While I’m no Nostradamus, the year-end has me thinking what 2009 might be like for interactive and social media – will it all be “harmonic”? Here are 5 predictions:
1. Broadcast TV and Web Converge: While I’ve called this the holy grail of “harmonic convergence”, it seems inevitable that consumption of media is on fast track of becoming a much more interactive experience in lieu of a passive one – instead of having to “go online” to interact with and extend broadcast content (in parallel), we’ll see several more examples of being able to just “go” in 2009 as a single integrated web/tv user experience. I have a hunch CNN will lead the pack on this one.
2. Boomers embrace Facebook: While my mom is still not on Facebook (although she did bring it up last night over Christmas Eve dinner), I’m willing to bet we’ll see a notable spike in Forrester’s Social Technographics profile for boomer “joiners” of social networks (mainly Facebook). The challenges of 2009 will compel people to further connect and support one another – families will want to stay close even if it has to be virtually – and that means boomers will not want to feel “left out” of the social conversations, especially with their kids and grandkids. Facebook will be a key facilitator in helping to make that happen.
3. Media Significantly Consolidates: The perfect storm of new and embraced media distribution channels, the horrible economy, and social media “citizen journalists” is only bad news for traditional media, mainly news-based print publications (i.e. newspapers). The fact is,we can get news in real-time online – we live in a world of instant gratification andup-to-the minute (sometimes second) reporting of events. We’ll see a major shakeup or two in 2009 with some big name news publications.
4. YouTube Goes Commercial: Google is looking to monetize YouTube and is trying hard to do so. This year, the site has seen lots more sponsored ads, featured movies, brand channels, and various other advertising experiments. The economic conditions of 2009 will force YouTube to become far more commercial than the user-generated, more organic experience it was a year ago.
5. Twitter Grows Up: This was a big year for Twitter as it seemed to go mainstream as broadcast news and brands embraced the micro-blogging platform. Applications like TweetDeck turbo charged the Twitter experience creating a power user-base. I have a hunch that at some point in 2009 something significant will happen with Twitter – maybe an acquisition or redesign in order to monetize the service and help it through its adolescence. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lose the elegance of its simplicity.
Despite the economic outlook for 2009, I welcome the new year because I really believe it’s a year to re-group & re-affirm, innovate, and lay a solid foundation from which to grow upon when the economy turns around. Bring it on and happy holidays!
Last week’s ice storm crippled the state leaving hundreds of thousands without power and phones. A week later many (including my mom) are still left in the dark and dozens of schools are still closed. Since those of PSNH’s customers without power can’t access real-time traditional media (TV, Radio, and let’s throw in the web as “traditional” at this point), PSNH took to alerting those through mobile via Twitter.
I learned of this not via my mom (who still has and uses a rotary phone) but by CustomScoop’s report on the FIR Podcast. Kudos to PSNH for leveraging non-traditional media channels to reach people and congrats to my home state for making its mark in the Web 2.0 world.
Was walking home from work and noticed a couple people picketing and handing out flyers outside of a popular retail store. In short, they were accusing the store of unfair business practices and created a website around an entire campaign that launched today against the brand.
Coincidentally thereafter, I bumped into a buddy of mine who works in PR. I mentioned that I thought the company should engage the group and listen to what they have to say (and in the process be able to clear up facts and show they listened). He was emphatic in saying that that would be a huge mistake as it would “create news” within the press and call undue attention to fanatics. One thing he said which I agree with is that it’s important to, first, assess the situation, its severity, and then develop a response plan – that the response plan could be to “do nothing” if it’s deemed to be an “outlier situation”. I was happy to hear "listening" as a key part of his point-of-view.
Call it the social media in me, but it seems that at least acknowledging the situation shows that the company heard the message. Take a lesson from the recent motrin moms campaign or the Chevy Tahoe debacle, or many of the other brands that got punk'd within the social web. My PR buddy was concerned about the mass media but didn’t seem to take serious social media.
Often times the actual effect of situations like these can be different for large corporations versus small businesses (but not always). Two weeks ago another friend of mine went to confirm his dog grooming appointment and Googled the local company to get their phone number. One of the top results was a “sucks blog” about the company that depicted an incident that happened there. He freaked out and cancelled his appointment…and then told his many dog owner friends who go there about the blog and the alleged incident. They all have since found a new groomer. This is a small business and the impact to that business is likely to be felt because of social media and word-of-mouth.
So when should corporations show they’re listening? When is a non-response the right thing to do?