My predictions

My sister-in-law Kelly made a huge mistake a while back. She posted a question on LinkedIn or Facebook.

“What did you do before it became popular?”

I’ve been plagued by this question ever since. I have been an early adopter for a long time. Growing old means seeing your adoptees grow up, make friends, earn money and never call or write. That’s how I feel about punk rock, tattoos, chihuahuas, yoga, and my name. They were mine, or at least I belonged to a small coven of believers who reveled in our exclusive membership.

The bad part is that I keep thinking of more stuff. I won’t go into them here, but now I wonder if I really did like these things before other people did. Or did I just feel like I was discovering something when in fact I was effectively marketed to? There’s a theory that says that deja vu is actually just a regular thought basted in memory juice–you only THINK you remember the experience, but the sensation of memory is irrelevant. So maybe I’m the first person to think that toe socks would be a funny style regurgitation, or I just thought so when I saw them at Target. The fact that they are at Target–and that I live in the Midwest–is evidence enough that I’m way behind the curve.

But the sensation remains. Remember when LOL was actually an inside joke?

I think I can break the spell. Or try to take advantage of it. I’m going to start predicting things.

1. “LOL” or “WTF” will become a sitcom. Hey, wait… there used to be a Twin Cities radio station, WLOL? Are they still around? Are they taking advantage of this happy coincidence?

2. Google needs to figure two things into their algorithms. First, how current are the results? The internets has grown old enough to have its own nostalgia. It’s time to start archiving. I don’t want to enter “Windows+Vista+Parallels+2.0+Alienware” just to figure out why my computer keeps blowing up. Actually, any one of those terms would be self-evident answers, except Parallels, but it’s just an example. Check Google’s experimental rubric which allows you to enter a word and then see suggested similar keywords. If I enter “elliott ,” a drop-down box appears with the next most likely terms, like “spitzer.” Not only is this really helpful when I can’t remember someone’s name, it gives me a nice read on the current gestalt. I’m getting results on popularity before I actually get my results and I can also use the suggested terms to enhance my own SEO.

I know there’s a search which can present results on a timeline, but those results should be native. Second, you should be able to filter for questions which have successfully been answered. How many times do I need to see posts about hacking an iPhone, or news about possible hacks to an iPhone, or rumors of convictions for suspected iPhone hacks before I find the definitive answer for, “How to hack an iPhone?”

3. Google OS or Google hardware.

4. Fat will never be stylish again.

5. ESP-driven technology will appear in my lifetime (a safer prediction now that I’ve stopped smoking), but the earliest instance will come in the form of a telephone or music player. Remember the “Bonefone?”

6. Anti-blogging is nigh, but I’m not yet sure in what form. It will eventually just deflate and blow away, but what can push it over the top? ESP-based blogging, I suppose, with involuntary “reading” technology.

7. Pies will be the new cupcakes.

8. Suspenders will return, but with a twist.

9. I will have more predictions.

10. SEO experts will discover the power of extremely rare words. Of course, they’ll only pull in the unsuspecting, but they may also find the readers curious enough to look up a word like “onomatopoeiaficationesque,” or perhaps a random nut with a lot of money.

11. Downloadable dreams and cranial mood sliders.

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