Apple iPad(iSlate, so I was wrong about the name) Predictions

Ahead of Wednesday’s potential announcement from Apple, I’m going to stick my neck on the line and predict what such a potential announcement could mean to consumers, education and the publishing industry.

For anyone who’s not watching cyberspace for new technology announcements, the much anticipated Apple device should be made available for the general public to browse at large on Wednesday(I hope). The iSlate(its not official) has been the hot subject behind most rumours, however to Apple’s credit they have been able to keep this closely guarded secret under wraps. We do not officially know what this device is or even what its going to be called. However we do know that it’s something that will build on the success of the iPhone, iPod touch and the appstore model. It will be aimed at consumers rather than business users and it will try to own their window onto the digital world. The device expects to boast;- built in wireless /3G connectivity, multi touch interface, ireader functionality for magazines and ebooks. Not to mention audio, video and downloadable apps that are the mainstay of the iPhone and iPod touch platform.

What will this mean to us? Well it’s a start, there’s concerns that the device will be priced too high to gather momentum quickly. However the concepts behind the device, its interface approaches and its bundled approach to personal media devices will change the way we think. It will provide a spring board for a new breed of application and a new type of business model which will start to impact on the traditional publishing and magazine sector. Such a device will further enhance the way we live our lives in the cloud and our approach to computing as a whole. Like with the iPhone expect to see copycats following quickly in the footsteps.

Should I be part of this? Certainly. New business models will develop particularly in the education and publishing space. We will be their first as we move our iPhoneCreate offering to support this new extension to Apple’s ever growing development and distribution platform.

And of cause none of this may happen, my fate lye’s in Apples hands;-)

Creating a learning movement

As cloud based thinking moves out of the world of technology speak and into all our lives this year. We will all need to pay close attention to how we manage our life in the cloud. Digital responsibility will become a key thing to consider as our content and life starts to get tattooed onto cyberspace. Whilst awareness of this is key its something where the benefits overtake any disadvantages.

Education is a key area that will be revolutionised by cloud based thinking. Embracing social learning, connected learning communities, learning platforms and next generation web tools can provide an enhancement to traditional education processes. However we need to consider how we create a new digital learning movement in the cloud. Learners need something new, the education sector needs to refocus on where our digital learners are at.

My answer to this is “Life” life in the cloud, life is about learning, life is about embracing life long learning. Life will create a leaning movement a digital movement that provides life long learners with choice. Choice of tools, software, content, communities, approaches. Life goes beyond main stream education it reaches into our homes, our social life, our work and above all my life.

Watch the conversation as it evolves

Top Level Domain should I watch out for them in 2010

After initial interest in October 2008, is this something for big brands to be worried about in 2010.

First of all, what is a top level domain(TLD). Putting it simple its the .com or .uk in your domain name. There is a finite number of them and they are controlled by ICANN the internet body responsible for assigning names. Today there are no major threats to big brands from the present listings they are mainly geographical or pseudo listings. i.e. .jobs or .aero.

However back in 2008 it was announced by ICANN to open up these domains for subscription. They launched a draft guidebook suggesting a process to enable international organisations to franchise a TLD. i.e. this could mean that Staarbucks could purchase .staarbucks or Toyota could purchase .toyota. This means a fundamental shift in thinking and strategy for those organisations and their web presence. Not to mention trademark issues and protection of brand.

i.e. how do you deal with domain name structure internationally? How does it affect your current internet presence? How do you protect the TLD for your organisation? How do we protect our brand or products?

Is this something to worry about? Yes in the long term, however not initially. The costs for top level domains will be about US$185,000, with a $25,000 franchisor fee. Legals and I.T. registrations costs will be in addition to this. ICANN have not formally launched the process and are so far working the logistics. They are rolling out a language specific TLD mechanism at the moment that will enable non english domains names, including unicode. We may expect some announcement this year however it is unlikely. Its worth giving a thought to your strategy now and in the short term, think about the multi lingual domain strategy as this is happening now. For example China is well under way. Do your products or company name translate into Mandarin? If so you should think about having a domain name registered in this language.