Matthew Warren has an interesting piece on the possibility that teleconferencing will displace air travel as a result of pressure to reduce CO2 emissions. I’ve been enthusiastic about this possibility for a while, with the idea that easy access to video telephony through Skype, iChat and similar will lead naturally to the kinds of innovations, both technological and cultural, needed to make teleconferencing a viable alternative.
This is one of those tipping point things (BTW, this term has itself reached a tipping point, to the extent that it has been banned in our household along with “mantra”, “smoke and mirrors” and others) discussed by economists under the category “network externalities”. If we’re going to make use of these things we need to be connected to lots of other people. One of my projects for the next year or so is to establish a wide range of videolinks. This also includes videoblogging (vlogging). All I need is a bit of free time to get things going, which probably means nothing will happen much before 2020.
fn1. Not someone I’ve liked much, but this shows he can do good work if he wants to.