The “Did You Know 4.0” video slideshow creatively explains many of the changes in how people now access information, and just how significant they are. The effect of the internet on print media has been well documented recently with many newspapers and magazines forced to scale back traditional operations to cut costs. The video states that newspaper distribution had fallen by 7 million in the 25 years leading up to 2009 when it was produced, meanwhile the trend had been more than reversed online with individual reads of web content up by 30 million in 5 years.
It also reveals that online content had not only drawn people away from traditional media, but also eclipsed it in content production. That more content was uploaded to YouTube in two months than the three major US television networks combined had produced in over 60 years was a staggering statistic. With so much information online, it will be vital for information professionals to develop policies to assist in separating the relevant and useful information from that which is not. Perhaps even more shocking however was that 95% of songs downloaded in 2008 were not paid for. All three of these shifts have one thing in common; people want more content, but they just don’t want to pay for it. Such an environment needs careful management and regulation through policy to protect clients and the organisation from criminal liability.
“Did You Know 4.0” goes on to focus on changes in how we communicate and how more and more people were sending text messages and in high volumes. Big business was apparently quick to capitalise on this trend by utilising Twitter and other social networking sites for marketing. This shift leads experts to suggest that the moblie device will be the primary connection tool by 2020 and the video follows this idea with a paraphrased comment from Ray Kurtzweil, a futurist, and a director of engineering at Google: “…so what used to fit into a building now fits in your pocket, and what fits in your pocket now will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.” These shifts outline users’ increased desire for mobility of access to information which means libraries must change and develop policy to facilitate digital access and methods to regulate that access.