Turning inner space into outer space

December 15, 2011

You have only five years left to live

USC Annenberg has a summary of recent studies by the university’s Centre for the Digital Future, which is led by director Jeffrey I. Cole. Here are a few highlights:

Millions of Americans engage in social media every day, yet they believe that the vast majority of the information they find there has almost no credibility.

So does that mean news organizations lose credibility by using Twitter and Facebook? Do we need to work harder at making our efforts there more authentic?

Over the next three years, according to Cole, the tablet will become the primary tool for personal computing. Use of a desktop PC will dwindle to only 4-6 percent of computer users – writers, gamers, programmers, analysts, scientists, and financial planners – and laptop use will decline as well.

As much as I love the iPad, I find it hard to imagine that I would ever give up on my desktop computer. For example, I found the USC Annenberg article on an iPad, but I’m writing about it on an iMac. It just seems more natural this way.

“Most print newspapers will be gone in five years. Circulation of print newspapers continues to plummet, and we believe that the only print newspapers that will survive will be at the extremes of the medium – the largest and the smallest,” said Cole. It’s likely that only four major daily newspapers will continue in print form: The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. At the other extreme, local weekly newspapers may still survive.”

Things are moving fast, but that fast? Of course, if tablets are as ubiquitous as predicted in the second highlight, it will be tough to come up with a rationale for keeping a printed product.

Link: Is America at a digital turning point?