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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

None of us know what the future holds. Speculation about the way the internet is going to develop, how people will behave online or where they will get their information from, is little more than guesswork.

Let me give some examples:

Software

As a middle aged man who started using the internet a long time ago (mainly to play Ultima Online rather than do anything useful), I remember when an amazing new piece of software appeared. ICQ was the first popular instant messaging service to run on Windows.

All of a sudden, e-mail seemed slow and cumbersome. Everybody had to have ICQ.

Where is it now? My ICQ buddy list has dwindled over the years, while my Windows Live list has grown.

I'm sure people still use ICQ. According to Digital Trends, it has an estimated 15 million active users.

According to Microsoft, Windows Live is used by 330 million people a month (I'd guess many hundreds of millions more have it installed and never use it).

I don't know where Digital Trends gets its figures from, but I doubt anyone who uses instant messaging much is going to disagree that ICQ has been overshadowed.

So, will this happen to Twitter? I doubt it, but I don't know. Neither do you. Let's see what happens when Twitter is sold to AOL while Microsoft and Google launch their joint-venture micro-blogging service.

Hardware

The first big wave of internet hype, about ten years ago, didn't come to much (although some of the predictions are beginning to come true today).

Rather than sit at home in front of computer screens, people embraced technology nobody had really predicted - mobile phones and texting.

But have we now entered an age when the PC becomes as commonplace as the television?

Maybe. But maybe Microsoft's dream of flogging us all integrated home entertainment systems which let you play Counterstrike, watch high definition DVDs, browse Facebook and listen to music - all from a box far cheaper and less complicated than a PC - will come true instead.

As consoles like the Xbox and Wii shift from gaming machines to all-round entertainment and social media systems, people may not feel they need to shell out on a PC after all.

The significance of this is that consoles are designed to be idiot-proof. They are harder to mess up, for example by downloading Trojans or accidentally wiping your hard disc.

So they are far less amenable to small start-ups or amateur coders producing new apps. The days when bloggers are raving each week about Floogle, MyBo or some other bizarre new service may be limited. Or maybe not.

Manners

Somebody once invented a horrible word - netiquette. You laughed at anyone who used this word, but generally followed its conventions

They included a prohibition on cross-posting - posting the same content to lots of different places - and a dislike of shilling, or self-promotion. (Shilling doesn't necessarily involve making money, as actually making money on the internet was pretty much unthinkable anyway).

It's an understatement to say that's all gone out the window. Today, people boast of their technical prowess in using ping.fm to post the same content to a dozen different places.

Twitter abounds with people hyping up their blog (I'm going to do it once I post this) or slyly informing us how amazed they are that they were included in a list of the most influential bloggers with a B13 postcode.

And maybe that's better. Perhaps it's just sensible to make your content available to as many people as possible.

But if you're going to boast that you "get it" and understand the rules of the game, it can't hurt to consider that they will be different tomorrow. Maybe.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

Contact me:

Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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