Merely wanted to link to some great posts/occurrences that might show this and most importantly, get to the heart of this post which is: Have we reached a tipping point yet?
- My last post (Latest on the transformation debate) covers two big pieces of commentary (one a book) which, whilst both are disparaging of the changes currently taking place, at the same time give credibility to the argument that we are undergoing a fundamental transformation. Links to the pieces as well as controversy they have stirred are included - check it out.
- From the normally sceptical Nicholas Carr of Does IT Matter comes the announcement of his new book that will be published early 2008: The Big Switch - Our new Digital Destiny. The title itself implies we are at a tipping point (same must apply to Nick because this seems like a complete reversal of his views in Does IT Matter?). NOTE: the topic is not so much about the transformation in and off itself but specifically about a form it will take - utility computing. But relevant excerpts from the blurb are telling:
A hundred years ago, businesses began dismantling their waterwheels, steam engines, and generators. After producing their own mechanical power for centuries, they suddenly had an alternative. They could plug into the newly built electric grid and get all the electricity they needed from central stations. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn't just transform how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic, social, and cultural changes that brought the modern world into existence.
Today, a new technological revolution is under way, and it's following a similar course. Companies are beginning to dismantle their private computer systems and tap into rich services delivered over the Internet. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility. The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google and Salesforce.com to the fore and threatening stalwarts like Microsoft, SAP, and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap, utility-supplied computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did.
- The arrival and battle amongst the so-called DIY social networks (great article from Richard McManus over at Read/WriteWeb): services that allow you to create a custom social network for any topic. These services can be either hosted or based on your own server. In many ways, these services represent the second generation of social networks, after Friendster, MySpace and Facebook. You could argue virtual worlds are 'next generation' too, but in any case custom social networks are certainly a step up from proprietary SNS like MySpace and Facebook. I believe this is a new iteration of the social network that will be much more powerful than the sometimes "closed" social networks like Friendster, MySpace and Facebook. As such they represent to my mind, a tipping point. Services analysed are: Ning, vibEngine and PeopleAggregator.
- Interesting post over at Communities Dominate brands which tries to collate various data sources on spending on social networking related activities globally, and as of end of 2006 (in what has to be seen as a very nascent market), the aggregate is a whopping $ 6.5 Billion.