There’s a President’s Day reflection on Google’s blog that talks about what effects we might expect to see as the broadband stimulus funds contained in the recently signed national Stimulus package are spent.
If things work out, Google sees both an increase in the connectivity of individual nodes on the ‘net, and an increase in the way that people are going to access that information.
Specifically they foresee:
“All the world’s information will be accessible from the palm of every person
Today, over 1.4 billion people, nearly a quarter of the world’s population, use the Internet, with more than 200 million new people coming online every year. This is the fastest growing communications medium in history. How fast? When the Internet was first made available to the public, in 1983, there were 400 servers. Twenty five years later: well over 600 million.
In many parts of the world people access the Internet via their mobile phones, and the numbers there are even more impressive. More than three billion people have mobile phones, with 1.2 billion new phones expected to be sold this year. More Internet-enabled phones will be sold and activated in 2009 than personal computers. China is a prime example of where these trends are coming together. It has more Internet users than any other country, at nearly 300 million, and more than 600 million mobile users — 600 million! Twenty-five years ago, Apple launched the Mac as ‘the computer for the rest of us.’ Today, the computer for the rest of us is a phone.
This means that every fellow citizen of the world will have in his or her pocket the ability to access the world’s information. As this happens, search will remain the killer application. For most people, it is the reason they access the Internet: to find answers and solve real problems.”
Read the full article here.
As an iPhone user – and actually one of three people who use iPhones in a family of three – we’re already starting to live into this new paradigm. Having access to the web anywhere and at anytime has changed the way we communicate information in our family in ways that I didn’t expect.
And I’m wondering now what the effect is going to be on the Church. It’s certainly going to be more than just having a bunch of bible translations at your fingertips all the time – or being able to read the Book of Common Prayer whenever you want.
Just as blogs created a method of conversation that no one in the Church really anticipated, these convenient, always on Internet devices are going to create change for us that we don’t expect.
For instance, in classrooms these days, students use laptops to have conversations with each other about the lecture they’re attending. (Or at least some do…) Could something like that be in our future for worship services?