One of the things I love about running my little websites is they help me get my head out of the valley environment (or my ass depending on your point of view) since it is a hugely skewed demographic. The users of my sites are not valley types at all. In paper airplanes it's mums, dads, kids and teachers. On cocktail recipes it's a huge wide ranging audience... mainly non-US and over a huge age range but generally skewed towards a lower income demographic.
Trends that are big in the valley sometimes take a decade to bust out of the valley into the broader consciousness; for example RSS or Blogging. Some bust out of the valley seemingly instantly and find their main life outside; for example social networking or online classifieds. It feels like the mobile internet/internet everywhere is an example of the former and has been called out as the next big thing now for almost a decade.
There is a burgeoning microtrend happening across my websites in an area we have been talking about in the tech industry for seemingly eons. I am seeing all kinds of new operating systems appearing on the list of operating systems my users are using to access my site. This is a list that has been essentially 7 entries long for the last 10years. The big 4 in order are: iPhone, Danger Hiptop, Playstation Portable and iPod. These new operating systems are now just shy of 1% of visits to my sites.
That 1% number is pretty important to me... think 1% of internet advertising revenue being $300MM annually (ish) or 1% of goods sold on eBay being $600MM annually (ish). This is important to me since a $30MM market isn't really big enough to make the big guys look at it but this volume of potential is finally proving worth the effort. It's also true that a market at that scale can finally support a significant number of startups without them needing so much VC money it's not worth it.
Maybe I am overhyping the importance of average websites as canaries in the coalmine but I feel these sites are not a tech savvy demo, not designed with mobile in mind and if they are still getting c. 1% of visits from mobile this is a good indicator of a base line of mobile interest.
I have always loved the ideas of mobile internet transforming the world but I never saw how there was enough revenue there to really support a company. Now I see it and I am very excited about seeing what all the clever folks around here do to use the internet everywhere.