I wish I knew what I wanted to say here. I think the future of Folk/Trad music will be of the same hard scrabble existence it now experiences. The small contingent of enthusiasts will keep it alive and passed on to another generation of enthusiasts, but I can't foresee any great changes. Technology has changed our world and we have tried to use that technology, such as the DT, to ensure a place for the music. That same technology has also changed the world so dramatically that the ways of old are probably lost forever.
We all tend to abhor the navel contemplator type of songwriter and wonder why there are so many of them. One reason is obvious. The source of many of our favorite songs is also lost in the technological age. People aren't sitting in their cubicles in front of a computer and joining with others in singing songs to make the work pass better. Airline freight handlers aren't singing either. There's one helluva' difference between riding the rails now and sixty years ago! Don't see too many chain gangs. For any number of reasons, and a large one being technology, our society and values have changed dramatically. We can still write new shanties, but the six or ten guys turning a winch aren't to be found. The value of many songs lay in the truth of the song, the need of the song.....not the words.
I'm not doing too well here am I? Oh well...maybe later. There is a point to this rambling, I just can't seem to get there!