2012: The Year That Movements Go Mainstream?

I returned from ten days of skiing with my family last night. I'm on mountain time and plan to stay there until the new year. Staying up late and sleeping late seems to be a good way to bring in the New Year. But even so, my version of sleeping late is getting up at 8am. My family's version of sleeping late is getting up at noon. That leaves a fair bit of time to read and think.

And so that's what I did this morning. And here is what I am reading and thinking about:

1) Ron Paul is likely to win the Iowa Republican Caucus. Newt Gingrich says "I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American." Maybe Paul's win in Iowa is the moment when Paul's ideas and the Tea Party movement go mainstream.

2) Occupy's organizers are building their own social network. The idea of a distributed social net that is not controlled by any company or institution has been around for a while. Identica and Diaspora have not taken off. Can a movement make it happen? I think it has a better chance because networks need people in them.

3) Reddit's users want to target a Senator after their successful attack on GoDaddy. The Reddit community can marshall a lot of activity when they want to. Last year's Rally To Restore Sanity was largely catalyzed by the Reddit community. If they do go after a Senator with that kind of intensity, it will have an impact.

4) Wired says that 2011 was the year that IP trumped Civil Liberties. It sure feels that way to me. Beware the backlash.

5) Twitter reports a Massachusetts DA's subpeona to its users. The money quote from that post: "Never declare war on the young," said Harvey Silverglate, a noted civil libertarian, told the Boston Herald in reference to the less-than-tech-savvy wording of the subpoena. "They'll outlast you. They'll outthink you. They'll outdo you… That may be the lesson the DA's office is about to learn."

Back in the spring of this year I told the folks at Techcrunch Disrupt that I thought the next big thing was "cultural revolution" fomented by the fact that roughly a billion people all over the world are connected directly to each other. I'm still not entirely sure how to invest in this megatrend, but it sure feels like it is upon us.