Sometimes in life, you have to be prepared for things that happen for the first time. (Although technically everything in one's life is always happening for the first time!). Some time ago, we looked at the Indian stock market index (Sensex) and asked - it's over Rs. 10,000 - is this inflated? Or will it go higher? Last week it crossed Rs. 20,000 for the first time. They said some time ago that the Google stock had broken the $ 500 barrier, it was time to sell. It's just crossed $ 700, making Google the 5th most valuable company on the planet, at $ 219 Billion (for reference, McDonalds is at $ 70 bn and Coke at $ 142 bn). How much further will London house prices go up? How much more digital will life get? How networked will we be? How much social networking can we do? My advice is, hold on to your seats, the ride's still just starting.
Talking of Google, here's my "I told you so moment". In March 2007, I wrote this Blog (it's so far back I've even changed my blog!) and I said what we needed was a Social Networking Interface Definition or a nice SNAPI name like "Social Networking API" (ok, I admit I just thought of that one). But here's Google with their Open Social project which does exactly that - 3 APIs - one for personal info, one for contacts and one for actions/ activities. Essentially allowing you to participate in multiple networks, from a single interface or have applications which can span multiple networks. As I write this, I'm thinking - this will mean more individuals will start to understand networking principles this way - Network Isolation, for example, unless you want to accidentally "tickle" or "zombie" all your professional contacts in Linked In! But watch this space for such gaffes. More to the point, Google will now sweep up all remaining people on the planet who don't yet have a gmail account (ok, ok, the ones with Internet connections) and get their details on the giant Google database which always knows what we collectively think.
In case you think it's just something us young people do, here's Saga which has over 13,000 users and targets over 50s. And the Ofcom report of 2007 august tells it's own story about the web addiction of older people. So don't worry if you're long in the tooth, just get your coat and your mouse, and join the party. As I said, the fun's just beginning.