In the past 10 years the Internet has emerged as a global network that enables instant communications and borderless commerce. The popularity of blogs and the roll out of high-speed wireless connections have already begun to reshape the Web, but what will the Internet look like a decade from now?
The Wall Street Journal Online invited Web pioneer Vint Cerf and tech pundit Esther Dyson to discuss what they expect in the next 10 years. Mr. Cerf envisions an interplanetary network, while Ms. Dyson ponders a loss of privacy and an information glut. Their conversation, carried out by email, is at the link.
"I think you'll see a fundamental shift in the balance of power towards individuals. Individuals will declare what kinds of vendors they want sponsoring their content, and then those vendors will have the privilege of appearing, discreetly, around the user's content. There will be much less "advertising" and much more communication to interested customers. Advertisers will have to learn to listen, not just to track and segment customers. So the message to marketers is...
... If you can't sell your product (assuming it's already in the market), fix the product! Don't try to change the situation by advertising."