I attended a 27 Dinner (www.27dinner.com) evening recently where Graeme Codrington (Twitter: @FuturistGraeme) presented some interesting views on the future of the internet. My key take-out: most of the tech news we are bombarded with daily is mostly noise. The real news, hidden below piles of daily “tech news”, is the fundamental change that technology, based on internet connectivity, is having on our society. According to Codrington, we are only at the very beginning of a future built on the power of the internet. He points out that the real news is not the launch of the iPhone 5 S & C but how a system built around the internet will shape everything we do – from managing our health to driving our cars.
With this in mind a headline this week on Forbes magazine’s website struck me: Autonomous Driving Tech Package Will Be an Option on Mercedes Vehicles by 2020.
Can you imagine the chaos? South Africa with its known penchant for expensive German sedans will no doubt import a few. Someone in Sandton will want one. In 6 years from now someone will face Joburg traffic – complete with minibus taxis, speeding delivery vans, swerving Golf GTI’s and those rickety motorbikes delivering everything from pizzas to kidneys – in a car that relies on a computer to move the steering wheel. We’ll leave it at that.
What is becoming increasingly evident to me is that the internet is not something we have a choice over. It is not this product on a shop shelf that you can either buy, or choose to ignore. The days of buying a modem so that “you can also have the internet” is over. You have the internet. The choice is made for you. The real question now: are you actively managing the impact of the internet on your life?
Take for example your professional image: When you go to the office every morning you make sure that your shirt is ironed and your hair is combed. You want to look good. That takes care of the old, pre-internet, world. But increasingly I realize one should also take a moment to ask: am I looking after my image in the new world where the internet is fundamentally incorporated into everything? I suggest one should look into some sort of “digital mirror” and ask:
- Do I accurately portray my interests, skills, and attitudes online?
- Am I comfortable with everybody, everywhere, accessing this digital image of ‘me’?
- Is my online profile enabling me or hampering me?
Bottom-line: We don’t have much of an option regarding the internet anymore. You can either actively manage it – or get managed by it. For this reason I have decided to allocate time in my diary every week to attend to my online profile. I see it as a time where I look into the proverbial mirror and ask: What do I put out there? Is my hair combed, my shirt tucked in?
The result of my first digital mirror session has been to change the name of my blog. You may recall my colourful banner:
No doubt, it packs a punch. But thinking about it, it is also confusing. What is Firejuice? The answer is to be revealed one day – but for the moment, this is Bernard Jansen’s blog, where he gives his views on marketing, branding and anything else.
In the “old world” I am quite a vocal, opinionated guy. It is only appropriate that I should be the same in the new “internet” world. That is what this blog is about. Me, in the new world.
Link to that Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewdepaula/2013/09/30/autonomous-driving-will-become-an-option-on-regular-mercedes-models-by-2020/