflation may follow, and of course oil prices crunching a lot of people out of the middle class. Someone will finally do the math proving that investment in hiring new people at a company and creating jobs is inversely related to lowering taxes on the rich and everyone else.

4. There will be a whole new batch of media mavens that we listen to and we will like them because they are curators not experts. No one person will be able to create enough content or be syndicated to as many channels, mediums and messages as would be possible in this fragmented media world. The people you will look to for advice are blogging now, looking at thousands of sources of information, knowing how to process it, evaluate what is good-bad-meaningless and just filter down to the good stuff. We need people like this because the big media push to produce new stuff 24/7/365 is too much for one person to go through and we all still have jobs/families/houses to attend to. And not everyone wants to spend every day plugged into a screen reading constantly. We just want those wow, aha moments. Eventually maybe this 1000 cable channels, commercials every 10 minutes, 100 blog posts a day, constant content model will streamline due to lack of popularity of most of it (no ROI) but as there is more digital space available someone will put something on it, with no guarantee of quality because people seem to randomly stumble upon things still and listen/watch/interact with amusement/laziness/procrastination of their day job. 

5. Expect more digital sensors everywhere. And this could mean in our clothing, in our fridges, on the roads, in our homes. There is a lot of bandwidth for transmitting data and ways are improving for processing data and analyzing it (without human intervention, or programming needed). I foresee more real-time data on traffic and alternate routes in my car guided by my voice requests (like Knight Rider’s Kit?). I foresee clothing measuring weight and texting me that I shouldn’t eat any more calories today. I foresee my fridge telling me the milk has gone bad again and there is a cracked egg leaking all over it. We may spend all day responding to automated messages. These may be an upgrade fee kind of thing but I think at some point the regular cost will include it because the data will be so valuable and targetable for marketers. The recent privacy discussions prove that people are becoming more aware of ad tracking as well as digital capabilities and the younger generations don’t want to go back to a time without it. But we do need better security options for this to work or an opt in policy for managing what companies know and how we want to get/share/target this info.

6. We’re going to get a whole lot more competition from China, South America and Africa for jobs. Companies are going there for operations now and not just to supply their own regions with goods and services. All the Bill & Melinda Gates (plus Oprah, Warren Buffet & That Facebook guy too) funding health/education programs in Africa will create a continent of healthy people who have jobs that used to be here related to their natural resources and possibly other areas as well. China will continue to be a leader in growth and the US needs to define itself. I always wonder why there is such an emphasis on making sure all the other countries have the help they need to solve their problems by these foundations and not the ones with people starving/not getting educated or employed in the USA. Also Immigration, population growth and birth rates in the US will all drop by 2020. (based on what I saw from the census in 2010)

7. The market will continue to be tumultuous. Up, down, sideways. It isn’t connected to real people or the economy as we know it anymore. We’re not sure how to gauge it or if it will make any positive growth in 10 years. With higher interest rates in 2012-2013 CDs may be the hot investment again.

That is it for now, but I may have more ideas later. One thing is for sure, let’s get out there and party like it’s 1999.

rolling over the odometer 1999 2000 2010 100000 miles

New Quarterlife TV Show on NBC ROCKS!

I have been reading for months about this new show Quarterlife and how because of the writer’s strike, it got a shot at airing on network TV when it had only been an online show before that point. I ran into the Quarterlife show the other night on TV by accident and thought I would check it out. I was surprised that despite being 32, and not the target of the show, I really liked it. I specifically remember being 25 and having a quarterlife crisis (term coined by John Mayer in a song) and going through some things with being on my own for the first time, with my first job, dating woes and dealing with being a full on adult for the first time. Plus leaving all childhood frivolousness behind is a somewhat scary thing. No more silly stuff? No more hip clothes? Will I just be a boring blah worker that never gets anywhere? All my friends too had these thoughts.

I found that the show Quarterlife represented these feelings pretty accurately. The content of the show was very genuine and right on for that age group and I watched earnestly remembering that time in my life. I thought it was funny and clever and very dramatic and true all at the same time.

they were open and honest about everything from sex to work to relationships and I found it refreshing, although the show moves at a very fast pace. I had to speed up my brain just to keep up with all the cuts to different angles and fast dialogue. Quarterlife does seem very real though and the actors are pretty good. (although one girl that blogs is reeeeaaallllyyy overacting)

Then I saw online that people were calling it a failure because it only had 3.9 million viewers. I don’t know if that is really bad since I saw no online or offline campaign promoting it and I am online all over the place. How would that 20-30 yr crowd that doesn’t watch TV know it was going to be on? Did they do any WOM marketing? Duh? if you don’t invite them and tell them it’s coming no one will show up.

I think this show has all the elements of a West Wing for the Millenials but about personal politics rather than national politics. I think it should stay on the air and they should give it some marketing boost, and maybe a tripod to anchor the camera better in some situations. Anyway, I just thought it was important to say that I watched the show and I liked it a lot and it should stay on air at NBC and online.

