'Tis the Season For Predictions

Here are summaries of a couple of social media-related forecast stories that have come across my screen recently.

Eight Experts Predict How Web 2.0 Will Evolve In 2009

You won’t find a lot of big surprises here, but there’s good solid consensus on some driving trends.

  • One is that there will be a strong move toward federated identity that gives control of the user’s data back to the user. It’s ridiculous that people have to create 20 different profiles for 20 different social networks. We should be in charge of our own data and decide how to share it with others.
  • Another theme is that mobile devices will become more location-aware, meaning that applications will deliver targeted results based upon where the user is standing. There’s also general agreement that the Web 2.0 industry is ripe for consolidation. That’s true, but what I believe will be surprising is how minor that consolidation will be, particularly compared to the great dot-com collapse of 2001-2002. Many of today’s successful networks run on a shoestring and will be able to weather the economic storm because their operating costs are so low.
  • One seer from Google’s mapping operations also sees the rise of “collaborative mapping,” in which people working together with friends and colleagues build shared maps of places they care about.

Experts’ predictions for 2009

iMedia Connection asks six marketing and advertising executives about their predictions for 2009. While there aren’t many surprises, some of the panelists’ views are notably well stated. Highlights:

  • Investment and commercial banks left standing will turn to the internet to engage consumers in conversations about trust.
  • Marketers will start to look at the social networking opportunity as a way to extend utility and functionality with their brand attached to it…This means giving people tools to use rather than just throwing a message in their faces.
  • “Traditional” media companies have been actively incorporating social media into their online offerings for years and finding that it leads to greater levels of consumer involvement with content. The result is that, on places such as ESPN.com, BusinessWeek.com, the HealthCentral Network or iVillage, marketers can reap the benefits of the dynamic social media experience, while doing so in a safe, high-quality environment.
  • In 2009, expect to see closed caption technology being used to understand the content of the video clip and that content being matched with relevant advertising on a keyword basis.

Tonight’s Full Moon is Brightest Possible

Tonight the world will witness the brightest full moon ever: about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than the other full moons this year. This is because the moon is much closer to the earth than usual. The moon comes closest to the earth during its perigee, but this year the actual distance from the planet will be shorter than usual.

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