10 forecasts for love

Friendship as we conceive it is intensely being redefined by social networks. Love and sexuality are less talked about (might this be a proof that privacy still exists?) but our wired society will see some radical changes that will force a strong redefinition of ancestral norms. Here are 10 interesting predictions from ChangeWaves:

  1. Location-based dating – GPS plus dating services plus mobile phones means love may be just around the corner. […]
  2. The new infidelity – […] Is it cheating if you develop a crush on a really cute orc in World of Warcraft?
  3. Together apart – For partners who really can’t stand separation, new systems will signal what one’s beloved is up to and what kind of mood he is in. […]
  4. Virtual therapy – Virtual spaces will increasingly be used for therapeutic treatment of people with relationship and sexual issues. […]
  5. Scientific pairings – Relationship matching systems such as those being used by some dating sites will go to the next level: a real, scientific compatibility test between potential mates […]
  6. Remote intimacy – Telerobotics will enable couples to have moments of intimacy via robots they control from another city, or the far side of the planet.
  7. Love potions – Science will illuminate the reality behind “chemistry,” and enable its manipulation. […]
  8. Pleasure bots – Sex is an inevitable application of robotics. […]
  9. Brain sex – […] A lot of sex occurs in the brain, and future neurodevices may make it possible to induce a variety of experiences at will.[…]
  10. People will be people – Many people will ignore the previous nine developments and keep doing things just has we’ve done them for that last 100,000 years or so. With nearly 7 billion of us, and counting, the system seems to be working pretty well.


Now to the scary part: most of these are not forecasts and already happening.

  • Point 2: The new infidelity is nothing new! Billions of people (I am not pessimist, just realist 😉 cheat in their thoughts, and virtual worlds are just a playground for them. They “materialize” this constant phenomena. This triggers the following question: are virtual worlds materializing thoughts, dreams, and more generally whatever happens inside our brains?
  • Point 3: Kevin Warwick is already experimenting with this, check his LIFT speech.
  • Point 4: In Geneva the hospital is using the Internet to stay in touch with patients with alimentary (and “shameful” because affecting physical appearance) troubles, and the parallel with sexual therapies is obvious.
  • Point 5: That’s called 23andme and if you were at TED (unlike me, hint hint) you get a free test.
  • Point 6: Teledildonics, already happening in a city near you.
  • Point 7: GHB , Rohypno, Ketamine. The infamous date rape drugs.
  • Point 10: well, it has been true for thousands of years, and hopefully it won’t change anytime soon 🙂

Dave Gray Workshop in Geneva

Dave Gray, founder and CEO of Xplane, will be in Geneva to host a workshop on “Making the Complex Clear” on March 18 at Arvetica (full workshops schedule here).

Dave is one of the most interesting and respected specialist of a new kind of consulting that aims to turn complex processes into easy-to-grasp illustrations. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this old truth can be leveraged inside organizations to communicate more effectively.

Join me on March 18 for a privileged day with Dave Gray to learn how to avoid letting mediocre communications lead to misalignment in management, and lead to poor implementation. Dave explains the aim of this workshop in an audio interview here. Arvetica – a company founded by my former colleagues and friends of Pictet – is offering a 10% discount on the workshop fee (normal price is 1650CHF) to the readers of this blog if you simply mention LIFT when you register!


Loads of amazing ideas are being thrown around at the moment in Monterey and Aspen. TED is now, and as usual they have a flurry of bloggers in the room bringing the debates to the world. Read master Giussani’s reports on lunchoverip.com and let’s start they day with this wonderful quote by Matthieu Ricard:

“Western science is a major response to minor needs. We [Buddhist monks] don’t really believe that you went to the Moon, but you did; you don’t believe that we can achieve enlightenment in a single life, but we do.”

Different perspectives, always enriching.

Every page is a home page

Search, social networks, blogs, and RSS […] are driving more and more users deep into today’s Web properties. Now, the majority of consumers bypass a site’s home page completely. […] Every page is a home page.

Avenue A Razorfish 2008 Digital Outlook Report (via Guy Kawasaki)

Quite an interesting report, concluding (among other things) that pay walls are finished, convergence is not happening, and digital “has become the darling of the media and advertising worlds”.

It is funny to see the web’s oldest buzzword – “home page” – disappear after such a long life. Time as come to say good bye, and the clock is ticking on other terms like “blog” or “wiki” as every single site seems to open up to two ways interactions with visitors.

The end of the world as we know it

Biiiiiiiiig breaking news this morning: Facebook loses 400,000 UK users in a month

Facebook has suffered its first drop in numbers in 17 months of successive monthly gains. That’s according to online usage research firm Nielson Online, which claims the number one social networking site experienced a 5 per cent drop in unique users between December and January from 8.9m to 8.5m.

Facebook’s biggest rival, MySpace, also experienced a 5 per cent drop during the same period, with a unique monthly user figure of five million. Third-placed and teenage-focused network, Bebo, suffered a 2 per cent drop between December and January, with figures of 4.1 million unique monthly users.


