NYTimes: The Year in Ideas
We look forward to this special issue each year, where the New York Times Magazine looks back on the most significant trends in technology, commerce and public policy. 2004 was a year when policy and ethics were aggressively tested by a still largely unregulated and ever-expanding Internet economy. The most interesting trends: citizen vigilantes on eBay; do-it-yourself Internet political attack ads; technology for detecting fraudulent photos; the rise of corporate blogging, even among the most conservative and staid of institutions; Big Music's embrace of "mashing" (we'll hear more about the embrace of other underground practices in 2005); and "strategic extremism," an approach to communication exemplified by the closed-world practices of political operatives like Karl Rove (but vulnerable to attack by open-Internet muckrackers like Matt Drudge). All good fodder for discussion in 2005, as technology continues to disintermediate, and shift the balance of power to "the former audience" (to paraphrase Dan Gillmor).