How Do You Spot Trends?

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Spotting Trends and getting a glimpse of things to come is never easy, short or long term.
Sure, it is easier to spot near-term trends, but how would you go about that? Often, as Futurist, I am asked "how do you do it?" Luckily, I am right most of the time, certainly not all.
My methods are not secret so let me share one with you.
First, I take the most notable news headlines from a variety of news outlets, then I summarize the stories in one-sentence and then write them down.
Here is my list for February 12, 2009;
  1. NYTs reporting Dubai Collapse - Cat is out of the Bag
  2. Obama Administration playing into Iran's Hand prior to their elections
  3. Palm Springs Downtown "not dead," Mayor; small businesses demand rent control?
  4. AIG to sell auto insurance biz to Zurich
  5. Mervyn's Sons to buy back brand name to revive
  6. China Drought; wheat crop gone, returning factory worker farmers could starve
  7. Saudi Arabia royal family on last leg - intelligence reports 35 known terrorist plots
  8. Mexican Drug Wars spilling over - big issues in Phoenix and border cities
  9. Argentina - Soy Bean economic mainstay prices down 40% - economic collapse soon?
  10. Slow analog TV switch over delays Google/Microsoft mobile tech plans; need spectrum
  11. Peanut Costs about to go through roof; TX, GA plants for Peanut Corp closed, FDA,CSC,FBI
  12. Kuwait Banks collapsing - 2 banks closed so far
  13. Wal-Mart cutting 600 corporation jobs in Bentonville
  14. Both Political Parties in Israel claim victory?
  15. Satellite Radio merger failed BK imminent
  16. Politicians slam bankers Congressional Hearings, weakening confidence
  17. California State claims "sales tax and gas tax" will fix short-fall?
  18. Oil Tanker collision w/cargo ship off Dubai coast releases 30 tons of condensate
  19. Trade Wars brewing over steel, started by Treasury Sec, comments; China, Brussels, US
  20. Spain loses credit rating, EU Euro project in deep trouble
  21. Detroit Newspaper home delivery only 3-days/week now, BK imminent
  22. CB Ellis hits skid, Commercial RE ready to collapse as predicted, maybe sooner
  23. China for now promises to keep buying Treasury Notes for now?
  24. Stimulus; buy a home 15K in tax credit
  25. Michelle Obama "sexy picture" cover of Vogue Magazine?
  26. Industry, Gov Agency recipients, and employees all over media demanding passage of bill
Next, I ask; Why? Why to each story.
Then, What, what does this mean, is this a trend, what does this tell us about society, industry, civilization, our future.
Then, I ask When, How, Where as well and I run these through my mind very quickly.
I do this each day, it takes a couple of hours to do it right, well, that is after years of doing it, it used to take me 5 hours.
This is one of the ten tactics I use to find future trends, think on it.

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