The media world probably changed more in 2009 than any other year in my lifetime. And I think that was just the beginning. History is continuing to rewrite itself and the “new normal” is being conceived as I write this. As we consume more and more media, filtering it and tailoring it to our needs will become more common and desirable. The lines between where television and the Internet cross will continue to blur and we may, just may see more pay models for the fittest of online media outlets. Here is Part 2 of My Predictions for 2010 in Tech, Web, and Social Media.
Filtering Internet Noise Will Become a Priority
Humans today have more information coming at them than any other time in history. Take a look at this report by Nielsen that provides some statistics on media consumption by Americans. Our ability to multitask has improved but some studies show that multitasking does not necessarily lead to productivity.
So will this increase in media consumption continue? It probably will but I also believe that there will be a reverse trend that while people may consume more, they’ll be consuming more of what they want and less noise. Since the day will not be getting any longer, what will help us filter our media intake or help us deal with it more efficiently?
Search will Improve and Human-Powered Search Will Grow
Firstly, I think that search will continue to get better as it matures and as more competition develops. Also, human-powered search engines such as Jason Calcanis’s Mahalo or the much-talked-about-mobile-service-turned-site ChaCha will continue to grow in popularity. In my experience, there may been some personal technology challenges that Mahalo has been great at providing answers for and the people who provide those answers (people who dig down deep into Google‘s 10th result page or simply have the experience) are rewarded monetarily. In addition, decision or advice engines like Hunch, a start-up created by Flickr-founder Caterina Fake may become an alternative to traditional search to help people make decisions quickly.
Aggregation and Message Management Services Will Ease Overload
How many different sites must one check to make sure they’re updated on everyone and everything from everywhere? I believe that services that allow you to manage e-mail plus multiple social networks in one place will proliferate in 2010. People are tired of having to go to multiple places to communicate. I’ve already blogged about NutshellMail, which aggregates your e-mail and social network updates in one place and sends you an e-mail when YOU choose. Currently only available in private beta, Threadsy will allow users with multiple e-mail and social accounts to see messages directly relevant to them in one column and indirectly relevant to them in a second column. It also aggregates all information about your contacts (videos, photos, profiles, etc.) from across the web in one place. It was well received at the 2009 Tech Crunch 50 event but some speculated that it may only be appropriate for Internet power users. Many Twitter clients allow you to update Facebook or ping other social networks but few incorporate e-mail. Digsby is another exception but I haven’t been able to try it due to the fact that it’s not yet available for Mac. It looks like Threadsy is a product to watch.
Further Merging of Internet and TV
It began with a not-very-successful Apple TV but that certainly wasn’t because Apple couldn’t handle it. There’s so much at stake that broadcast and cable television will do everything in their power to slow the process of Internet and television becoming synonymous. The advertising dollar still earns much more on broadcast TV than it does online but as that begins to shift so will access to more programs online and the ability to stream those to your television. Hulu is just the beginning of broadcast programs being shown online. If it weren’t for the size of the monitor, much of what’s on broadcast or cable television for that matter could be enjoyed just as easily online. And even that is changing as computer monitors get larger and larger. So the further merging of TV and the Web will continue.
Pay Models for Media Will Increase in Number
It may not be the New York Times that does it in 2010 but it will indeed happen within the next 5 years. A world where everything online is free cannot continue to sustain itself forever. Think about one of the earliest uses web 1.0 business models, online classifieds. How long did the free sources maintain any sense of quality. Now, it’s a multi-million dollar business with Match.com and E Harmony running healthy businesses.
The proliferance of blogs may have delayed major media outlets’ charging for their online content. Why should people pay for something when blogs area breaking news more quickly? But now that some major media outlets are catching up, the pay model could surface.
I do believe that at the end of the day people will pay for quality journalism, even if that’s not in printed form. And I believe that the days of everything being free will likely end soon.
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