As we approach the end of 2012 and cast our eyes toward the new year, I’ve been reflecting on the rapid changes in communications and technology we’ve experienced recently.
The Pope created a Twitter account. Fake press releases (not to mention fake news from The Onion) were reported as real news. Venerable daily newspapers are folding or reducing the number of days they print. Sales of smartphones and tablets are overtaking those of traditional cell phones and PCs.
So what’s in store for 2013? Here are a few predictions.
- Faced with information overload, social media consumers will unfollow more Twitter accounts and unfriend more brands and acquaintances on Facebook. We already saw how the 2012 elections polarized the country and led many to block those with extreme views on both sides. The message here is to be relevant and focus on value-added information.
- More news organizations will share resources. In some cities, TV stations are sharing reporters. The News & Observer has outsourced a lot of its City Council and committees coverage to Raleigh Public Record. One day soon you may see, hear and read one reporter’s story on a local TV station, radio station, newspaper and blog.
- More news organizations will develop branded apps to reach mobile audiences. The apps will include simple ways to share news stories (e.g., sends a link via text or email) and to submit and share news tips, photos and videos.
- Local media will rely more on freelancers and contributors, making it hard to develop relationships with full-time reporters working a particular beat.
- Independent hackers will continue to uncover dirt on companies and politicians but will be more emboldened to sell their findings to the highest bidder, even if it’s the National Enquirer.
- Lindsay Lohan will just go away.
Okay that last one is more of a wish than a prediction, but I’ll be happy if it comes true.