Where are we going?

I’ve kept an eye on all this online stuff for a long time, I’ve moved through phases from passionate advocate to bored pragmatist and back again, but the big question that no one has the answer to is: where is all this stuff going?

Are we moving into a world (eventually) where everything is online? Are we moving into a hybrid world that blends online with traditional – and if so, what’s the mix?

This is a really tough question. It’s not enough to wave the Web 2.0 flag, nor to keep one’s head in the sand.  This is a serious matter.

I’m waiting for an answer.

I do still believe – that for the foreseeable future – we’ll have a blend. I think we’ll see some re-balancing with traditional media offering more online content, with channels such as blogs and podcasts capturing more visitors, with broad and special interest publications remaining important.

But that’s a guess – and not even a very educated one.

Maybe we need to wait for a shake up before we’ll get a better view.

In the meantime the vast majority of PR practitioners will continue to work with traditional projects, tools and channels while slowly blending online elements for specific clients or projects.

The Online world is impacting everyone’s reputation,but we’re still waiting for the tools that will enable PR practitioners to have a “conversation” with 3.2 million consumers.

I think there’s some preparatory work to be done in better understanding how out audience(s) is moving online.

Maybe the recent explosion in Facebook (even among the old farts) adoption will give us an insight into the broader implications of the online network.

Change is coming, but where, how and why is still a little unclear.

For those now tempted to write a startlingly intelligent comment about how “I don’t get it” and if “you’re not online it’s too late” – don’t bother. Here in the real world it’s not quite that simple.

We should embrace change – I do – but that doesn’t mean it’s not puzzling and confusing.

That’s why you have to keep your eye on it.  Try it.  Measure it.  Review it. Again. And again.

If anyone has the answer, drop me a line, we’ll keep it our little secret and clean up 🙂 .