1. HTML5 versus Flash. The bottom line on the subject is video performance. Steve Jobs disdains Flash, so ever wonder why it doesn't work on iPads or iPhones? However, Flash is widely used for ads and other dynamic content. In theory, some combination of HTML5 and Javascript could replace Flash, but for now it faces the same browser compatibility issues. It's not an "us and them" scenario, it's a wait and see as it progresses. Remember to never bet against Jobs unless you just like egg on your face.

2. Celebrating the demise of 3G network? Yes, the smart money is on Apple coming up with a way to get away from AT&T’s 3G network. With the steady growing numbers of iPhone users the 3G network continues to struggle. Users experience more dropped calls on average and, spotty service in many areas. It is a shame such a great device is reliant on a sub-par network. Expect Apple to fix this soon. Hello next generation iPhone iOS4, my new best friend. This device with new functionality will never be as great as it should be on the 3G network. Remember, the only constant in this world is change. And that's a good thing!

3. What happens if we have to pay to use hulu and YouTube? One of the reasons we overlook quirks and dissatisfactions on sites is because it's FREE! So this is a slippery slope for hulu and YouTube. They risk mass exodus and the creation of many other competitors creating perfected options. This could be a good thing for free enterprise. If we have to pay, then we're going to demand and gravitate to the best of the best. That's not all bad in my book. Some hybrid of subscription and advertising based revenue business model is probably in their future.

4. Searchable video. We humans are imperfect, but other than immortality and taxes there's almost no problem we can't solve. So yes, searchable video is very much in our future, if not knocking our door down now. The problem is searchable video has been slow in coming, but new technologies are on the horizon which "listens" to and transcribes the soundtrack of videos, identifies people and other relevant information. Speech recognition and speech-to-text engines are on the horizon as well. Get to know searchable video and make it your friend! This will become a very powerful tool for businesses and brands worldwide. I know your Mama's apple pie and homemade biscuits are awesome, but searchable video is going to be better!

5. Google Sync and Swim. Gone are the days when a haphazard approach to eCommerce is good enough. It's time to get sophisticated, it's time to have a plan, it's time to be creative and it's time to have an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. It's also time to leave no stone unturned, because under that last stone might just be a new sales juggernaut for your business. For example, you MUST broadcast your product catalog in sync with Google Base (Google Product Search) and other channels to get the most of your eCommerce strategy. And don't look at it as hard and complicated. Look at it as an exciting new frontier you're about to conquer. Remember, your web presence is your only employee who can work 24-7 and worldwide! We're in an economic period where sales on the web can make up for lost brick and mortar sales, and even surpass it many fold. But it requires business owners to be proactive, to take bold and real steps to make it happen. With eCommerce, good things come to those who DON'T wait.

Travis McElroy

The Old State House of Design and Development