Radosh's most scathing criticism is aimed at trendwatching journalists, who routinely make the facts fit the spin they seek. He says it is possible to write a trend story by little more than scanning a few articles or by observing friends. The fabled "rule of threes" is in effect whereby three hipsters are all it takes to make a trend. He writes that, "A trend is never reported as an interesting but ultimately insignificant preference of a handful of people; it must be a revolution sweeping the country or a generation or at least some vast subset, such as women or young people."
Here Radosh is referring to trends that are better labeled as fads, but the point is made all the same. This "trendy-trend trap" as it's been called, is what researchers, writers and marketers must avoid. Be careful in bandwagoning fads or seeking the approval of extreme trendsetters. The look of the ultra hipster may of the moment, but how long will it last before they move onto something else? After all, nothing is as lame as what was cool last week.
When there is the potential for a fad to become mainstream this is when a trend is identified. It is linked to societal moods and the mindset of the masses. Otherwise it is just part of the revolving door of fads, crazes and hype.
More good stuff on my site, Culture Drift.