“The gleam has come off the word ‘social’,” said Internet analyst Ben Schachter in today’s NYTimes article about the recent slide in the stock prices of Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon. “The ground is now shifting underneath these companies feet at a speed that we didn’t see even in the late 1990’s.”
You don’t have to look any further than the following grid to see why.
The pot of gold at the end of the current Internet growth rainbow is not social — or mobile — or local — but personal. Personal is to social what local is to mobile. Personal is not a wall of information from all your social connections, but just the most relevant information from the most trusted connections.
But don’t mistake personal for just “filtered social”. It is much, much more than that. It is a paradigm shift in computing as big as the emergence of the personal computer in the early 1980’s. It’s about the emergence of personal clouds and personal channels. It’s about a new generation of applications that can deliver new value propositions based on a level of trust and intimacy with their users that cannot be achieved with just social, mobile, or local.