At some point very soon, we’re all going to have to reconcile the new reality that everything is in real-time and very few of us will ever look back to see what we missed.
Email: "Mitch, I didn’t know you were doing a public and free speaking event in New York City."
Me: "Yeah, I mentioned it on Twitter yesterday."
Email: "Oh, I was a away from my desk for a short while, I guess I must have missed it."
Are we really at the point where if something is really important we’ll eventually see it, but we rarely do look back to see what we missed?
It all started with RSS and great applications like Google Reader. You would pull the information you wanted into one centralized location and only take a glance when something new popped up. Without realizing it, this technology began to shift how we receive and consume information. Now, with Twitter, things are changing again. Anecdotally, very few people I have connected with look to see what they missed on Twitter beyond a couple of hours or so. The logic? If it was truly important it would keep trending and still be in the conversation stream.
The half-life of content is shrinking.
At some point soon, we’re going to have to make a serious decision: are we creating content for the power of search and to ensure that everything we think and publish is findable over the years, or is that dream about to die and we’re on the verge of creating content in real-time – in short bursts – that are meant to live and die in the moment? It could be a hybrid of both, but being able to index and navigate through the mass amounts of text, audio, video and images seems more and more like a daunting task versus a powerful and easy resource.
Whatever the case may be, the power of content’s value seems to be shrinking in terms of long-term worth and increasing in terms of "what’s happening right now."