Off Topic: Face of the Future
By meyou on May 15th, 2012 · Filed in Off Topic · Comments not available just now
Every once in a while, I like to think as a futurist. Where is our society going? What will the future look like? Today, I want to talk about the future applications of online implications of Facebook. Most speculate it will continue to grow. This makes sense since many organizations and people who are not yet utilizing the online application. However, I think the social media will have much bigger applications in the future.
By meyou on May 15th, 2012 · Filed in Off Topic · Comments not available just now
The Internet is still in a renaissance. It is the wild west of our era. Forums were one of the first venues to offer the capability of people connecting across the peculiar space of the digital world. Forums have many problems one of them being enforcement. Moderators were deputized to regulate this barren land. They ban people and maintain order. The problem is a person can easily create another profile and keep continuing their reign of chaos. I've even had people try to be sneaky, create a new profile and message me in hopes of getting dirt or whatever on me. I always reply with caution. It could be legit or… it is somebody trying to be sneaky.
This brings me to the future of Facebook. The companies' growth is not necessarily in the acquisition of new users. The power of the company is in the ability of becoming a staple in our lives. Think of toilet paper and toothpaste. It will become a necessity. If not Facebook, it will be something else. A different form maybe, but a social media outlet nonetheless. This can be seen in its use at starcitygames or other comment sections. If you want to comment on a page, you must have a Facebook account. I cringed at the move originally when starcitygames made the change. I now understand why and it will be a growing trend. Most television stations have adopted the trend. I zipped over to CBS to check out Two Broke Girls season finally that wasn't uploaded yet. I noticed all the comments were linked by Facebook. It is the future.
What does this do? It maintains accountability. It forces people to think twice about ranting because of social pressures. Say something stupid on a forum. You can be permanently blocked. If it was a forum, a person could circumvent this by creating a new account. If a social outlet demands a Facebook page, you can't do this as simply. A person could create a new page, but it is a lot more work and holds a certain type of accountability to it. No longer will people be able to hide behind the curtain. People will be forced to exist as they do in real life.
As the online experience continues to evolve, its end goal is to reflect life. This means things like the drivers license. The driver license is the gate-key to everything. You go to the airport, what do they ask for, your drivers license. Cop stops you? Yup, they ask for your drivers license. It is your credibility. You need it to buy cigarettes, a lottery ticket, or to buy alcohol. Without it, you can't do a lot of things. It is the link into society. This is where Facebook will come into play. Facebook will become your digital drivers license.
You want to purchase something online? You will need a Facebook page. You want to join a forum? You will need a Facebook page. Want to join one of those adult only sites? Sorry, you need a Facebook page that has been active for more than three months. Other sites might require you have it for a year. Some sites might necessitate other requirements. Right now, Facebook lacks a few options that it may pick up in the future. These other options will be credibility statistics. Think of it as a reporter's badge. Without it, you can't get into certain sites.
Think of it this way. I work at a hospital. I could blab online about this and that. However, I am not a doctor. Does this mean I don't know what I am talking about? Not necessarily. What I don't have is that diploma on the wall. The problem right now is anybody can get up in a forum, declare him/her to be a doctor and start saying whatever. With something like future Facebook, a person couldn't do this action. In the future, I can see that people will need to apply for certain online credentials. They apply through a regulated industry and apply for a doctor badge to be linked to their page. Once the information has been verified, they get certain privileges. They will be allowed to comment on certain issues in health forums. They can respond to health questions. A user can check their comments for credentials. It will be the digital world reflecting real-life.
The key here is credibility, access, accountability, and centralization. I haven't talked about that last part yet. Every time you join a page or site, a person has to go through the hoops of verifying their identification. Join a university? You have to create an account. Apply for a job? You have to do it again, again and again and again and again. I have so many user names and passwords that I often forget many of them. This will only get worse as our usage of the digital world grows. There will be a new political site we want to join. Maybe it will be the party against immigration of intergalactic aliens to our planet. Those dam Klingons. Why don't they learn English already? Anyway, a business opportunity always exists when people are replicating a process over and over again. This brings us to Facebook. It will stream line the process. You won't have billions of passwords or user names. You will have Facebook. Done.
I'm not here to argue the moral, ethical, social and security implications of this phenomenon of progress. All I am saying, it will happen. Heck, I already see the beginnings of this occurring. I think places like Amazon already can link up your nook and account. It is a trend. Now, I don't know if it will be Facebook. If they were smart, they should employ a business strategy to make themselves as integral to society as possible. It won't no longer be if you want a Facebook page. You will have to have a Facebook page. Like I said, it will become a staple like toothpaste. Something you can't live without. I suppose you could, but you shouldn't. A passport or drivers license is probably a better analogy at this point.
This is a Magic article, right? It is and this future will have a huge impact of the game in many ways. I have already touched on some of the negative effects the application of said future will remove. Magic Online will no longer be a place where people hide behind user names. You will be you. Your account will be linked up to your DCI number. Magic forums will force people to be out in the open. It will be like real life. You go to a store and it will be you. You will know if you are playing against a thirteen or forty year old online. Avatars will be a thing of the past.
This has been a lot about the negative. Let's talk about some positive. If we can give credibility to players/online users, it can open up avenues that haven't been explored. Judges for instance. A user could be given a judge badge. This would allow them access to a certain portal of Magic Online. In this special environment, a higher level judge could create scenarios for lower level judges. Basically, a training environment could be created. This could in turn increase the amount of judges and their proficiency as being judges. On a similar topic, certain players could be given trainer badges. They are players deemed suitable for being a representative of the game and capable of teaching Magic to newer players. Professional players could be given badges and treated much like the Golf Pro at country clubs. They could get paid for their services. This is all possible by credibility of their online license/diploma/badge.
I suppose I could go on all day about the possibilities. The proposed above is only a few. I'm sure as an audience that you could form a few of your own. However, this won't be possible until legitimacy is brought to the online world of the Internet. This will be next stage in the evolution of the Internet. If you watched the Social Network, a point that was brought up in the movie is the idea of exclusive access. People with certain credentials will be allowed access to Wizards employees. Only certain people will have access to the Pro player room. On and on it goes. You see; the online world is a chaotic world where everyone has access to everything at the moment. Not in the future. There will be country clubs and other exclusive sections only permitted by people of a certain reputation.
I almost forgot. In the real world, people have reputations. It is almost impossible to track online. Sure, you can block people, but that is about it. I sense people will be able to profile people. I will let you think of your own creative tags. You could be marked as a jerk or earmarked as a nice guy. This is the obvious. A person could be marked more appropriately like say artist, writer, or optimists. These tags will bar or allow people into certain events. Got an artist tag? You could be allowed access to only artist circles. If you register as a democrat, you may be barred from certain republican sites. Like I said, on and on it goes the possibilities.
This may seem like a boring topic, but it will have a big impact on our lives. You may argue the semantics if you will in the forums. I could be very wrong on the how, why or the implications. What I do believe is it will happen in one form or another. I also believe Facebook and other social medias aren't going anywhere. I might actually have to admit that I need to get a Facebook page eventually. I had one, but it seemed redundant with my wife and I having the same friends. Now when something happens, my wife tells me about it. She is the Facebook junkie anyway. Besides, I got a little tired of my friends telling me they had steak tonight or that they are going to the grocery store. Zzzzz… Well, I'll wait until I have to sign up.
Meyou is a lab rat from Rochester, MN who enjoys the rudiment of thinking and philosophy with free time devoted to the wife, two cats, writing ventures, and Magic.