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InterMedia's Ali Fisher Discusses the Changing Digital Landscape

Posted by: admin on Fri, 2011-12-16 14:18

In November, InterMedia’s Ali Fisher was interviewed by Wilton Park’s Chief Executive, Richard Burge, as part of the London Conference on Cyberspace. Ali was asked to discuss what his research has shown to be exciting uses of the internet, interesting bits about the growing use of the internet and what the next big “thing” on the horizon is.

By: Caldwell Bishop

In November, InterMedia’s Ali Fisher was interviewed by Wilton Park’s Chief Executive, Richard Burge, as part of the London Conference on Cyberspace. Ali was asked to discuss what his research has shown to be exciting uses of the internet, interesting bits about the growing use of the internet and what the next big “thing” on the horizon is.

 

Advances in social media and the internet, Ali noted, have made it possible for people with less technical and programming skills to be able to put different tools and platforms together, something that was not feasible in the not-so-distant past.  In the past, Ali said, programming and the creation of platforms and tools was left almost exclusively to larger companies, where as now, anyone can do it.  

As it has become easier for people to communicate across countries, continents and the world, it has been expected that this ease of communication will result in many people talking to many different people.  Instead, Ali said that what has been interesting is that we are seeing the opposite of what was expected when the internet started to become the world-flattening force it is today.  Nowadays, said Ali, a few people are talking to a few people.  What happens is that a person will share information with a small group of people they know, and for that group there is shared meaning for that information, a meaning that will differ from group to group with the same information.  Essentially, individuals are now acting as information filters for the various groups of people in their lives.  

As more and more people create content and the number of people and groups accessing the internet continue to grow, Ali believes the next major innovation in the digital world will be an advanced filtering system.  A system that will allow consumers to filter the clutter to find information that resonates with them and fulfills their needs.  

Google, he noted, has been very successful because of the filtering algorithm they created years ago.  Google has provided a way to access a large amount of information and filter it until you find what you are searching for.  Similarly, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are allowing people to filter information about their friends, colleagues, and current news from around the world.  As a result of the new filtering mechanism on the horizon, Ali believes that the focus in the digital world will shift from the individual to the group.  Enabling information to penetrate groups through identifying what defines the small groups being formed in digital space and how best to have a message reach them. 

 


 

Caldwell Bishop works with AudienceScapes and is a graduate student at The George Washington University.  His research interests are in East Asia and South East Asia, development, economics, the environment and human rights.

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