Here’s a Suprise…New Year Predictions!


It’s not really a surprise, but it is always fun to start off a new year looking into the crystal ball. I’m gearing up for the annual “prognostication podcast” with my colleagues at Minnov8 this Saturday and I thought I’d just share five that I’m offering.

Mobile, baby, mobile…laptop sales will remain high and though small screen netbook sales will hold steady in the short -term, they will begin to decline as the adoption of mobile platforms like Android proliferate. The mobile industry will see growth and opportunity in devising new ways of charging for services that are internet data driven not voice driven. Mobile providers may very well wake up and make it easier to switch devices, though I’m not sure how they will be able to address the subsidizing of handsets without a “minimum contract period”. The bottom line is that portable is where it’s at and consumers will be more open to accepting the screen size of a mobile device rather than purchasing a small netbook.

Twitter use by the masses will decline…though much of it wasn’t there to begin with. The amount of activity on accounts that aren’t associated with, and used by social media enthusiasts, online professionals, and junkies will fall even more dramatically as other services like Facebook, and mobile applications offer similar advantages. This is not to say that Twitter is over. It isn’t. Twitters core users, audience, and niche will become more defined. Twitter as an aggregation and sharing tool will continue to grow…perhaps endangering the future of services such as Digg and Delicious.

Marketers will (hopefully) begin to understand the difference between selling via social media and communicating with customers…Okay, maybe that won’t kick in completely in 2010 (in general, marketers tend to be bit slow in understanding intangibles), but we will see progress.  In addition, the future of more and more services (Foursquare, GoWalla, etc) is based on the need to deliver real value…not just ads…quickly to users. It’s too easy to drop a service, block an application, or ignore a campaign for marketers not to understand value to consumer. (Note: The heavy use of GPS and revealing one’s current location to the world will give mainstream users the heebie jeebies and hamper some adoption of this part of the service.) One more thing on this topic…Social Media and Social Media Marketing/Advertising are not the same thing. Ads are less effective than content that provides value. Those that provide value also gain trust and that confidence, both of which can be monetized if done effectively.

Online and Cable Video will begin to exploit the strides made by Hollywood..In the area of production and audience experience, bringing the audio-video “event” to your family room will become paramount. Anyone that sees Avatar in 3D or Imax 3D, like I did (WOW!) has to know that everyone will begin to expect that same level of “Wow!” when they turn on the family “media center”.

The “cloud” is the thing…I still think the word “cloud” is a fancy name for data centers, and is a bit silly, but more and more services will rely on massive data servers around the world to store data and applications. Broadband access and its ability to handle such heavy use will become a bigger issue. We’ll need to make the pipe bigger! Also see mobile above.
If you’d like to hear some more insightful predictions (and plenty of wild-ass guesses) be sure and check out Minnov8 this Saturday. The podcast should go live in the afternoon with a full on post to follow.
That said, I’d like to say Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that you and your family enjoy a great 2010. I encourage you to take a look over the past year and take stock of all the good things you have experienced and all that you have learned from the not so good things. Don’t look back for long though…there’s so much more to look forward to!