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Communication Trends Social network platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube allow you to communicate via text messages and share video and links to digital information and media. Increasingly, organizations are moving Impacting All of Us away from self management and relying on others who specialize in those systems. There will always be a place for face-to-face meetings, live performances and physical books and artwork. But now all of Everything is Digital and Always Available On Demand these experiences can also be accessed virtually and on-demand. by Everyone who is Inter-Connected Via the Cloud which is Everywhere. Trend: The Rise of Wireless Devices Before the end of the year, we will cross the five-billion mark for con- Have you noticed how fast the nected wireless devices worldwide. Next year, more smartphones with world is changing? Even the pace Internet capability will be sold in the U.S. than less capable feature of change is constantly acceler- phones. Sales of new tablet sized devices like the Amazon Kindle and ating. Over time communication the Apple iPad are increasingly eating into traditional desktop and technology has enabled faster laptop sales. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter report transfer of knowledge, resulting that users who access them via wireless devices post 3 to 4 times more in innovation; innovation, in often than those that use a traditional browser. All of these trends turn enables faster knowledge demonstrate the dramatic shift to hand-held devices soon becoming transfer. the norm for most consumers. The challenge today is What about you? Has your cell phone usage increased in the last in understanding and decade? Have you disconnected your traditional phone line? Don’t reacting to the trends be surprised if in a few years your television viewing is completely that are impacting us on-demand and your first means to find any information is via your all. Businesses need to react or smartphone. There is still a place for newspapers, magazines, muse- they will no longer be able to compete. Our education system must ums and libraries. But there will be a virtual cloud-based version for change if we want to train future workers for this newly hyper-con- you to access at your convenience. nected world. Individuals need to understand how the new forms of human communications impact us, and in my view, free us to ac- cess the knowledge you want, gain experiences you need and allow you to interact socially with others like never before. By Jeffrey Stewart, A Little History Chief Technology Officer at Trekk Cross-Media The history of humanity has been about innovation. Central to this is the ability to communicate, to exchange ideas, to build upon others’ successes. We have seen tremendous change over the last millennium in the higher speed and lower cost for people and organizations to travel and to communicate. We’ve moved from Electronic Information Databases walking caravans to wind powered ships to trains and automobiles. Rockford Public Library offers an extensive selection of in- But the acceleration really increased with the introduction of wired formation databases, most of which are accessible from your telegraph and telephone to terrestrial and satellite links to fiber home computer, if you have a Rockford Public library card, optics networks... and the Internet. We are currently experiencing or available to use at the library. Here is a sample of what you unprecedented change in human communications. Here are the will find at: http://www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org/research/ three big technology trends that are rapidly changing the way we databases. live, learn and work: Trend: Digital Everything Career Insider A comprehensive online career resource database, Career In- The music industry offers a perfect example. Remember Napster sider provides access to downloadable career guides, employer and the legal battles over digital download and file sharing? Then profiles and rankings, discussion boards and more. iPod and iTunes taught the industry that people are not necessarily willing to pay for content – but they are more than willing to pay Consumer Health Complete for convenience. Once virtually all music became available as digital Need to research a health-related topic? Consumer Health files using a standard format, huge new opportunities were created Complete covers a full range of health-related topics, such as – and old business models collapsed. aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, childrens Since then, the economics of digitization have affected broadcast health, men & womens health, etc. video, movies, magazines, newspapers, phones, and of course, books. The defenders of traditional business models first deny it, Mango Languages then attack it, and then try to control it. Then, if they’re smart, they Traveling abroad? Brush up on your French, Spanish or learn adopt it and transform their business to deliver convenience. a new language quickly and easily through Mango’s unique teaching method. Choose from 48 unique courses including Trend: Collaboration and Communication in the ESL. Cloud Our world is rapidly moving to a place where instantaneous com- MyMediaMall This downloadable audio and digital book service is available to munication is the norm. The advancement in Internet bandwidth all RPL cardholders. You can download bestselling audio books and computational capability are creating an explosion in online and other digital content directly from RPL’s website. Installa- services that allow on-demand downloading of any digitized media tion of free reader software is required. For instructions, click and computational output. These online data center purveyors are on the “MyMediaMall” link under e-resources on our home- commonly called cloud computing vendors. Since it doesn’t matter page at: www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org. where or how these services are provided, to you they exist in the Internet “cloud.”16