I thought I'd close out another fun year as an alleged Social Media Insider by abdicating the throne upon which I wildly speculate and espouse my crackpot theories, letting readers have their say. (This is only a temporarily abdication. I plan to take back the reins of my -- minimal -- power on Jan. 6.)
Here then, social media predictions for 2010 from Social Media Insider readers, in alphabetical order (limited to one prediction per person so this column doesn't go on until, well, next year):
1. Dayo Adefila, controller, strategic
planning, Insight Communications, Nigeria: Nigeria -- a major country on the African continent -- will come into its own as far as social media development and usage is concerned. Right now,
we are still sniffing around the edges, largely due to low Internet penetration (11% of a 140 million populace) but with the introduction of Glo 1, an underground sea
cable transmission link, broadband access is going to become more widespread and affordable than it is with the current use of satellite by ISPs.
2. Kevin Barenblat, co-founder/CEO, Context Optional: I expect some privacy disasters in 2010 related to the opening up of Facebook and as a consequence of the broader Web becoming more social, with Facebook Connect implemented across vast portions of the Web and search engines/portals integrating feeds into search results. As we identify ourselves not only with other people but with objects (favorite Web sites, brands, products, restaurants, etc), our Facebook profiles become quite detailed, and coupled with Facebook's push for public/searchable profiles, breaches of privacy seem inevitable.
3. Kevin Burke, founder, Momswhoblog.com: As it has become common for Web sites to have Facebook and Twitter "follow" icons for following their brands on those platforms, in 2010 social media follow URLs will find their way into ALL media. Today we see sporadic use on billboards, a lot in print ads, and some on television ads. Next year, we'll also see them in direct mail, [and on] shampoo bottles, body art, cereal boxes, buses, stairs, shelf talkers, scoreboards, shopping carts, race cars, blimps, etc. Facebook and Twitter URLs will become as common as it is today to include a brand's Web site URL in its ads.
4. Gabe Dennison, product marketing manager, Pluck: In 2010, all marketers will accept that there is no single metric appropriate for, or capable of, communicating the comprehensive value of social media marketing efforts.
5. John Dudley, editor, Hampden-Sydney College: At least one major retailer will develop an e-commerce Facebook app that will replace its entire "traditional" e-commerce Web site.
6. Lisa Foote, CEO, MixMobi.com: Social media will not be discussed in isolation as much. Instead, we'll discuss "social media + real-time search" or "social media + mobile" or "social media + geolocation." In particular, I agree with [Union Square Ventures'] Fred Wilson: the megatrend of 2010 will be the golden triangle of social + mobile + real-time.
7. Liz Lynch, Communications Editor, e-Dialog: One thing we're seeing more of, and that we think will really increase in 2010, is companies using their social media presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter to inform their e-mail marketing programs via new aggregation tools, and to build their e-mail database. By listening to and encouraging these existing fans to also sign up for e-mail, companies will gain actionable insight for their marketing programs. [Yes, gang, e-Dialog is an email marketing services provider.]
8. Jared Stivers, founding partner, Walker+Stivers: Real-time search will index your Facebook status updates so quickly [that] when that special someone changes their relationship status to "single," the rest of the world will know about it before you do.
9. Jamie Tedford, chief evangelism officer, Brand Networks: Facebook's open graph will change everything -- including the plumbing, content management and engagement hooks of every major brand's Web site. On this rising tide, social technology providers [app builders] will move to the mainstream and compete with the big boys for Web development work. Building the new social Web will be faster and less expensive. The results are going to be exponential engagement, deeper customer relationships, and the dawn of social commerce.
10. Catharine P. Taylor, Social Media Insider, Mediapost: I think in 2010 this social media thing is going to be big. Ha!
Thanks for all the contributions. As for the rest of you, feel free to comment about what you think of these predictions below. Or, wait a minute, no. Go off-line and have yourself a Merry little Christmas/Festivus/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Boxing Day. See you in '10.