I saw this article on the Guardian. The UK’s Ministry of Defence wrote a report on “probable” changes in the next 30 years.
Here are some trends they see:
– “‘declining news quality’ with the rise of ‘internet-enabled, citizen-journalists’ and pressure to release stories ‘at the expense of facts’” (I hope they aren’t talking about my blog!)
– Large scale electromagnetic pulse weapons by 2035 that could fry electronics in a wide area.
– Neutron weapons that can kill humans without destroying buildings.
– Unmanned weapons platforms (already done.)
– terrorists using flashmobs
– an increase in popularism and Marxism in the middle class due to widening wealth gaps (thanks inflationary money supply)
– majority of world’s population lives in urban areas
– 98% of population growth coming from less developed countries
– continued instability in the Middle East & north Africa
– Islamic militancy putting focus on China (forseable as Chinese interests in Middle-Eastern energy increases)
– On the positive side, Iran may move towards transforming into a “vibrant democracy.”
Then again, perhaps in 2037 these predictions will all look like a paleo future. If somehow you stumble upon this post in 30 years, feel free to comment
Is design a good business to be in? It seems everyone with a computer and a copy of Photoshop is a designer. That includes people anywhere in the world, be it downtown Manhatten or Bangkok Thailand.
Something thats been popular in webmaster message boards for a while now is logo contests. The way it works is someone says, logo contest, winner gets $X (usually between $100 to $300 max, sometimes lower.) They give a general description of what they are looking for and wait. If the payout is over $200 designers frantically submit their designs, usually filling up a couple of pages. The contest ends, and a winner is chosen by the person who started it.
The downside is, if you didn’t win you get no money (although you might get a job request from someone who liked your work.) Other than that slight upside, its a pretty crappy deal. Its kind of like construction companies bidding for a project, but they all have to do it and only one gets paid. Ok, there isn’t nearly that level of risk, but the point is the same. You are working for a chance to be paid. I could draw some comparisons to other “careers” like professional sports such as golf. However, in this case the stakes are a lot lower.
To me this process shows desperation on the part of designers. No legitimate search engine optimizer would ever agree to do the same, nor would many other service businesses.
If you want to make good money online its critical that you do something that is in high demand — and has a high barrier to entry. In this case the demand for logos is high, but the barrier to entry is low. A computer and a little understanding of art is all you need.
As a business owner you want to be in a position to benefit from cheap services, not be hurt by them. Today its logo design, tommorow it will be something else. There are major forces at work right now that are spreading wealth globally. To some people these changes are painting a dark future, to many more, its looking very bright. Over the next few weeks I will be blogging about how to welcome and benefit from these changes rather than fear them.
From Reuters UK:
A group representing global newspaper publishers has launched a lobbying campaign to challenge search engines like Google that aggregate news content…The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers, whose members include dozens of national newspaper trade bodies, said it is exploring ways to “challenge the exploitation of content by search engines without fair compensation to copyright owners.” Web sites like Google and its specialised Google News service automatically pull in headlines, photos and short excerpts of articles from thousands of news sources, linking back to the publishers’ own site. Google News does not currently carry advertising.
I guess free traffic isn’t good enough compensation?
Nominet UK won $1,300,000 AUS (about $970,650 USD) in a data mining lawsuit over a company that scraped data out of their public whois database and then mailed registration “invoices” to the domain owners. The defendants were found “liable for copyright infringement and breaches of Australian fair trade laws.”
Yes, even more about the international differences in web development, and yes, India again.
There is not shortage of English dating sites on the internet. So what happens when a culture looks down on dating? You get marriage sites for people to find their life partners.
Estats India recently released a list of top Indian websites for 2005. The list included B2C, travel, ticket brokers, e-commerce, and greetings. No where to be seen was dating. In its place, “matrimony.”
As the dating market has become saturated success has been found in the niches — be it little people, STDs, or in this case, Indian marriage partners.
If you want to beat a monster site that dominates a billion dollar market don’t copy it — niche it.
I’ve been covering China and India recently, and for a good reason. ContentSutra reports that the Indian government has demanded Google India hand over cash for selling advertisements — in other words, tax money.
Interestingly over Christmas I watched an interview with Milton Friedman on PBS where he was asked to compare China and India. Both are rapdily growing & developing countries. One is communist, the other is a “federal republic.” Friedman said that while China lacks personal freedoms it has great economic freedoms — while India operates the other way around. These economic issues, such as taxation and other government intervention could prove to be a large wall to India’s internet development just as it has to its economic development over the last 50 years.
Thats not to say that the Communist government hasn’t held a heavy hand of censorship over its own internet development either. Both countries have much room for improvement which will only occur if they open the gates of both personal and economic freedom.