Steve Rubel has an interesting post about 10 main trends he considers relevant in the near future:


1. The Long Tail – small players can collectively make up a market that rivals the giants. As Seth says, small is the new big. This applies equally for journalism as well as for marketers.

2. The Read Write Web/Web 2.0 – technologies like Ajax will make the web more dynamic, turning it into a full-fledged platform. Wither the desktop.

3. Timeshifting – consumers will increasingly want to devour media on their own time, on the mobile device of their choice and without commercials

4. Collaborative Categorization – consumers, using technology, will create their own taxonomies that make it easier to find information. This is sometimes called tagging, social search or folksonomies. However, this is just the beginning.

5. Citizen Marketing – consumers will organize – either on their own or with the help of companies – to evangelize products they love and vilify those they don’t

6. The Daily Me – it’s finally here; RSS, AI and personal search tools will make it easier for people to seek out only the news they care about and tune out all else

7. It’s All a Conversation – as journalism becomes a conversation, so will marketing – just like Cluetrain said.

8. What’s Inside is Outside – mobile devices and consumer generated media mean that whatever a single eye beholds so can the world.

9. Trust Marketing – people will increasingly use social networking technology to tune in messages from individuals they trust (including citizen journalists) and tune out everyone else

10. Decentralized Communication – armies of individual employees will use technology to become the voice of every company; like it or not. The solo singer is dead. Long live the chorus.

(via here and here)

In general, it doesn’t seem like technology has changed the way we tick. We have always networked, relied on personal recommendation, we have always spread our message to everyone who would listen, we have always tried to organize the information we take in (TV guides, subscriptions).
But only now, the individual user is empowered to put a bigger lever on in- and outgoing information.

What I find most fascinating is Nr. 8.
I like to look at old photos, books, notes, etc. I have had many discussions with my grandparents, for example, in which they wanted to give me a „feel“ for their youth by showing me pictures connected to the stories they told me. Yet, they couldn’t show me that many. Nevermind videos. There just aren’t any.
They way I use my digicam, the blogs and other digital devices, I’ll be able to show my grandchildren proof of almost every week (at least from the last couple of years onwards). And this goes for many people out there.

In the middle of the last century (ie 1950 onwards) big events (politics, sports, economy, etc.) became better covered than anytime before.
Since a few years small individual incidents became better covered than anytime before. Future generations will have such masses of information to retrieve and evaluate, god knows how they will cope.