Now the whole “I told you so” and other “the end of social networking is near” can start. Truth is Facebook is getting boring, and now that we all have our 500+ friends it is getting harder and harder to find a reason to go and visit that site. But a big question remains: where do all the bored workers go next?

Third grandma diner this Monday

One of my all.time favorite dish: Pörkölt!Sorry for the short notice, but my small grandma social network project is coming along nicely 😉 with the third diner happening this Monday, feb. 25th (read here for info on the first and second diner), at the Auberge du cheval blanc. This time we will welcome Rosza, a hungarian grandma who will cook typical magyar dishes like the « pörkölt ». For the first time there will also be music during the diner with the Vagalatschk, a band from the region of Vlagachie who will play balkanian music.

The practical informations

When: Monday, Feb 25 from 18h30, food served between 19h30 and 20h30
Where: Le cheval blanc, 15 place d’armes, Carouge, 022 3436161, map here
Format: Flat price for food. The drinks are on and up to you. You sit wherever you want.
How much: 35CHF, drinks not included. We will propose you a selection of wines and soft drinks to accompany your meal.

CAUTION: Booking is MAN-DA-TO-RY and we have a very limited number of seats!

Tel. 022 3436161 or email info@lechevalblanc.ch


The next LIFT events’ dates are announced:

3-4-5 Sept 2008, South Korea.

This event will create a bridge between the continents, introducing the best of South Korea and
Asia to the rest of the world and reciprocally. We will talk about the latest social developments (like the Internet real-name system), mobile technologies, gaming, collaboration, teenagers, and much more.

25-26-27 Feb 2009, Geneva, Switzerland.

For once we have the dates of LIFT09 one year in advance, and as you can see the event is moving back in the month to create a bit more time between DLD, Davos and LIFT. Save the date, and prepare for a few early announcements as we already confirmed a few speakers who couldn’t make it to 2008 but promised to be with us in 2009.

Missed LIFT08?

You could not make it to Geneva last week? Stayed in bed with a bad flu? Get the vaccine next year, and check the following resources to experience LIFT from your sofa.

Blog /press coverage

Some bloggers did an amazing job and it is hard to link to all of them. Head to LunchOverIP, liip, the LIFT community blog (where we had 20 students covering the talks) or Aral Balkan, then there is always Technorati or Wikio for more. And the LIFT press center has links to most articles from the printed press.


Check liftconference.com (downloadable, embeddable, mp3 and mobile versions) or nouvo.ch (embeddable, with great interviews of participants), subscription available via RSS and iTunes. The talks are getting thousands of hits a day (Paul Barnett’s video got 13’000 views in 24 hours…), check them out and pass the word! And there were so many podcasters out there (even Mobuzz TV) I can not link to all of them, use the comments to point us to your videos folks.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-6464805334230166749" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

This year we got the question again: “why are you guys putting all the talks online, you are killing the need to attend!”. Answer is simple: our goal is to spread good ideas as far as we can, and the videos play a big role in that. And let’s get real: the value you get from a conference is usually 20% from the stage (even more when like at LIFT the talks cover a large variety of topics), 80% from the social events/networking/experience. No video will ever replace the LIFT fondue! They simply allow those who can’t come or pay the ticket to access an important part of the conference. Win win.

Online ads: 6% of users account for 50% of clicks

I was on TV yesterday (video here, be nice) talking about Google’s domination, and came up wondering who is still clicking on ads these days. Conventional wisdom used to say that “new users click on ads”, but now that we are all turning into savvy internet veterans with years of surfing under our belts, who still thinks that the results on the right ARE the non-sponsored results?

A new study released this morning came up with a few interesting findings about ads-clickers and tells us that “heavy clickers represent just 6% of the online population yet account for 50% of all display ad click”.

The study illustrates that heavy clickers represent just 6% of the online population yet account for 50% of all display ad clicks. While many online media companies use click-through rate as an ad negotiation currency, the study shows that heavy clickers are not representative of the general public. In fact, heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage. Heavy clickers are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers. Further preliminary Starcom data suggests […] shows no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked.


If the other 50% are indeed fake clicks then we are headed towards a nice crash of the current Internet monetization system.

Generation Y at LIFT08

Interesting discussion during Dave Brown’s Generation Y workshop at LIFT08. It seems asking a few teenagers how they use the Internet is always going to produce a few findings like these:

  • Wikipedia is not seen as a very good/valuable source in school when it comes to usage in school work.
  • They don’t like to buy online much and as a result don’t do it very often, whereas especially for these kids finance is not really a problem. It’s a trust issue.
  • Although they consider their online friends and real friends to be the same (even if that’s talking about 300 people), the ‘real world’ is very important for them and don’t want to spend too much time online.
  • Facebook is definitely still very hot! It’s used for planning of the immediate future and also for homework. Email within Facebook is used, but for totally different reasons as regular webmail such as Windows Live Hotmail.
  • Last stunning fact: The images you find within the results of an image search are free to use for whatever reason, why else are they there? That’s the reaction when someone talked about Creative Commons. So we told them these images still are owned by someone and have some kind of copyright applied to it.
  • Link

We need such a panel on stage one of these days.