The following is cross-posted from XCity Magazine, the student magazine for City University, where I teach online journalism. They asked me to look ahead 25 years. I barely think you can look five years ahead at the moment, but I agreed anyway. This is, of course, not meant to be taken seriously…
If you’d asked someone in 1986 to predict what journalism would be like now, you would have ended up with Michael J Fox playing a techno-draped future hack. In a flying car. And lots of fluorescent pink.
We have a tendency to cast the future as an exaggerated present. We give too much power to technology, and not enough to people. Any prediction I can come up with for 25 years’ time will, of course, say more about 2011 than 2036.
“To follow the money, you have to shift from a basic view of a market as a matching of two parties — buyers and sellers — to a broader sense of an ecosystem with many parties, only some of which exchange cash.
“… There are dozens of ways that media companies make money around free content, from selling information about consumers to brand licensing, “value-added” subscriptions, and direct ecommerce (see wired.com/extras for a complete list). Now an entire ecosystem of Web companies is growing up around the same set of models.”