Tuesday, September 03, 2013

MARKET WATCH - Amy Houk's Home Economics - Top tech trends changing how we live, work

Sept. 3, 2013, 6:01 a.m. EDT

Top tech trends changing how we live, work

Technologies you don’t know about: ‘mocial,’ ‘FOMO”
By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch 

Howard Tullman is a trend spotter. And he says there has been an alarming increase in the number of things you know nothing about.
These concepts affect the places you work and shop, as well as your life at home, said the chairman of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy and managing partner of G2T3V, a technology venture capital fund. In a recent talk at 1871, a co-working center for digital startups in Chicago, Tullman gave attendees a crash course on today’s new vocabulary.
Below are some examples.
‘Porous workplace’ and ‘Wiki-Work’
These days, work is done everywhere.

Your home, your office, your home office. More than that, you need a "porous workspace," where you can work any time, any place.

It’s changing the way that offices are designed and making a home office or work nook a must in the modern household. It’s turning the local Starbucks into a work hub. And that blurred line between office and home, full-time and freelance, will only get blurrier over time.
A porous workplace is one that allows more employees to engage in projects, regardless of location. And wiki-work describes how the web has permitted employers to distribute work in “new and amazing ways,” allowing, for example, the stay-at-home mom with a Ph.D to work on a project or college students to earn extra cash, Tullman said.
“Everything is going to be about real time and not real place,” he said.
In the future, more people will piecemeal their workloads, working multiple freelance jobs instead of full-time positions, he said. “By 2020, 40% of the U.S. population is going to be acting as free agents,” he said.
There will likely be more sharing of office spaces and resources, he said. Or people may just work from their dining room table.
Just consider the website TaskRabbit, where people are able to outsource errands and jobs to a community of those willing to do the work. They’re people who have scraps of time while they’re commuting, or people who work after hours. They’re retirees and stay-at-home moms. And other matchmaking sites are going up all the time, Tullman said.
‘Video uber alles’
Don’t feel like reading the dry instructions to build your bookcase? IKEA provides online video instructions for the assembly of home products.
And more of that is to come. In fact, much of what we learn will eventually become video-based, from finding out how to assemble toys on Christmas morning to taking piano lessons, Tullman said.
 ‘Mocial 2.0’
Simply put, “mocial” is a combination of mobile and social, and suggests how everything we do is connected to the phones we carry around in our pockets and purses, Tullman said. Given that our phones have GPS capabilities, soon companies will be able to tell a lot more about us.
“When you go into a store, we can see your movements in your phone,” Tullman said. Stores could track your “dwell time,” or how long you looked at a display, for example. That could help retailers make more strategic decisions about how they lay out goods on their floor.
“There are a few companies that are doing in-store tracking and metrics,” he said, but in the future “it will be an industry.”
Companies typically have no qualms about using your information.
For example, credit-card companies can predict who will get divorced in the first few years of marriage, he said. These companies care about your marital bliss because if you get divorced, you are more likely to dishonor your bills. They look for same-city hotel charges, flowers sent to an address other than your home, self-improvement charges and if you’ve been in bars that are aimed at singles, Tullman said.
‘Niche networks,’ ‘manufactured addiction’ and ‘FOMO.’
Social media status updates have helped create a “fear of missing out” (or FOMO) among people. This causes them to be competitive in virtual activities for rewards of badges—not money. It also makes them feel like their lives aren’t as exciting as those of their Facebook peers.

“Status and the ability to have all this crazy personal information…sucks us into this fear that someone is doing something cooler or more or exciting,” Tullman said. “We all get caught in it.”
This can also create what he calls “manufactured addiction,” concern, for instance, that you’re No. 97 out of someone’s 100 friends. People become obsessed with getting a better spot on the list.
That’s not to say there isn’t a backlash brewing.
People have a growing desire to cut out the noise, and “seize back the conversation from the blowhards and big mouths,” he said. “Niche networks” are narrowly focused, and involve the assembly of posts that members will find worth listening to and talking about. 

Amy Hoak is a MarketWatch editor and columnist based in Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @amyhoak.

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