Government Technology

    Digital Communities
    Industry Members

  • Click sponsor logos for whitepapers, case studies, and best practices.
  • McAfee

Personal Computing: What to Expect With Personal Technology

Personal Computing: E-Mail Etiquette

December 18, 2008 By

"If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me." Shakespeare's words are just a wise today, but this hasn't stopped people from trying to divine the future.

Crystal balling the near future is a lot less risky than the long-term future, with only small extrapolations needed from the present. Doing so can be both interesting in itself and practical, helping you prepare for what may lie ahead.

The advertising industry is among those sectors of society charged with keeping track of current, and possible future, trends. JWT, formerly J. Walter Thompson, is the world's fourth largest and perhaps best known advertising agency, and it just released a report titled "Technology Trends for 2009."

The report includes some insightful predictions, including:

  • The use of e-mail will decline. E-mail is "an increasingly outdated medium," says Ann Mack, who goes by the title director of trendspotting at JWT. The reasons are twofold. Younger people prefer to communicate via text messages and social networks, and people of all ages are fed up with overflowing in-boxes. The report calls e-mail overload a "serious productivity drain," but as yet there's no clear successor. Partial substitutes, it indicates, will be social networking for professionals, which involve communications-centered Web sites, and microblogging, which involve brief text updates. A popular example of the former is LinkedIn, the latter Twitter. One characteristic common to both is that communication can more easily be restricted to a specified group.
  • Computing will increasingly become untethered. Instead of using programs that are installed on personal or network hard drives, we'll increasingly access software online. This is a fairly old computer concept, formerly known by such monikers as "Web services." The current catchword is "cloud computing," with the Internet being the "cloud." One promising example is Google Apps, which includes services for personal as well as business and school use, such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, Web site creation, and private wikis. The latter are collections of Web pages designed to let anyone permitted to access them contribute or modify content, creating collaborative knowledge bases.
  • The use of mobile devices will continue to increase. Cloud computing offloads processing and storage requirements to Web-based servers, making it possible to do more with less powerful devices. The increasing availability of wireless broadband connections from companies such as AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel will make it possible to use those devices in more and more places. The devices themselves, following the lead of previous digital technology, will decrease in cost as they increase in functionality and ease of use. The technology leader, if not the price leader, is Apple's iPhone, an Internet-connected multimedia "smartphone" that not only lets you talk and exchange text messages with others but also do e-mail, surf the Web, take photos, listen to music, watch videos, play games, take notes, keep your schedule, do calculations, and more. Another popular smartphone with PC-like functionality is the BlackBerry. As with personal computers, the biggest benefit to smartphones is their customizability. Independent software developers create programs, some free, some pay, that let you do more and more things, and the number of such programs available will only increase. Netbooks will increase in popularity. These low-cost, light-weight, energy-efficient, and ultra portable notebook computers occupy the space between smartphones and larger laptop and desktop

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Digital Cities & Counties Survey: Best Practices Quick Reference Guide
This Best Practices Quick Reference Guide is a compilation of examples from the 2013 Digital Cities and Counties Surveys showcasing the innovative ways local governments are using technological tools to respond to the needs of their communities. It is our hope that by calling attention to just a few examples from cities and counties of all sizes, we will encourage further collaboration and spark additional creativity in local government service delivery.
Wireless Reporting Takes Pain (& Wait) out of Voting
In Michigan and Minnesota counties, wireless voting via the AT&T network has brought speed, efficiency and accuracy to elections - another illustration of how mobility and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology help governments to bring superior services and communication to constituents.
Why Would a City Proclaim Their Data “Open by Default?”
The City of Palo Alto, California, a 2013 Center for Digital Government Digital City Survey winner, has officially proclaimed “open” to be the default setting for all city data. Are they courageous or crazy?
View All