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It’s Prediction Day Again!

Issue 3 Number 1 January 2011

Normally, I try to provide useful information in this newsletter for people who work with SQL Server. However, in the New Year’s Issue, I indulge myself by making predictions for the coming year.

If you really need to read about SQL right now you could jump to our back issues.

Ancient History

In the 1992 New Year’s Day edition of Office Computing, I wrote “If you have not heard the word ‘internet’, you will have heard it a lot by the end of the coming year. It is going to change the way you live.”

Today it seems unbelievable that readers of a computing newsletter would not know what the internet was. But at the beginning of 1992, cutting edge computers ran at 90 mhz and had 4mb of RAM. A one gigabyte hard drive was science fiction.

If you did know about the internet, you accessed it very slowly using a 2400 baud modem connected to your telephone. The internet was primarily used by the military, universities, a few large corporations, and of course, geeks.

At any rate, my prediction that year was so correct that it caused me to forget all my other predictions that did not come true. It convinced me that I was a visionary and addicted me to making annual predictions.

OK, predict something

Only because this is supposed to be a SQL Newsletter, I will begin with SQL related predictions and move rapidly into larger techno-cultural issues.

Here we go:

Prediction: In the coming year, the migration of SQL Server instances to virtual servers will increase dramatically.

Prediction: The rollback of SQL Server instances from virtual servers to physical servers will also increase dramatically because of performance problems in the virtual environment.

Prediction: By the end of the year, Microsoft will still be talking about private clouds, but few, if any, will have been implemented.

The Real News

All that is interesting if you are a SQL Server geek, but the real news in the coming year will be about:

  • The growing impact of social sites on business

  • Search engines that suddenly shift into reverse gear like a runaway Toyota

Social Sites

Prediction: For maximum business growth, your customers will need to Like you in Facebook.

Social sites have already changed personal computing. How will they affect business computing in the coming year?

All businesses that have not already done so will need to consider a presence in Facebook, Twitter, etc in the same way they did for pay-per-click search engine advertising when it was new or, looking back 15 or 20 years, when they had to come to terms with this new thing called the internet and each put up their own web site.

As a case in point, we take the example of SQL Consulting, Inc. SQL Consulting has recently acquired a Facebook page. The issues of this newsletter are posted on the Facebook page each month and there is a subscription sign-up form as well. So far it has not gone viral, but we can hope.

To be truthful, I am not a Facebook kind of guy. I have always considered chit-chat on the internet as a passtime for people who don’t have much to do. In my arrogance I referred to Twitter devotees as ‘twits’. Now I guess I am one of them.

The actual meaning of what was happening in the civilized world crept up on me slowly. But, whether I like it or not, this notion of living your life on-line with a self-chosen interest group has become a way of life for a huge and rapidly growing number of people. I thought our company needed a presence in this brave new world.


Search Engines will Shift into Reverse

Prediction: By the end of the year, all major search engines will have shifted into reverse. You will not search for results. The results will search for you.

Formerly, when you went to a search engine, it was to enter keywords and get relevant results. This year the results will begin searching for you. In fact it has already started.

On Google and some other engines our search terms are already paired up with our personal data that the search engine has gathered. Based on where you live, where you shop, what you buy, etc, your results will be skewed toward google advertisers who have the best chance to sell you something that is at least marginally related to the search terms you enter.

Tip: If you are a Google user, you can put an ampersand as the first character of the search string and you will get normal results without your personal data being applied to the search. For example:

& SQL Server Consultant

Related predictions that were also right on.

“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

- Andy Warhol

Yes, but when is it my turn to go viral?

“The medium IS the message”

- Marshall McLuhan

Television was a good beginning but you couldn’t stick it in your ear like an iPod.

Happy New Year. We’ll be back to more serious business next month.

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