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Michael Rogers, The New York Times Co.’s futurist-in-residence, told Inman Real Estate Connect attendees last week that over the next few years, “mobile [will be] the most important piece of the interactive space.” Largely driving the adaption of mobile will be the integration of GPS, and its ability to know location.

“It is incredibly important, especially for real estate,” says Rogers. “Real estate is the very first mobile application for The New York Times. We said we got to do that right out of the gate.”

In other comments, Rogers dismissed “the myth that there is a new kind of cognition.” While many people are multi-tasking, “what we are really seeing is ‘continuous partial attention,’ ” he says, citing research by CPA and Microsoft. The new generation also likes to participate in conversations, but it isn’t especially adept at spreading communications, despite its widespread use of instant messaging and social networks.

A Times study into how news of the Virginia Tech massacre spread showed that the new ‘millennial’ generation was the last to hear about the shootings, across all the time zones. “Gen X and Boomers got it first,” he says.

One key to building products for the next generation is to factor in “the decline in importance of reading, especially long form reading,” adds Rogers. “This is a really visual generation.”

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