Almost as much fun as people- watching is trend-watching. Facebook seems to have been the trend of the decade. It came out of nowhere and was suddenly everywhere. And like Myspace and AOL (remember them?), Facebook may go out of fashion. That's the problem with trends. They become hugely popular, often very quickly, but don't have lasting power.
The Kindle was around for three years building steam before it became the Big Thing, changing the way people buy, read and publish books. Will it have lasting power? Looking at Amazon's history, I would say yes. But what do I know? I get sucked into believing in trends as much as anyone.
Right now, I am watching Twitter. Although I've read posts and articles "explaining" Twitter, the only way to make it work for you is jump in and get immersed. Much like learning a new language. I find Twitter one of the most exciting, challenging social media venues right now. I don't know if it will be The Next Big Thing, because I doubt that it can meet the common ground necessary to make it as huge as Facebook.Or blogging.
Blogging is running its course as The Next Big Thing. It used to be websites, everybody had to have a website--now it's a blog. Something may come out of nowhere and take the place of blogging, but I don't know what it would be. Any ideas? What's your best guess on The Next Big Thing?
What fascinates me about trends is that they seem so real, so lasting and solid. How could anything so very powerful, holding the interest and dollars of numberless people-- in the case of Facebook, billions and billions-- ever disappear? Well, just remember the Titanic. And the Roman Empire.