Interpublic Seer Goes Social To Predict Social

To get a handle on the outlook for social media, Interpublic's chief forecaster will go native, employing social media to finalize -- and even disseminate -- his next update for the fast-growing, but so far elusive advertising medium. Conducting a series of "desk-side" chats with social media experts throughout the day on Monday, May 18th, Magna Director of Global Forecasting Brian Wieser will share his learning, thinking, and ultimately release his latest emerging media forecast via, you guessed it, a Twitter feed.

The contemporaneous forecasting stunt will begin at 9 a.m. (EST), and will include Wieser's visits with a variety of gurus and pundits, including a whistle stop at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's "Marketplace: Social Media Conference" in New York. During the visits, Wieser will attempt to answer the question: "What is Social Media?," and to reconcile his outlook for spending on the ad platform du jour for the coming year or so.

This reporter will be following Wieser throughout the day, and will post updates on MediaPost's Raw blog, as well as on his own Twitter feed, but you can also follow Wieser's own comments either via Wieser's @brianwieser on Twitter, or via the #MagnaForecast hashtag.

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The forecast is the latest in a series of updates on the major emerging media Wieser has been making in recent weeks. In his last emerging media forecast released in July 2008, Wieser predicted that spending on social media platforms, including social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, would grow 37.4% this year to $1.474 billion from $1.073 billion in 2008.

In some of his recent forecasts for other emerging media platforms such as mobile, advanced TV, and online video, Wieser has downgraded his projections for the rate of growth this year due to the impact of the macro economy, but most remain at relatively high double-digit rates of growth.

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