Here are a couple of predictions of what might become the big thing during 2008. Jeff Nolan, VP Corp Dev for NewsGator Technologies argues (surprisingly?) that 2008 will become "The Year of RSS":
"Portal Plumbing. Using RSS / Atom as a way for backend systems to funnel information (both publishing and retrieving) into a single access points that are easy to use and easy to manage. Users won't need to know why all the information they find important is on one page. This is a no-brainer in many ways, and it reflects what is happening on the consumer side of the business. A large segment of users are taking advantage of start pages like iGoogle and Netvibes to be their own aggregator, and are using RSS to accomplish this, there is no reason why this should not also happen behind the firewall."
"Thus, let me introduce the idea of "carbon neutral teams." When we talk about "individual" efforts to reduce emissions, perhaps we can also consider "team" efforts. OK, we already have such teams--in our beloved city of Newton, Massachusetts, anyway--that "team up" every spring to remove detritus from the banks of the storied Charles River. Thousands of other communities are doing the same.”
“But what about making our at-work teams carbon neutral? Instead of that next in-person meeting, whether a few miles away or a few thousand, how about meeting online? How about developing a checklist for why you need to get together face-to-face, then rating each upcoming event? Unless you exceed a certain threshold, you stay put."
"...the energy savings part is a good idea and Jessica has some good suggestions the next time your plan to travel to a team meeting. There are times like interviews where I find virtual meetings to work better because I can focus on what is being said and taking notes, as well as looking at my key questions while talking. In the days of in personal meetings, I would often have to bring an extra person to take the notes. Another trend is the blogging of conferences so that only one team representative needs to go and the others can have real time conversations on the event in time to provide feedback."
As a comment to that, I actually (encouraged by my wife) decided to go by train instead of flying from Malmö to Stockholm next week (600 kilometers). Not only am I saving the environment by not going by air, but I also save money for my company (or actually, the customer) since it will be cheaper than flying - despite the fact that I have to pay for one extra hotel night. The only thing I won't be saving is time. But that depends on how I look at it. On the train, I will be able to work for almost four hours and access the Internet via the wireless network on the train. Maybe I will take some time to sketch on a checklist for situations when I need to get together face-to-face and when other alternatives such as web conferencing might be just as suitable or at least possible. In addition to that, I also need a checklist for deciding what means of transportation I should be using in situations when a face-to-face meeting is absolutely necessary – should I go by train, air, car or bike? Then I will publish these as post on my team’s internal blog so they can read it via RSS – wherever they happen to be. Well, as long as they are inside the corporate firewalls.