David Weinberger makes 9 guesses about the future of blogs when they get really popular:
1. The word "blog" will expand to cover any linkable posting (a place) where a person gets to speak her mind more than once. If it's more permanent than IM, it'll be a blog.
I am not too sure about this one. I do agree that the term "blog" will broaden in the future - I just don't know if it will go as far as the description above. The line between "home page" and "blog" is already blurring however.
2. Group blogs will be at least as common as individual blogs. Most people don't have time to stoke the blogfires every day, but groups do.
I agree that group blogs will grow in popularity. In business, team blogs will become an important cornerstone of project and knowledge management. I also see family blogs taking off, especially with family that are geographically seperated. Instead of sending letters and email, family members will post text and photos to a site that the whole (extended) family can view.
3. The lines between blogs and discussions will blur. Contributing to a blog discussion requires less effort than creating your own and taking the initiative to come up with topics every day or so. The regular participants in a blog discussion will consider themselves to be blogging. (We see this beginning to happen in the comment boards of the Howard Dean blog.)
Definitely. I have put this in action on my Seinfeld Blog. I have included a Movable Type-powered discussion forum where visitors to the site can start their own discussion threads / blog entries. I also have an idea in the "comment blogging" space that I will save for another time...
4. The lines between email and blogs will blur. Already we can post to our blog via email. But at some point, maybe we'll be able to press a button on an email to post it to the Web, with the link sent automatically to everyone on the message's cc list, creating an instant blog site that grows as the thread grows. There's no technical barrier to this, of course, and the functionality already exists already almost and kind of, but it hasn't been presented to us as a type of blogging. Something like it will be, and the ecological niche between email and blogging will be quickly filled in.
Yes, an easy to use tool or gateway is all that is needed here for this to take off. Of course the blog spam issue will become even more important at that point.
5. Corollary: Closed circulation blogs will become as important as open blogs. Closed circulation lets blogs serve the function of cc lists.
I agree. The examples above of team and family blogs would likely be limited to smaller groups of readers.
6. Corollary: Many blogs will be event-based and time-limited. I.e., we'll have Leah's Graduation Blog that lasts for a month and the Class Trip to Shenandoah Blog that lasts for two weeks.
Absolutely. I recently created a wedding blog for this purpose and a honeymoon blog is planned.
7. Blogrolls and buddy lists will thoroughly merge somehow.
This and more IM-blog integration will be very cool. Make a blog "comment" via IM and other cool things will make blogging more "real-time".
8. The distinction between the big, high-traffic blogs and the rest of the world of blogging will be increasingly sharply etched. The "tail" will gain more and more value as the number of high-traffic blogs necessarily grows much more slowly. At some point, the "A-List" bloggers won't even seem like bloggers because what they're doing is so different from what the rest of us are doing. By analogy, when I receive some massive-circ email newsletter, I don't think of it as being like email I receive from a friend, even though both are using email transport. (This doesn't mean the high-traffic blogs will be of less intrinsic value. It does mean they'll be of less value relative to the increasing cumulative value of the lower-traffic blogs.)
This is hard to argue with. Clay Shirky's thoughts on this are also very interesting.
9. Blogs will be of increasing value to democracy.
I would replace "would be" with "are" - and yes, that value will continue to grow. Any tool or medium that empowers people to express and share their opinions is a good thing.
I will add a tenth, just to make a round number. This one is pretty obvious, but I think it will be a huge part of the future of blogs:
10. At least half of all personal blog entries will be made via mobile wireless devices. Photoblogging and "live coverage" of events will increase. And of course, when bandwidth permits, everyone and their dog can have their very own reality video blog.
I really need the help of someone who lives in Montreal.
In preparation for my upcoming honeymoon in Egypt, I mailed our passports and travel visa applications to the General Consulate of Egypt in Montreal - or so I thought. It turns out that the address on the Egyptian Embassy website is wrong - and has been for some time. Canada Post was no help - all they could tell was that they delivered the package to the wrong address. They didn't even get a signature as I requested. The Consulate in Montreal has had this problem before, but they don't have a phone number for the person or business at the wrong address ()they think it might actually be a residence). The package was delivered October 1, and it has not been returned.
I need someone in Montreal to help me find out what person or business is at 3754 Côte-des-Neiges. A telephone number for that address would be very helpful. Also, if anyone happens to live or work near this address, it would be extremely nice if you could knock on the door and ask about the package that was delivered on October 1st - addressed to "The General Consulate of Egypt" from "Mark Carey". Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Thank you so much in advance.
Si tu ne parle pas anglais, je peut lire et communiquer en francais, mais pas tres bien. Merci si tu peut m'aider.