The Return of Civic Engagement, WYPIWYG and 3 More Predictions for 2018

We’re tired of social media, distrust technology and take real actions instead of sitting in front of our screens.

Last week we published a survey on The State of Communities 2018. It consists of 14 questions that we deem relevant to understand how people will interact, engage and share with each other in the coming year.

To prepare the questions we’ve had numerous discussions, researched and shared our observations with friends and experts in the space. The following five theses are the outcome: five predictions that we think will set the stage in 2018, and hope to further investigate with participants of the survey.

The TIME Person of the Year is a movement, not a person. 2018 will see more movements like #metoo that translate into real life actions and consequences. (via TIME Magazine)
  1. We’re tired of social media. Talking to everyone on the internet has lost its appeal. An increasing amount of people abandon the big platforms and focus on fewer, but closer relationships to cut out the noise. The time is ripe for a new type of social media. One that respects the user, the user experience and has sound morals, as Tina Roth Eisenberg mentions.
  2. WYPIWYG: What You Pay Is What You Get. We’ve come to realize that nothing is for free on the internet. 2018 is about subscriptions: not only for entertainment (Spotify, Netflix) or content (New York Times, Medium) but also for being part of specialized communities and connecting with creators we love. Kickstarter’s new platform Drip and Patreon pave the way, others will follow.
  3. We don’t trust technology anymore. Uber and Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a growing distrust towards technology and the people who steer it. 3900 people signed The Copenhagen Letter. With more data, more power, and more AI around the corner, the evolution of technology and its service to our democracies, societies and cultures is the key question of next year.
  4. Community is everything, and nothing at the same time. As communities become increasingly popular the word is getting used in (too) many different contexts: from buying a bottle of milk to engaging with customer service. As such, Community is the new Digital: the word’s meaning becomes so broad that it will disappear as a meaningful differentiator. It’s going to be replaced by a more nuanced vocabulary.
  5. The return of civic engagement. We’ve figured out how to engage online. Next year is our reality check. People will hit the streets, form local groups and take real action for the causes that matter to them. #metoo was only the beginning. 2018 is about hashtags that translate into real movements, actions and consequences.

What do you think? Help us find out and share your insights in the State of Communities 2018 survey.

It’s anonymous and only takes a few minutes. We’ll share the results in January for all of us to learn from.

Thank you,
Kristoffer & Severin