PSFK, an innovation team that calls themselves a "network of experts from across the globe who share the same energy, enthusiasm and wonder" for following the latest news in "trends, fashion, marketing, business and eco-consciousness" have an interesting new project going where they consult the real experts in the trends of tomorrow: users.
In order to track the trends of 2007, the company has sent out a call for readers to make a clip up to one minute in length about the trends they see coming and post those clips to YouTube. They are asking for any trend you predict in the coming year, tagged "PSFK2007" in YouTube, and they plan to collect and watch all the trend videos posted and put together a compilation for their site.
In their call, they even include a sample YouTube clip. They also have a direct e-mail for those who don't want to post their videos to YouTube for whatever reason. The one-minute clips can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
The whole project, while it may just be for fun and not completely considered valid research by some, is an interesting way to find a participatory way to track trends, to invite people to voice their opinions and become talking heads themselves instead of just anonymous particles of the blogosphere.
Kevin Dugan at the Strategic Public Relations blog shares his video, in which he predicts "brands will use vending machines to do more than simply sell products."
Is this an example of harnessing collective intelligence? Or is it the "wisdom of the crowds?" What's the difference? See Henry Jenkins' recent debate on the issues of terminology between these two ideas here. And, in the meantime, think about the trends of 2007 and be the next media Nostradamus.
Thanks to Piers Fawkes for telling me about this.