About – Andrew Lovatt

Andrew Lovatt is managing director of redmoonmedia

I’m the md of redmoonmedia : clear thinking – creative vision, which is the website you are on – go see the homepage if you don’t know us!

I began exploring the internet back in 1981 and began working on the ‘Net in 1989. In the 80’s I ran one of the first “electronic design studios” in Philadedelphia (USA) and was editor of BBS Magazine, the leading trade mag for the 1000’s of “sysops” (system operators were the precursors of the ubiquitous webmasters). I returned to Ireland in 1996, founded redmoonmedia and started an early e-newsletter: IF – Ireland’s Internet Future (see archive here).

Today, together with a small, expert team I work on developing brand and marketing for clients, maximizing the interactive space to create “give & take” websites that appeal to users and meet their ever-increasing need to “do it now” online… or offline.

Today, we don’t make a big deal out of online or offline. The lines have blurred. Modern marketing is about reaching people wherever they are, and online campaigns are intrinsically tied to real world print and paper and bricks and mortar.

In the past few years the onrush of new technology has changed the shape and meaning of “the web”. Broadband and WiFi have changed the way we get onto the net. Does anyone still remember using dial-up modems? The arrival of items like Apple’s iPad are signs that the techie side of it all is being absorbed by a much needed User Friendliness. The direction is KISS (keep it simple). Consumers we don’t need hurdles. Nor should we need to learn much of anything to use it! Can you imagine needing a tech degree to watch television or make a phone call? One of the last legacies to disappear will be the URL itself. Icons are the future.

Back in the beginnings, the internet was a distributed network of servers. It had been intentionally designed to have no centre to it. The idea was that this would leave it impregnable to central attack. (Remember, the internet was originally created to serve the US Military as a defence system.) As the net went mainstream this model disappeared in favour of pay-as-you-go networks with central hubs. This control suits the commercial network carriers, and increasingly suits governments too, as it provides an Off Switch. There are growing numbers of countries whose regimes filter and censor the once open global web. China, Iran and Saudi Arabia are three of many.

Such regularization of networks hasn’t stopped the hackers and troublemakers. Email still accounts for more than 50% of internet traffic and our inboxes fight off a constant stream of spam and malware attacks. There is a growing sense that nothing is safe. This will inevitably lead to more closed and special privilege networks. Ironically, the future of the net isn’t always-on universal reach. It is what I call the 3rd Web. No longer anonymous, users will be required to fully identify and provide verifiable proofs – such as passport and bank details – before becoming a member of these ultra-secure networks.

You can also expect to see the “web” to change from a computer-based model to ubiquitous devices that “connect”. You might remember the wonderful futuristic space station in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, when one of the crew calls home for a live video chat with his daughter. Live web video exists today of course, Skype and iChat etc. But expect to see terminals at airports and travel junctions, where all you’ll need is your brand new identity card to fit in the slot! Did I say ID card? Yes, I don’t think it will be long before our ID gets brought up to date too. Why bother with passports and credit cards? Everything on one net-savvy card. Now there’s something to look forward to!

More soon…