Trends to Watch in 2006 – Part 3

The following is part 3 in a series of Trends to Watch in 2006 right here on your neighborhood Bokardo.com. (Part 1 | Part 2)

The Life Portfolio

Every blogger knows that people judge them in part by their blog. The design of the site, the number of comments they receive, the attention they get from others linking in, and the very words they use represent them to their readers are all important. In my case, I’m sometimes called “Josh Bokardo” because people have no idea where the word Bokardo comes from, and assume (at first glance), that it’s probably my last name.

The following is part 3 in a series of Trends to Watch in 2006 right here on your neighborhood Bokardo.com. (Part 1 | Part 2)

The Life Portfolio

Every blogger knows that people judge them in part by their blog. The design of the site, the number of comments they receive, the attention they get from others linking in, and the very words they use represent them to their readers are all important. In my case, I’m sometimes called “Josh Bokardo” because people have no idea where the word Bokardo comes from, and assume (at first glance), that it’s probably my last name.

But blogging is only the start of a personal identity portfolio for each and every person on the planet. Domains will become a personal record for each of us, detailing not only identity metadata but all the pertinent information that we choose to share with people. It will be part portfolio, reputation management platform, communication hub, and contact point. 2006 will see much more activity in this area, if not a large move toward it. Of course, there are parts of the world where the Internet has not yet reached, but great programs like MIT’s $100 laptop initiative are helping this along.

There are a couple results of this. First, you’ll need your own domain. If you’re on a hosted service like blogger or typepad, you’ll eventually want to switch to your own domain, unless you don’t mind mixing your personal reputation with the service you’re using. Second, we’ll start to have proxies for your reputation. Indeed, we already do in sites like Technorati 100 and Blognetworklist. And your reputation will evolve over time with the activity in and out of your web site, just like your reputation does now with the conversations of others.

Information Visualization

Two premises lead me to the conclusion that information visualization is about to take off.

One is that there is simply too much information out there for us to handle. Even if you are in a very technical, specialized field you probably still have too much to read on any given day. Anything that can help alleviate information overload will be warmly greeted. RSS solved the problem of going to a site to find out if it’s been updated, but it didn’t stem the problem of too much information. It may have even made it worse.

Second, humans process more information visually than with all of the other senses combined. Most of this is through reading, of course, but we’re very sophisticated at processing large amounts of data at a time in forms like graphs and charts. The bar charts on USA Today are a perennial favorite.

Combine the overabundance of information with our amazing ability to synthesize concepts visually, and you’ve got Information Visualization. Information Visualization is the growing field of visualizing large amounts of information simply and understandably. Edward Tufte is widely recognized as the leader in this field, but his books mostly deal with visualization after the fact, static displays of data. However, tools like Flash can be harnessed to provide ever-updating displays with amazingly sophisticated interfaces, like this demonstration of Visual i|o’s baseball visualization tool.

Published: January 16th, 2006

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