Alice M. Fisher
I like this part of you question the best, what will be around in five years?
Dare we even attempt to say, I am afraid to do so as I might miss the mark completely. What if??? is a great thought provoker. Oh heck, I will take a stab at it. We will be wired all the time to our own persons/imbedded some how, almost like a second skin and able to access any sort of channel and multiple channels simultaniously.
There will be no "off" line. Being wired up will be exactly that, wired to the net.
That a great question and it is like when Steve Jobs was trying to predict the future of technology back in 1988 and what technology would be like in 10 or 20 years.
I attended a Web 2.0 conference last year in Reston, VA during the fall, and saw and heard about 2nd Life, real time. It was incredicly interesting stuff to hear about the background of it and its implications. Sort of like the Internet thinking of the 1970's. It was an inkling then, in development. It has take, 30 years of evolution to get where we are now. 2nd Life needs time evolve.
I even attempted to get online with it. My first opinion was that at best, it was not as well "honed" as it could be.
It was not easy. I had to think way to much, to be in it, like all newly adopted things that go through growth bumps and adoption phases. But, part of it might be that I am inherently not a gamer sort.
My personal opinion is that 2nd, may be initially a bit too "esoteric" for much of the current main stream public for general consumption, its use and day to day application/use.
To be honest there is only some much "media" we can manage in in our daily lives, between work, emails, blogs and social groups who has time for kids???? LOL
Just kidding, but I am sure you get my point. The alternative question begs, is there a saturation point of just how much media and types of a person can manage and consume and use?
2nd Life in my initial estimation is bleeding edge stuff ( Web 3.0) and some stuff sticks and some does not, as main stream. This may stick for those who are are main stream gamer sorts, and those who are into avitars (alter egos) and vrtualized living in other demensions.
Quiet honestly, I enjoy being to be a bit more concrete with my life and with people, hence the reason
why I will actually pick up the telephone and talk to someone or meet with others for lunch from time to time. Good old fashion connecting to and with people in real spaces, real time, is still of value to me, and a greater priority than a virtualized life with an alter ego avitar.
See Cover and some of Newsweek magazine predictions from 20 years ago to the date: October 24, 1988
Predictions of the Past- 10 years ago 1998
Apple's 1988 Computing predications for 2008