Adobe is launching an application that will allow people to work offline on forms and other content which will then automatically be posted to websites when they go back online. This is an excellent “transitional” application because many users still have to “log on” to the internet via slow modems or other cumbersome connections, and this will help them participate more actively in the online ecosystem.
That said, I’m increasingly convinced that the explosion of user content is to some extent…over. Certainly we’ll continue to see huge volumes of content pour online, but at least in terms of the USA it is fair to say that internet access and publishing are is now so easy and cheap it seems unlikely there are millions waiting in the wings to jump online. Some studies are suggesting that “most” internet users have little interest in blogging or commenting or participating actively – rather they want to read and socialize but not produce much content. Another interesting factor is that young women appear to be the top content producers in many social networking environments rather than geeky boys who are more likely to spend online time playing games. It’s going to be very interesting to watch the new media trends shake out in the coming years.
My prediction about the evolution of the internet in 2008 is that we will see a lot more excellent applications like Flickr and Picasa to store, organize and share stuff as well as a lot more Twitterfeeds and Tumblrs which allow you to more easily share and assemble content you have stored or created elsewhere.
I don’t think there will be more huge breakthroughs in search or social applications, rather we’ll see people increasing and refining their use of social applications (and to a lesser extent search aps) and we’ll seee a huge number of new programs arise to accommodate the tidal wave of online social activity.
We’ll see blogging go much more mainstream and probably show signs of levelling off in the affluent world as those of us who are compelled to write all get blogs. People in tech who like to write already have blogs, and people out of tech who like to write are mostly in the process of “getting blogs”, and I mean that in both senses of the word “get”. In the developing world, with the advent of One Laptop Per Child and other great technology enabling projects, blogging will begin to take off in extraordinary fashion as everybody with something to share will soon have the means to … share it with everybody.
These are exciting times for those of us fortunate to be on earth and online. Let’s not screw it up, OK?
The FCC has ruled to open the Cable industry in a surprise move from an agency that is notable for NOT regulating markets. This decision is, however, consistent with the idea that since Cable companies have enjoyed an unsual monopoly-esque sort of status in media for some time, and have taken advantage of that by rising cable rates much faster than inflation would suggest they should have. The New York Times reports.