IT Trends for 2011: Things Might Be Very Different Today (Abstract)

I will be giving an keynote talk this Thursday at the Wilmington Information Technology eXchange and Conference hosted by the University of North Carolina Wilmington Cameron School of Business.

Title: “IT Trends for 2011: Things Might Be Very Different Today”

Speaker: Charles Severance – bio at –


This session looks at the history of the Internet and World-Wide-Web paying particular attention to some of the moments where it was not assured that things were going to work out and produce the user experience today. Via video interviews, we meet a number of the innovators of the Internet and World-Wide-Web and focus on “what might have happened if things had not worked out the way they did”. While much of the research in Internet protocols and technologies was very deliberate, until 1994 it was not clear that either the Internet nor the World-Wide-Web had any purpose beyond connecting academics, scientists, and computer scientists. In many ways, both the Internet and World-Wide-Web were “lab experiments” that escaped “into the wild”. We look at those moments where the lab experiments “escaped” and imagine possible alternate realities if things had turned out differently. We conclude with a few emerging IT trends for 2011 and beyond.