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Just the (Meaningful) Facts

Futurist

Richard Worzel, 49, author of “The Next 20 Years of Your Life: A Personal Guide Into the Year 2017” (Stoddart Publishing, 1997) and “The Only Secure Job: Changing from Employee to Entrepreneur” (Key Porter, 1999).

Scenario

“The phenomenon of information overload is in its infancy. If, according to some estimates, the amount of information doubles every 18 months, then by 2015 there will be 1,000 bits of data for every fact in existence. But we will not necessarily be better informed. Meaningful facts — those that have reliable and relevant information — will become our most valuable resource.”

So What?

“The vision of the Internet as a medium for the open sharing of information will fade as it becomes more difficult and more time-consuming to distinguish between meaningful and irrelevant facts. Indeed, as reliable data, news, and research become harder and more costly to secure, we will become more proprietary about content.”

Futurology Decoder Key

“Organizations and people will succeed based on the quality of their information. As a result, they’ll pay more for relevant information. And consumers will become impatient with trivia and will care more about having a reliable source of news. Internet portals, which, of course, already screen content, are positioned to become the dominant information providers. In the more distant future, as computer technologies become even more portable, portals will give away free, wearable computers as a way to win customers, who will check in before making almost any purchase or business decision, from buying a washer to choosing a doctor. And advertisers, eager to reach customers, will flock to these portals.”

You can reach Richard Worzel by email (futurist@futuresearch.com), or learn more about his work on the Web (www.futuresearch.com).

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