Beware the Fads of the Future

Opinion: They might seem like hot topics now, but in five years we'll all be cringing at the words "RSS" and "blog." Oh wait, we're cringing already.

Last week I took a look back at the cringe-worthy Web design fadsof the past in an effort to offer some cautionary perspective for those thinking about jumping on todays "hot" new tech.

Today, as promised, I wanted to follow up by looking at what might very well be the Web fads of the future that were all going to be cringing about five years from now.

First off, though, what Im not saying is that any of the fads on this list are bad in and of themselves. A lot of them are good; most of them make many technophiles very happy.

Nope, what Im saying is that while they may be good when used appropriately, they can be very, very bad (not to mention dumb, embarrassing and huge wastes of time) when used inappropriately.

Secondly, if youve been forced to use these technologies in your recent projects, I know its not your fault.

Nope, most likely youve been forced to do something dumb because some freshly minted vice president of marketing has heard about it from his or her pals (or worse yet, his or her boss) and is hot on the trail of appearing cool.

You know how it works. Youre sitting at your terminal, minding your own business, when the Powers That Be rush in shouting some new term. "Blogs!" they yell, "Blooooggggsss! We must have a blog!" while wildly waving some business magazine article in your face. Erk.

While you dont have much of a choice in the matter, the fact is that many hot new technologies arent always appropriate for everyone. While they may seem hip and get written about with breathless abandon by business magazines, not all new trends are worthwhile.