I know that the commerical spots were sold with X amount of audience guaranteed and if they miss that point the network has to refund or give away more free ads to compensate for it. But maybe this show was not positioned right, promoted right or sold right by the network. I thing the writers, actors and developers of the show did a great job and the show may get shuffled around, but should certainly stay on the air.

Online Christmas Shopping Coupons

I have gotten most of my Christmas shopping done even though it is not even December yet. I was smart and got online and got things bought the easy way. (without standing in long lines and driving all over the place) I do like shopping online more that shopping in malls this time of year and it’s much more productive. Luckily there are also great sales online and coupon codes for even better deals. Coupon Chief has been a site I have used before that I like because it has coupon codes to stores I actually shop at. One I shop at for myself more than others is Old Navy. They have great deals to begin with and then with a discount it’s almost like you’re getting stuff for free. I also shop a lot at Target for gifts because they have something for everyone. I have been able to find sports stuff for my brother, small kitchen appliances for my mom and well my dad is impossible to shop for. Check them out if you are stuck for what to get your family and friends this Christmas. They might give you some good ideas.

Wall decorations and accents

I was at a friend’s house the other day and they haven’t really decorated yet and I was thinking that it was probably hard to find good things to decorate with if you don’t want to just put up lots of family photos. And my parent’s hosue is an example of this, with old paintings from the 60’s and a metal brass bird thing on one wall partially obscured by the new flat screen hdtv. We just update things that break apparently, not the decor. Anyway I found this site with all kinds of wall decorations that are a good option rather than nothing at all. But it’s always good to see some in person first, measure the space and map out the size of the wall hanging with postits or something so you have an idea of where it will be and what it will look liek first and stay within your budget. My 2 favorite types of wall hanging type decor are mirrors and clocks. Both are functional and nice to look at. Mirrors open up a room and reflect a lot of natural light. Clocks are stylish depending on what you choose them to match and they help you stay on time. Never a bad thing. Check the one out at left. I love retro styles and this is a great kitchen clock. It’s really cute and of course functional.

Remote Access

I am not the most technically inclined but when something can help me find information faster or get work done faster I am interested. Remote Access is something I had not considered before for my computer but now that I am working from home and work alternately it seems that I forget things on either computer that I need when I am at the alternate one. This is a bit silly when you can get access to any conputer remotley now through a service called remote PC. I had not thought about it before but it could be very useful if you travel for business or have more than one place where you work and if you don’t take the same computer with you everywhere you go. I have a laptop at home a desktop at work and my work gives me a loaner when I travel also. So between the three there could be a lot of file sharing. But I haven’t signed up just yet. It costs about 5 bucks a month, so I would need to know I am going to travel a lot before signing up. But I think that there is a good idea here, and I think more people are going to want to access their PCs from anywhere via the web just like they access web sites from anywhere. It is definitely going this direction.

This post has been sponsored by Remote PC

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago December 8-9

renegade craft fair chicagoI have been really getting into lately and now I am buying christmas gifts, baby gifts and christmas cards all online there. I may get all my christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving! One of the cool things about crafters is that they are bringing back the idea of the craft fair and they are making it cool again. There is one coming up in Chicago for the holidays that I would like to go to and check out all the cool hand made stuff. Its the renegade craft fair. Here is the info I got on the email update I got today:

Just a reminder that the deadline to apply for this year’s Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale is just one week away! Late applications won’t be considered – so get yours in before November 1! Visit our website to apply –

The fair is scheduled for the weekend of December 8 + 9 from Noon – 8pm at The Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, which is located at 1419 W. Blackhawk in Chicago. Hope to see you there!

Fall Colors – What I like about Autumn

I ahve been feeling that fall is almost here, and this weekend I think it hit. Here are some of my favorite things about fall:

1.  Walking through crunchy leaves on the sidewalk. Both the color and the sound are great.

2. The trees turning great colors and the falling leaves as you walk or drive by.

3. Pumpkins on everyone’s front step. Some carved around halloween and then the squirrels cart them off in pirces to be eaten.

4. The decorations on all the houses and all the candy in the office, although too much of both is not a good thing.

5. The temperature out. It’s perfect with a light jacket in Chicago, but not too cold yet.

6. The harvest moon and the indian summer sunset.

7. The beginning of a new Fall TV season and all the Oscar Hopeful Movies that are thinking movies rather than gratuitously stupid entertainment.

8. Leaving the windows open so the cat can enjoy the sounds of the outside for a few weeks before it gets too cold.

9. Getting my pre-thanksgiving tradition of getting all my shopping done, and avoiding the cold and the crowds of the Holidays.

10. Little kids in costumes at Halloween. Big Kids in costumes aren’t as cute.

Have a great Fall.