Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Trends Report Card, Part III

Here's the final part of our report card:
  • The rules for social media will continue to evolve -- rapidly. Our point: Companies are still learning how to navigate social media, which gives newbies the opportunity to jump in, and to learn from what others are doing well as well as from mistakes others have made. One challenge remains: staying ahead of the range of sites, which can rise and fall in the once dominant Friendster. Google-Plus launched in 2011 after some high profile social media failures on Google's part, but which generated 65 million users in a few months. So Google-Plus has quickly become a site that businesses should consider as part of their social media strategy. It's not to late to sign up, but it does mean another site to pay attention to, in addition to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  • There weren't media stories directly about this but in 2011, companies were judged by how quickly they respond to social media situations.  For example, when Kenneth Cole posted an offensive tweet about protests in Cairo during the Arab Spring, it took him six hours to respond to criticisms.  The story became focused on the amount of time it took Cole to respond. Overall: A.
  • We said the press release would not die in 2011, and we feel that it didn't, even as some companies used Twitter to issue news.  We feel that the press release will continue to be relevant in 2012.
  • Traditional media did move to a stable, if fragile, footing in 2011, as we predicted. 
  • While there were more apps designed to allow viewers to interact with other viewers while watching TV, these apps are more for avid fans and did not exactly become common. Perhaps that's because it's an uncomfortable combination of lean-back activities like watching TV and lean-forward activities like using a computer. (Expect to hear a lot of people talk about lean-back/lean-forward activities in 2012.) We overstated this one. Grade: B-.
  •  Hybrid, mashup and curation were used a lot in 2011, but they were not the most overused words. According to Lake Superior State University, the list of most overused words include: Amazing, Occupy, baby bump and man cave. I really dislike the last two. Grade: B.
  • We were right about some of the top stories -- the economy, health care, politics, and the battle among Google vs. Apple, etc. (Check out an excellent Fast Company cover story that further validates this prediction: The Great Tech War Of 2012: Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon battle for the future of the innovation economy.)  We were wrong about 3D TVs -- not much media interest when there did not seem to be much consumer interest in the technology.Oprah's network, OWN, got some coverage, but was not a major story -- just as it did not turn into a major cable network. Yet. (Don't bet against Oprah.) Overall grade: B+.
We'll publish more of our annual predictions tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check out all our 2011 predictions here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.

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