Mark Glaser (OJR) looks back and forward:
2003 offered up much more than just an unhealthy fascination with blogs. We also obsessed over the proliferation of people with camera phones breaking spot news stories; the rise of Google and Google News; the soap opera at (AOL) Time Warner; the continued inroads of paid content; RSS feeds; massive online coverage of the war in Iraq; viruses, worms and spam overwhelming newsrooms; the struggle for independent news in Zimbabwe, China, Iran and Iraq; and political rhetoric and election coverage.
[In 2004], I’d say we will see an acceleration of many of these trends as online publications start to gain more solid financial footing. The watchwords for the industry are “cautious optimism.”
With the U.S. presidential election front and center for so much of 2004, and the Olympics, expect the three-ring circus that is online media to get more raucous and rowdy — but perhaps it will mature as well.
Among some of the things to expect in 2004:
– A continued explosion in blogging
– Net influences politics
– Participatory journalism
– Real Simple Syndication feeds
– Better content — at a price