Prognosticators abound making them my favorite target. It’s hard to miss when the web is so crowded with them. Whenever I see someone talking about what’s coming next I wonder why they are wasting their time blogging when they are obviously so precognitive they should obviously be playing the lottery.
This year we saw so many social media trends come and go (mostly) it’s hard to keep track. QR cdes were last years’ “next big thing” but they have failed to produce the type of results marketers were looking for. Sure, they had their moment in the sun, but with too few people actually making full use of their capability, either because they don’t know how or doubt the results they might receive as a result. Micro-blogging sites Tumblr and Posterous saw an increase in use, as predicted last year, in fact the new Posterous Spaces saw an astounding 15 percent increase in use, but this might have had more to do with the increased use of these platforms by smartphone users looking for a simpler interface than any intuitive design changes.
And then there was the increased use of video as a social media marketing tool. With YouTube consistently ranking in the top ten most used search engines and top ten most visited web sites who didn’t believe that video would see a rise?
So what will be the new trend next year? And will your organization be ready to grab hold and ride it for a full 8 seconds?
I could post my thoughts on what’s coming next, but what’s the use in that? If you regularly use social media you can see the trends yourself. The tools you use every day, if they’re popular with you they’re probably popular with others as well. The increased use of these tools will likely result in further innovations, more wide spread use and a greater flexibility in the ways users can access them.
But what about the trends we can’t predict? Last year we all thought Netflix would be “the next big thing” instead they embarked on a mission which seemed bent on self-destruction, resulting in a significant drop in subscribers, a looming and very possible revenue loss, and a $1.5 million pay cut for their CEO Reed Hastings. We also saw some social media celebrities, folks like Ashton Kutcher who was once the darling of Twitter, put their digital foot in their in their mouth and relinquish control of their social media accounts to impersonal management groups as a result.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe it’s possible to exist in a world where no one tries to predict the Next Big Thing. That’s how we invent, produce and create new and exciting things to amaze and astound us all. But there needs to be some conventional wisdom applied to the information we take in and the sources we use to predict these trends. Don’t tell me what I can figure out on my own. I don’t want to know what you think might be hot next year based on what is happening now. I want to know what’s cooking in the coding basement–so to speak. What’s coming that I’m totally not going to see? What’s the new device that’s going to rock my world, or the new web site that is going to turn social media on its head?
No, really–you tell me: What do you think will be the hottest trend of 2012? Leave a comment below:
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