Rainie, founding director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, presented a thoughtful list of the key “life changes” that are resulting from content digitization, media proliferation, increasing Internet depth (broadband) and breadth (wireless), the inherent pliability of digital media, and the ongoing march of Moore’s Law:
1) The volume of information grows and the “long tail” of information expands and becomes more visible (Chris Anderson)
2) The velocity of information increases and “smart mobs” “a form of self-structuring social organization through technology-mediated, intelligent emergent behavior” emerge (Howard Rheingold)
3) The venues of interacting with information and people multiply and the availability of information grows: place shifting and time shifting occur, and multitasking becomes a way of life
4) The vigilance of information changes in two directions: attention is truncated as people live in state of “continuous partial attention”(Linda Stone); attention is elongated as engaged users go for deep dives into information flows that interest them
5) Venturing for information changes: search strategies and search expectation spread in the search engine era; people believe that anything they need to find is available.
6) The valence (relevance) of information improves – search gets better. “Daily me” and “Daily Us” become realities
7) The variety of information people encounter increases, especially for heavy users: they “bump into” news; the nature of serendipitous encounters changes
8) The vitality and character of information encounters change; boundaries break down between office/home/school; work/play; education/entertainment; consumer/producer; private/public
9) The vetting of information becomes more “social”: credibility tests change as people ping their social networks; the Internet becomes “personified” in people’s social networks – “Dr. Google,” “Pastor Yahoo”
10) The voice of information democratizes and the visibility of new creators is enhanced: the read/write, web 2.0 world facilitates participation and the rise of amateur experts; privacy expectations and norms change; personal identity is more flexible
11) The viewing of information is disaggregated and becomes more “horizontal”: new reading strategies emerge as coping mechanisms (Allen Renear)
12) Voting on and ventilating about information proliferates: tagging, rating, and commenting on material is enabled; collective intelligence expands (Pierre Levey and Henry Jenkins); a “5th Estate emerges (William Dutton)
13) The viability of important personal encounters changes as people can be deeply present with each other even if they are not physically present: conversations never end; “absent presence” and “present absence”
14) Social networks become more vivid and meaningful, changing the structure of friendship and basic norms of human encounters: When am I available? How do I initiate and respond to pokes?