<I guess I’m a technologist because I love technology and have a bottomless appetite for it.
The glamour of new products no longer dazzles me. The underlying technology behind a new platform is definitely more interesting than the platform itself. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll see the reason behind the underlying technology. Now that’s where the excitement is.
Take Twitter for example. On the surface, it is a social communication vehicle. Kind of like an evolution of text messages that you can share with the world. But why would you want to share your text messages with the world? Where’s the value in that? Dig a little deeper.
The technology behind Twitter is really a two-way communications channel (although I think most people use only as a one-way broadcasting channel.) But the really amazing thing about Twitter is what else it can do for you, especially when you combine it with other technologies. There is an incredibly powerful network running wild right now and it is just waiting to be harnessed. How?
1) Use it as a listening tool. Real-time conversations are happening about your brand, or asking questions you can answer. Beat your competition to the punch and engage with your audience immediately.
2) Like it or not, recognize that Twitter has HUGE adoption. That means access to a huge audience — if you have something relevant to say.
3) Imagine if you could combine short quick messages with say — a home appliance. You could know exactly when your ice maker is overflowing in your fridge, when your clothes are dry, or when the oven is preheated. Combine Twitter with a moisture sensor in your plants and you’ll be reminded to water them. How about car maintenance needs, library book reminders, or even a daily tweet of the lowest gas price within 3 miles of your home?
My point is, if you think past the conventional uses, unexpected and innovative solutions will emerge. I still love the fact that the Typewriter was developed to allow the blind to write. Who knew it would be required in every business office for decades to come?
We’re seeing innovation on all platforms with the rapid adoption of location-awareness, text-to-speech, and cross-application sharing of information. Where will the technology take us next?