A few people have asked for my thoughts on the future of communication. Many people point to social media, which is surely part of the answer. However, I think the real revolutionary concept is right in front of us: “hypermedia”. This is just a fancy term for using web links to allow people to access information in a “non-linear” form. For example, if you want to know more about social media, you could click on the link above – or else just continue reading. Hypermedia also means giving people different mediums to chose from. Alain Joannes writes: “The meadow metaphor works well to describe the ideal of interactive communication. We walk through it to pick all sorts of fruits…certain fruits are photos, others are videos, animations etc.”
So, all this already exists online. But what does the future hold? Flash used to be king, and I worked hard to learn it. The trend was clear: faster bandwidth meant ever more elaborate Flash pages with roll-over animations, sounds, and other great interactive options. However, small smart phone screens really limit this format – and anyways, my iPhone doesn’t even support Flash. Ironically, in 2010, simple icons and minimalist navigation are back in style – just look at an iPhone app:
I make sure that the animated clips I do for work can be viewed clearly on a small display. But imagine if this type of clip was embedded with lots more information – links, chapters, etc. – turning it into a true hypermedia experience in the palm of your hand. This clip (or app, or document – whatever you want to call it) could be used as an out-of-the-box business pitch, lobbying case, or even as a personal resume.
I would love to hear what others think.