The Future. Now…

I went to the London Bloggers meetup the other day, which had a panel scheduled to talk about the future of blogging – of much interest to everyone gathered there. It was a good evening – thanks due to Fishburn Hedges for hosting (and the excellent confectionary-based goodie-bags!) and the collective conversation of the meetup (and for Andy for organising this regular bash!) – but I didn’t feel that the panel really addressed their topic: they spoke about what their blogs were doing now and what their next steps would be, but next week isn’t really the future.

But whilst such criticism is fine, it did make me I should put my money where my mouth is. What do I think the future of blogging is?

I have absolutely no qualifications for making any predictions whatsoever: which makes me as qualified as most of the people who make predicitions (the others must work in strategy, technology and futurology, and they would have data to support their views. I don’t…). And of course I will be wrong. This seems very presumptuous. But hey…

So here goes…

  • blogging becomes even more mainstream: everyone’s on Facebook; schoolkids use blogs as portfolios of their schoolwork – at least in the west. It can only get bigger, frankly – so normal that it isn’t even worth mentioning. Of course, this means it stops being something specific – no more blogging – but somewhere to put online, digital stuff, and maybe a bit of writing
  • blogging becomes more open: I must thank Lloyd Davis for this one, because we were chatting about this over coffee this morning (indeed, maybe that prompted this whole post – thanks, Lloyd!) – but as blogging becomes ever more mainstream, we will want to own everything: no more beholden to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon or whoever, we will move from platform to platform. This may mean the rise of social aggregators. Or not. (Lloyd pointed me to this excellent, challenging post by JP Rangaswami; he may be saying I’m completely wrong, at least about my next point…)
  • the resurrection of walled gardens: of course, the providers of services will want just the opposite: the value of the networks they create increases with the number of users, so they will do what they can to keep us – and our data – on their platform: sites will work to become more sticky
  • someone will come up with a new, shiny, must-go social network. That does everything. Until the next one comes along
  • changing views of privacy – and with it, perhaps, culture: or vice versa; but as billions more people around the world come online (particularly in Asia and Africa), online – and blogging – will change
  • everything everywhere – not the UK mobile firm, but mobile: the difference between mobile and non-mobile – static? – access will change and become seamless, or change and become completely differentiated, depending on the use. People have been saying the future is mobile for years, so they’re probably right…

I could play this game for ages, and probably will, but that will do for now…


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