Section 4: The Future

Why a chapter on “The Future” in WebForging, A Practical Guide to the Art of Forging Your Web Presence? This chapter is included because the future is here, and the rest of it is coming fast. Faster, I believe, than most of us realize.

WebForging touches on all of the ingredients that make up a successful web presence. More ingredients are being added to that mix every day. This chapter addresses what I believe are important considerations for anyone in business today, to help them prepare for more online business – and the world they’ll live in – tomorrow.

We go to some lengths in this chapter to discuss intellectual property and Open Source code. From a practical point of view the business owner or marketing manager doesn’t really need to know about these things to sell more products via the web or to enhance online customer service. Nevertheless, I believe it is practical for owners and managers to be somewhat familiar with these concepts. I recommend – indeed advocate – that you show a preference to working with people who work with open source, including a LAMP foundation (more on LAMP below). When you do this, you don’t pay more than you have to for proprietary software solutions and, I believe, you get the benefit of working with leading-edge (not bleeding-edge) developers who program at a higher level, rather than mere implementers of a proprietary software program that doesn’t even allow the program to see the highest levels of functionality that have been compiled.

Beyond those practical “here and now” considerations, I believe it is important that owners and managers have a vision for the future, and knowing a few things about the lay of the land in regards to intellectual property rights and the Open Source movement is important to anyone who wants to harness the tools of the Information Age on behalf of their business.

Finally, I believe the issues touched on here demand our understanding as good citizens interested in confronting our future. The only constant in our future is the accelerating pace of change. The issues here address the change that is already here with the rest coming fast.

Additional content covered in the print edition of WebForging includes a paragraph to a page or more on each of the following:
  • Recommended Reading
  • Caveat: Computing Power, Intellectual Property, Privacy and the Future
  • Media
  • Embedded Information
  • Broadband Connectivity
  • Extensible Markup Language or XML
  • Disintermediation
  • Portals
  • Online Community
  • Metcalfe’s Law
  • UDDI
  • Interactivity
  • Alternative Distribution of Web Content via Web-Enabled Devices
  • Global Positioning Systems
  • Coding for the Differently-Abled
  • Open Source Code
  • LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl/PHP/Python
  • Copyright and Copyleft
  • The Internetworked Web of the Future