Seana's Holiday Hot List
I write to you as many of you have begun your Hanukkah, and Christmas is a few days away. I know it's hard to focus on insertion orders, time sheets, expense reports, and a whole stack of paperwork that needs to be in by year's-end.
I hear several celebrating Christmas haven't even begun. Well if you want something online, today is the last day to make purchases. So the bottom line is: You are most likely unfocused this week and have a bit of stress building as time is a tickin'. So in light of all that is here or approaching, let your spinning wheels rest for a bit and consider this my holiday cheer.
As we approach year-end, let's take a look at what's hot (in no particular order):
Search. Paid placement. Many planners and buyers I know say Google and Overture is the only place they've spent their budgets this year. Everyone has been talking about Google all year. It's a term that's become a part of everyday vocabulary, "Hey I Googled you and found..." SEO used to be the unsexy way to increase rank. Well it hasn't been pretty up but just about everyone has caught on. They've caught on so much that these two disciplines coupled have formed a new acronym: SEM (search engine marketing).
P2P. Otherwise known as peer-to-peer. Sites, like Napster, were the talk of the town a few years back. The concept of open file sharing between computers sent many on a download frenzy. When "regulation" caught up with file sharing, other companies came out with solutions. Kaaza and Gnutella became hot. Others like eDonkey and Direct Connect popped up. Sharing, swapping, and stealing haven't stopped. The RIAA even has TV ads of kids that have been busted for illegal downloads. Napster made a comeback even though users have to pay.
Rich Media. Broadband has finally become mainstream. The "always on" mentality has dramatically increased Net usage. It seems that everything looks better streaming. Graphics got "cooler." Sounds got crisper. People still say they hate pop-ups and pop-unders. Viewpoint bought Unicast. Streaming video hit the market and is popular. Let's see who begins to use these formats in not only a creative, but also in a strategic way.
Gaming. No matter where you look, it's hot. A boatload of money remains to be made in this market. The demographics are across the map depending on the game and/or site. I think it is safe to say that everyone from young to old online has gamed.
IM. It has been hot and continues to be. I think it will only get hotter. A language and culture has grown from this discipline. Everyone seems to have LOLed (laughed out loud), asked if YT? (you there), paused while saying BRB (be right back), or left with a TTYL (talk to you later). Time spent IMing has increased. Businesses are beginning to accept IM as a means of efficiency.
DVDs. The online movie rental business is soaring. So much so that its caused the likes of many including Blockbuster to change pricing models as well as the length of time videos are rented. I personally can't remember the last time I stepped inside a video rental world as I've had Netflix for years.
TiVo. It's been on the must-have holiday wish list for a couple years now. Some satellite companies have been merging its set top boxes. Anyone who's seen or tried a personal video recorder (PVR) is mesmerized and almost instantly hooked. This has shaken our beloved ad industry up as commercial skipping is available. Now toward year-end we hear that it may be made illegal. I personally think it's a load of crap. If people don't want to see an ad, they won't. I mean jeez look at all the pop-up blockers we have online. I think advertisers will get smarter and smarter in regard to finding unique and relevant ways to advertise. I suspect old world product placement will get a makeover and we'll all be happy (but maybe not within the year).
Well dear readers, I'm sure there's a lot more to put on this "hot" list. However, keep in mind I have a word count here. That's where you can come in: Post to the SPIN board and tell us what's hot or even what's not. In the meantime, happy holidays to you and yours.