To rewind just a bit, my former colleagues at NCRI created a form of scenario planning called Future Mapping that improved upon scenario processes pioneered in the business world by Royal Dutch Shell. After I had departed for Silicon Valley, they continued a series of public workshops on The Future of Information Commerce. The results are available here via Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. An overview of what I call (for trademark reasons) the Scenario Mapping process is provided in this presentation.
Working in teams, workshop participants decide which of 150 plausible Events provided by the facilitators Must or Must Not happen if the team's assigned outcome or Endstate is to be realized. Events that are Common to a majority of scenarios are called Common Events. These are worth added attention because, generally speaking, more industry stakeholders have an interest in these Events. In the 1997 workshop, 12 events appeared in a majority of scenarios. Here they are with my comments.
- 50% of publishers in alliances with multimedia production houses
Media rich content has become the norm.
- Creative pricing schemes overcome resistance to content controls
The world did not turn out this way. Except for music, content controls for premium content seems alive and well, e.g., high def video distributed via satellite, cable, the Internet, and the latest generation of optical discs. Pricing as such doesn't seem to be related to the acceptance of content controls
- Secure transaction processing widely available on Internet
Encryption and authentication technologies have made this event so.
- Smaller electronic and paper publishers proliferate
Debatable. There seems to be less disintermediation of the major publishers and distributors than might have seem plausible back in 1997, although music might be one area where the independents seem to be thriving. In many verticals, the pendulum has swung toward concentration rather than away from it.
- New world-wide EDI standards agreed
There have been several international standards for EDI defined. Some have broad applicability while others are industry specific, such has HL7 for health care. 1997 was a bit early to anticipate the latest generation of interchange standards based on the emerging semantic web.
- Satisfaction growing with inexpensive information providers
There is a lot of industry specific information that is not available for free. Otherwise, free plus advertising seems to be the norm.
- Information delivery systems turn into sophisticated transaction systems
This depends on definitions. Is RSS and other syndication systems qualify? Advertising insertion systems probably do, but I believe this Event had more to do with substantive content rather than ads.
- Magazine brands weakened on the Internet
This may well be true, although I haven't seen any statistics. Maybe sports magazines are an exception? Do lots of people have SI as their home page or in their RSS reader?
- Majority of news is delivered based on personal profiles
I've certainly customized my news pages, RSS feeds, Google and Yahoo news and blog filters, etc. I've bailed on anything that sends me info based on some profile elsewhere.
- Superdistribution commands a major share of information services payment
Superdistribution--consumers as distributors--hasn't happened. The required integration of Peer-to-peer distribution with (micro)payment processing hasn't arrived.
- New generation of user interfaces greatly expands the market
We forget how boring--even if useful--the Web was in 1997. YouTube, MySpace, Linkedin etc. are new approaches with new interfaces. eBay created a whole new market.
- On average, 30% of home entertainment is interactive
I haven't seen numbers, but based on the substantial rise of gaming and web-based social interaction, this might well be true.