Twitter is a great tool for all sorts of things ranging from news, information, even inspiration as this tweet this morning from Ann Curry of MSNBC shows:

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The other thing that struck me early this morning was reading the commentary on my Twitter stream from the 140 Characters conference in New York.  Like many people, I've been wondering what the Next Big Thing is on the web, since there have been peaks and troughs with most platforms over the last 20 years… Usenet, bulletin boards, AOL, Yahoo!, MySpace, Facebook and now Twitter.  Most last around 5 years or so, as Steve Rubel pointed out in his talk, but what's the new trend that may emerge?  Steve, a PR professional with Edelman, suggested that it might be the Open Web with companies focusing more on building digital embassies or advocates.  There are several in the Pharma world already, as I mentioned in a previous post, but you can see similar trends at Comcast with ComcastCares and his team, Scott Monty at Ford and numerous others. 

This idea of promotors is a potentially useful corporate model, but a) what happens when the evangelists move on?  Do they take that currency with them or does it stay?  Having all-stars on your team can be both a blessing and a curse, as many sports teams will attest and b) what is the next useful tool for the masses?  How would the open web affect them?  Semantic web has been frequently suggested, but I can't really seeing this taking off.  Why?  It's a bit too nerdy and lacks emotion.  People are human, they want to connect and interact with other humans in some meaningful way that captures the imagination and emotion, as Ann Curry's quote from Maya Angelou aptly demonstrates. 

We want to feel integrated, connected and inspired, able to converse and comunicate, but we also want ease of use and convenience.

The new next big thing may not even be out there yet, it's just an idea lurking in someone's brain, waiting to happen somewhere in the world.  At the moment, I'm loving the idea of augmented reality as the post inspired by @berci yesterday shows.  For Pharma and Biotech, it has so much useful practical potential.

What's your idea for the next big thing online?

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