By Jim Bruckbauer

Recently, I had the chance to hear an informative speech given by Keith Brophy, the former President of NuSoft solutions, a Microsoft computer consulting firm which was acquired by RCM Technologies in 2008.  He is the author of three books on computer programming and a former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

It’s no surprise that Keith is considered an expert on emerging technologies, and every year he delivers a speech titled “Tech Trends.”  This speech, usually given to a group of technology professionals, is always jam-packed with predictions on growing technology patterns and how these technologies could be used in everyday life.
A few of Brophy’s technological predictions are:

Evolution of Social Networking: In three years, social networking becomes as prerequisite as phone and electricity across the full range of age demographics. Organizations continue to embrace Facebook as it loses its “teen” status and opens the way for acceptance of other similar business social networking solutions.

* Facebook now receives 30 billion views per month.  Its user growth is 3% per week. There are 850 million pictures uploaded to Facebook per month.  If Facebook were a country, it would be the 8th largest in the world.

Data Communes: In five years, we own an “overall e-record” of our lives that we grant electronic entities selective access to; many regions gain advantage by aggregating this; and privacy issues rage across all sectors as collective personal data begins to be viewed as gold.

* This is the idea that collected data about ourselves can be used for public good.  The example Keith gave was the toothbrush that analyzes your saliva every time you brush.  That data then tells you various things about your health, but then is also sent electronically to an agency that collects the data and examines the health of the community. This can be used to stop the spread of sicknesses or diseases in a community.

* Data collection at a community level can be used for very productive means.  It will, however, be productive at the expense of privacy.  There needs to be “we first” instead of “me first” education before programs could be implemented.

Extinction of paper: In five years, only one-third as many newspapers and books are published on paper. Alternatives to paper, such as online forms, E-paper products, and E-reader delivery will boom.

* See Esquire Magazine’s latest use of “e-paper: .

These are just a few of the many predictions made by Keith.  To see my notes on the presentation, follow the link below to view them in Google Docs.

In keeping with a technology theme, next month I will be showing you some free programs that are “must haves” in today’s workplace computing world.  Stay tuned…