Posted by: David | December 16, 2010

Things to Watch in 2011

I’m not calling these trends, but I’m certainly keeping an eye out for the following things in 2011.

  • Search unhappiness – It’s just not working very well anymore; I can hardly tell the ads from the “organic” results. It also misses most of the social, video and audio content where we live and play. And clearly some folks have become expert at gaming the system. Something has to give.
  • Feature fudging – Used to be Google was for search, YouTube for video, Flickr for photos. Now those “things” – whatever we call those services are melding together so many places. What site or service doesn’t offer search? Find me a social platform that doesn’t incorporate text, audio, video and photos. More and more stand-alone services are just becoming features.
  • Social niches — As Facebook becomes a Net within the Internet, I think people will continue flowing to niche social networks, based on interests and needs. Eons for the AARP crowd. LinkedIn for the professional and business types. Ning for closed groups who have decided to share all with some and none with most.
  • Google Empire – It’s spreading, even as its basic search function struggles to satisfy. (See above.)  More of us are moving to the cloud, and for a lot of us, the cloud has Google’s name on it. Gmail. Google Calendar. Google Tasks. Google Docs. Google Reader. It’s almost like Microsoft 10 years ago. At what point does Google start charging?
  • Mobile maturity – Everyone’s on the move and carrying their communications with them. Except the poor, rural and elderly, i.e., people who can’t afford, can’t get or can’t manipulate it. Older folks will come on strong in 2011with the iPad and cheaper tablets that are big enough for them to see text on the screen and manipulate the navigation.

What it means:

For communications professionals, we will have to search harder to locate our audiences – and monitor their activities. We will have to craft the same message different ways to reach those audiences. We will have to present our messages in every form of media – text, audio, pictures and video.

It will be very exciting.


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