Clay Shirky thinks that the rise of social software will mean the demise of a lot of traditional jobs. From an IMterview with io9:
Anything where there is a production bottleneck. So the obvious ones are non-litigation lawyering, librarians, anyone in the media distribution business, but also the info managing pieces of things like industrial design, medical decision making, etc.
I'm an optimist so I think this means we will be able to focus on creating value and social interaction instead of bookkeeping and creating more and more managerial layers in organizations. His ideas about content creators being rewarded for their work are slightly more troubling to me:
Another part is that, on average people won't get paid, because the pool of creators has gotten too large. But significant talent will still be rewarded. Wedding photographers and stock photo people are going to get creamed. But Herb Ritts' fees may go up. When the bottleneck is not longer worth paying for (because it mostly doesn't exist) talent becomes the only differentiating metric.
I actually think that the model for content creators will change. Or actually, it's changing already. Lots and lots of people will make money creating valuable content, but many won't make a full-time living doing so. That's fine. There's no accounting for taste and some people's talent will only appreciated by a certain niche. So your books may not be bestsellers, your music isn't in the charts, and your art won't be displayed at the Guggenheim museum. But a profitable side-business? I think so. People will increasingly be engaged in various forms of labour instead of a single job. Work will mean someting different than it is now, and may end up being a more satisfying for a vast body of knowledge workers.
I just ordered Shirky's book, Here Comes Everybody : The Power of Organizing without Organizations, about this subject as the concepts he describes are tremendously interesting and important. I just wonder how society will respond.