Monday, December 22, 2008

Social Media Predictions 2009

With the economy in a slump and budgets being cut in traditional print and TV advertising campaigns many will be looking to the Web 2.0 world to reach their constituents.

So what should be on your Web 2.0 radar for 2009?


1. Social Media Maturation


Social Media will cease to be such an "experimental" field in marketing and will start to become part of the main core of good campaigns.

2. Open Standards for User Data

The future of social media is user's owning their data, deciding who to send it to. Look for more companies that currently host the user's identity to have less control over that, as things like Open ID take over and more companies try to compete by giving users more control over themselves. Look for ways users can own their own data, and companies that might offer that, sort of like a personal information bank. The biggest innovation will be the opening of social networks so that they can exchange profiles, social relationships, and applications. As such, companies need to think about how they will "open" up their businesses. For example, rather than create your own community, could you leverage a community that already exists on MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn?”

3. Mergers/Acquisitions

Mergers/acquisitions for some of the weaker social network and Web 2.0 platforms. Investors will manage fewer entities but will commit to seeing them come to market.

4. Location Based Services

Location based services will proliferate and become more useful to the end user. As a user, I have to say, I love that my iPhone apps know where I am. And the value of location services is only beginning. Bring it on!

5. Aggregation Services

Aggregation services will change from just "drinking from the fire hose" to become very specific aggregation tools, perhaps with very specific use cases. The amount of data we can consume as humans stays limited, but filtering that data to become useful for specific reasons is not only something that's doable, it has an incentive... targeted customers. Those customers might be businesses or consumers, but the days of shooting from the hip with a shotgun approach are quickly ending. Shooting from the hip will stay, because it's fast, easy and cheap (and will get faster, easier, and cheaper) to build web applications. But being fast doesn't mean you're being smart.

6. Social Media Business Model

The next phase of Web 2.0 will be proving there's a business model behind social networks that is financially viable. People don't like being advertised to, which is in part, what social media is about....the soft sell, or "awareness creating." Yet traditionally, ads have paid for wonderful services and programs that we all enjoy. So its finding a balance that makes sense.

I personally hope the words "Web 2.0" and "Social Media" begin to get phased into newer concepts as they have become part of the ubiquitous fabric of the landscape. This past year we have seen the relentless ongoing media hyping of these trends and terms and this has created a bubble effect... Many other areas deserve our attention.

Hoping this next year brings real business value and success for those that have percevered in this space.

Warm Holiday Wishes

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