So how does 2011 portend for social media? I’ve been slogging through a number of articles, studies, blogs, yada, yada, yada. Lot of drivel, some good stuff and some really interesting prognostications from folks in the industry who are well-respected for their ruminations.
A few of these trends look quite intriguing:
Ravi Lichtenberg, founder of Ustrategy, predicts that social media will be ‘supersized,’ that is, we’ll see an increase of service providers throwing together social networks, video, mobile, cloud services and analytics.
“Telecom companies will offer video tools for businesses and consumers with greater bandwidth, storage and syndication; learning management systems integrators will add engagement, archiving, training and collaboration tools,” said Lichtenberg. “We’ll also see more easy-to-use community platforms and applications that will help people manage relationships – some of these may include Loopa, Diaspora and Path.”
“People today look for more personalized private information where we make a social contract around a topic or context that is beyond the reach of search engine results and Facebook crowds,” said Dave Blakely, director of technology strategy at IDEO.
Thought-leader Tom Foremski said for consumers “this means the ability to create smaller, more intimate, context-specific communities; for companies it’s the ability to facilitate a custom-branded experience on their online properties not possible now on Facebook.”
WordPress-based websites will also become more ubiquitous. It’s an open-source application and it’s easier for websites to do SEO for pennies or free with a few plug-ins – this can add more capabilities to software applications.
Stephanie Schwab, who blogs frequently on social media topics, added that social gaming will become huge. FarmVille is fast becoming a testing ground for brand integration – to wit – you can now see promotions from Farmer’s Insurance and McDonald’s, among others and Schwab says that “in the coming year we’ll see more, as well as deeper, brand integrations with existing gaming platforms as more brands create their own gaming structures for consumer advancement into preferred status, coupons or freebies.”
Just the tip of the iceberg here, to use a hackneyed cliché. Should be an interesting year!