Technology is Taking Over – Where are You in the Mix?

I just received an email from a friend – one of those forwards. CHANGE IS COMING! But as I read it, I realized that this projection speaks to how technology has taken over every aspect of our lives. If we aren’t already deeply entrenched in the Internet with a website, mobile accessible sites, a blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profiles and company page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and Flickr accounts – we could be wiped off the face of the earth with the likes of the typewriter, hair scrunchies, landline telephones and 8-track tapes.

When you Google your name and/or the name of your company – is there a good representation of who you are and what you provide? How do your search results compare with that of your competitor? When was the last time you updated your website? What is your social media strategy?

If you don’t have a clear direction – it is time to get started. I can help – but whether you use a web writer or tackle the project yourself – 2010/2011 needs to be the year you make your Internet presence a number one priority.

Here’s the email I received:

Some interesting suppositions……….some appear to be
inevitable but suppositions are based upon what we know now, not
taking into account what adjustments may or can be made to
change the outcome.

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we
adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come!

1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world
without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble
that there is probably no way to sustain it long term.
Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum
revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail
every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check. Britain is already laying the groundwork to
do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system
billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and
online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the
check. This plays right into the death of the post office If you
never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail,
the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn’t
read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily
delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and
the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to
pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers
has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an
alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell
phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription
services.

4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical
book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I
said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I
wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I
discovered that I could get albums for half the price without
ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will
happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even
read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less
than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience!
Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of
the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to
see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a
gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family
and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore. Most
people keep it simply because they’re always had it. But you are
paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone
companies will let you call customers using the same cell
provider for no charge against your minutes.

6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change
story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just
because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new
music being given a chance to get to the people who would like
to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record
labels and the radio conglomerates simply self-destruction. Over
40% of the music purchased today is “catalog items,” meaning
traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older
established artists. This is also true on the live concert
circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic
further, check out the book,
“Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video
documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down
dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are
watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And
they’re playing games and doing all lots of other things that
take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime
time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common
denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run
about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance
to most of it It’s time for the cable companies to be put
out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch
online and through Blockbuster.

7. The “Things” That You Own. Many of the very
possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we
may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside
in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you
store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software
is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be.
But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are
all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that
when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the
operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be
tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will
open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it
will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly
subscription fee to the cloud provider.

In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books,
or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the
good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or
will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?”
Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and
whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out
that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD
case and pull out the insert.

8. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look
back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That’s gone. It’s
been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the
street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your
computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7 “They”
know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS
coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy
something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your
ads will change to reflect those habits. And “They” will try to
get you to buy something else. Again and again.

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