Archive for November, 2011

Reid Hoffman on Ubiquity

November 1, 2011 Comments off

I may quibble with Reid Hoffman and John Battelle in parsing the differences between Web 1.0, 2.0, and so on, or on the nature of explicit data vs. implicit data vs. shadow data, but, when it comes to summing up the most important long-term shift in our material and cultural reality, Hoffman’s take on ubiquity definitely nails it.

As I watched this video and thought about the coming Age of Ubiquity, it occurred to me that the generation born in this decade could properly be called Generation U. By the time they reach young adulthood, human society will be permeated by hyperconnectivity. At least 2 of the planet’s 7 billion people have Internet connectivity today. That will easily double by the end of this decade, and those connections will be considerably richer than anything we have yet experienced. Another 2 billion or so will be children for whom expectations of joining a culture of hyperconnectivity will be as natural and expected as getting right-sized shoes and clothing as they grow. So there will be at least 6 billion hyperconnected humans by 2030.

It it’s true, as I expect, that Generation U will be raised in a milieu characterized by persistently ubiquitous public exposure, I can’t help but wonder if peoples’ merciful treatment of each other will keep pace with their capacity to know each others’ every error and trespass.