(3) Privacy is but a Window away
In trend (1), I brought up examples from Google and Facebook, who have either through partnering or acquisitions, been positioning their social layer offering as the one dashboard for consumers to converge for their status updates, chats, emails, content uploads, sharing, collaborations etc.
Imagine now with trend (2), where we see integrations and inter-connections occuring in Google and Twitter (search and recently in Buzz), Bing search powered in Facebook, Bing search incorporating Tweets, the lines between "public" and "private" conversations in and across social networks become increasingly greyed. Everyone's sociographs, relationships and interactions can be eyed upon constantly in your friends' online streams.
Augmented reality is cool. Today, we have apps like Wikitude which tag places with contextual information. Now imagine in the near future, when you could activate an app in a mobile device, then by holding the camera of the mobile device towards a stranger nearby, be able to draw down the online profile of that stranger, based on what he has tweeted, updated into his Facebook etc. We are entering into a world where every consumer all around is being tagged. And this augmented reality becomes scary as an afterthought.
Privacy is and will be a key concern as we move into a much more inter-connected WEB 3.0, where everyone's lives grow more intertwined with one another's. However, there looks to be much promise in the future, where all our computing will occur in the cloud and our lives efficiently ordered through quick clicks.
Take a look at this video from Microsoft's 2019 vision. Certainly inspiring.
Additional links to read:
1. Your Social Networks: How Open Should You Be? (by Dr. Rachna Jain)
2. Google and Yahoo are indexing Google Buzz
3. Google Gets The Facebook Treatment: Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint Over Buzz
4. [updated: 19-FEB] Please Rob Me; the Perfect Compliment to Foursquare and Twitter