Link to December 29 Open Forum post.
11. Electronic Libraries
Digital books are fast becoming available to the public for free: Libraries are starting to lend e-books and downloadable audio books that patrons can access from home; Google is working with authorities on its controversial plan to create the world’s biggest digital library; and the EU’s i2010 initiative includes a digital libraries program.
Online sharing will accelerate with the emergence of lifestreaming: aggregating one’s social media channels via applications like Posterous and Tumblr, resulting in a centralized stream of text, images, videos and links. This new communication channel bridges old-school blogs and Twitter.
Watch for more so-called public media organizations that emulate the Voice of San Diego, MinnPost in the Twin Cities, the new Texas Tribune and a well-funded upcoming San Francisco venture, among others. Meanwhile, legislation before the U.S. Congress would help existing newspapers gain nonprofit status.
26. Paying for Online Content
31. Retail as Third Space
Retail spaces will increasingly serve as a “third space” that’s only partly about shopping. Cash-strapped consumers can enjoy free services and entertainment or just socialize, while retailers attract more potential shoppers. Apple stores are a prime example; now Apple’s Steve Jobs is leading a revamp of Disney stores intended to make them more experiential. In China, IKEA has become a daytrip destination.
34. Slow Communication
A backlash against today’s proliferation of speedy and thoughtless Tweets, status updates and e-mails, and our always-on, skim-and-pass-along communication habits. Watch for more Web-based products and services like woofertime.com, a Twitter-parody site that requires at least 1,400 characters per post, and Email Addict from Google Labs, which forces 15-minute e-mail breaks by freezing the user’s e-mail window.
38. TV/Web Integration
At the same time that TV viewers are migrating in droves to the Web, many new TV sets are adding Web access capabilities. As real-time, interactive TV viewing gains steam, watch for more live chat and Tweeting to accompany broadcasts. Watch also for more futuristic technology, like the remote control IBM is developing that automatically blogs or Tweets what the user is watching.