I’m sitting on the train on my way back from a rather fun day at the Lancaster Hotel, which you should know has some of the poshest toilets I’ve been able to frequent. I was there for Digital Trendspot 2010, an event organised by Sitecore, with break out sessions from Sitecore users including the Conservatives, Manchester City Football Club and Cadbury, among other charities and businesses alike.

The web is dead. Source:Wired

The main thrust of the keynote sessions was that within the digital world websites are dying, applications are growing and user experience and content is king. Digital technologies and hyper-personalisation, think the personalised adverts and interactions in Minority Report, are becoming mainstream with little cost to the provider, increasing the users’ experiences of the brand and resulting in the brand/organisation/charity being given that most precious of commodities, TIME. Users aren’t wanting to search websites for content, they want to do something entertaining with it.

Interesting fact – of the 44 most visited websites in the world not a single one produces its own content.

There was more to think through but one stand out thought that I’ve been left with involves mobile technology. Mobiles with GPS integration, when coupled with augmented reality, information overlaying reality either through an app or a camera lens, is going to be exceptionally powerful and we’re only starting to see the shoots of that now.

Imagine Heineken creating an application for Heineken loving football fans to be directed to the nearest pub to them which serves a refreshing pint of Heineken. Or an ethical shopping app which allows you to find out which stores don’t use child labour in the production of their clothes. Or restaurants which allow you to listen to reviews from previous visitors, all could turn the marketing world around.

A question I’m left with, is how we can use this technology within the NGO sector, especially with a focus on poor communities around the world.