Happy New Year! I was reminded last night that the last time we had new decade upon us, there was a looming threat. For those of you old enough to remember, it was the Y2K era. The buzz on the street was that banks that were going to crash, planes would flip upside down and the world would come to a screeching halt all because programmers had used two less digits to code the year field. It almost seems unbelievable that not long ago, 2 extra digits were avoided simply because of the premium placed on memory and storage space.
We have come a long way. Although the Year 2000 and the decade that followed was by no means one that many people would prefer experience again, 2010 starts with what I believe is the next significant wave of information growth. In 2007, Higher Logic opened its doors and thanks to our customers, our partners, our staff, we have been able to be a part of helping people collaborate, communicate and build close knit communities. The power of computing, the internet, Wi-Fi and smart phones have all accelerated user adoption of social media and created a new generation of believers that knowledge should be shared and accessible.
I took some time over the holiday break to read Peter Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s new book SuperFreakonomics. I read their first book, also aptly titled, Freakonomics and found their views on economics, statistics and sociology a fascinating read. If you have not had an opportunity to read either, I highly recommend both. They use data to track statistical patterns of behaviors and use their data to prove or disprove common beliefs or extrapolate new theories as to why drug dealers still live with their mothers or how someone’s first name can impact their future success in life. So, where am I going with this? Well, much in the same way that renowned economists can use trending information, the power of social media has allowed us, even the average Joe, to begin to analyze ways in which our own communities and members interact. The future of harnessing and analyzing information is going to be huge. We have introduced demographics tools within Connected Community to allow a meaningful insight as to what makes your members tick. But this is really only the beginning, I cannot tell you all how excited I am about where the world of social media will take us over the next decade and I am so proud to have you all as a part of this great ride.