2009 has been an interesting year for photographers who have taken the plunge with Social Media. I’m guessing back in January of 2009 many of you would have scoffed at the notion of being active in Social Media by years end. It’s been great to see so many photographers experiment with it this year. While I knew use of Social Media would not stick for some, I have been pleasantly surprised more people have stuck with it than I’d have anticipated.
If you consider yourself a Social Media friendly photographer here are 10 predictions for the New Year to keep you thinking through 2009 and beyond.
- Real-Time Search becomes a game changer
Twitter’s search deal with Google & Bing is the beginning of the end for traditional search. Google will work to stay ahead of the pack in developing algorithms to query and rank results from Twitter. Google’s battle with Facebook on the Real-Time search will also pick up steam as the race begins to dominate this new and fast growing set of data. We may not see the full effect in 2010, but we’ll definitely start to see an impact from real-time search in day to day management of our sites. Sentiment, brand management, and shifting rankings will impact all who manage business web sites.
- Reverse Image Search applications go mainstream
TinEye, PicScout Image IRC and Google Goggles will increasingly become part of daily search for many people. The main drivers to this development will hit opposite ends of the use spectrum. Mobile phone applications will free up tired thumbs that need a break from tiny keyboard typing. Larger companies will more widely adopt reverse image search applications to manage their intellectual property in an increasingly chaotic environment online.
- Engagement & Sentiment analytics will become the latest obsession
Standard web metrics will look like child’s play compared to emerging engagement & sentiment analytics. With ever growing demand from larger corporations a software development race will heat up to provide meaningful analytics to tackle Return on Investment (ROI) & Return on Engagement (ROE) questions. Engagement analytics will fill a growing vacuum to measure & manage community development, brand management and personnel management
- Facebook’s 2009 identity crisis will last through 2010
Circa 1990’s Microsoft fashion Facebook will continue to steal feature ideas from innovators to secure and expand its foothold in the Social Media space… all while developing very little innovation of its own. Continue to see Facebook change course in 2010 and beyond, as it attempts to morph into the latest buzz.
- iPhone apps will lose momentum
iPhone applications have reached a saturation point and as a result developer interest will continue a sharper fade in 2010. The one exception will be the maturation of augmented reality applications and demand for games. Lack of a larger interest by developers will impact demand downstream with app users. In addition the lack of market expansion resulting from diminishing developer support will drive consolidation of game development to companies who have profited most from iPhone app development. The gold rush for individual developers is coming to an end.
- The U.S. government will officially turn to Social Media to fight terrorism & address national emergencies
The growing threat of non-traditional communication channel use by enemies abroad & at home and the success of the DARPA Balloon Hunt has put Social Media squarely in the sights of government security and emergency relief agencies. Larger safety concerns, terrorism and natural disaster, will spur programs to use Social Media communication in polar opposite fashions: monitor & hinder information seen as a threat vs. leverage & spread information to avert threats. And you thought you had a love hate relationship with Social Media!
- Facebook will yet again fail to learn from past mistakes regarding Privacy
With an eye toward company goals (IPO, expanding ad revenue, etc.) Facebook will turn a blind eye to privacy concerns incorrectly thinking members will endure most anything rather than re-establish network relationships through another service.
- Flickr will undergo a long over due redesign
My Hail Mary prediction of the year is that Yahoo it will undergo a layout redesign. Personally I think this is a long shot, but I’m hopeful that Flickr will surprise me. Improvements will include an update to the image detail page layout to more clearly highlight use rights, tags, image sets and embed social media hooks to improve the sharing capability of their service. Higher level changes to display Explored images will take effect to broaden community interaction.
- Data Portability will make little head way
Full Data Portability will live on as an idealistic dream. Implementation of a widely adopted independent & open format for single sign-on will remain rough and barely hold on as Facebook makes a full frontal assault to dominate this space as Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect taints the larger community effort . With few incentives for private companies to adopt true data portability it is likely to languish until the next PR nightmare to haunt Facebook, Google or Twitter.
- Google Wave will start to live up to the hype in late 2010
GoogleWave beta has had a tough time living up to the hype it has received. It’s biggest strength and biggest weakness is its dependence on developers to create reliable functionality that can be appended to its use. Incredibly strong for communicating collaboratively it has a while to go before hitting a tipping point with a larger audience. GoogleWave strikes me as having its strongest use by large enterprises, but less the proper developer support will find itself stuck in niche uses. As more reliable and functional add-ons are created for GoogleWave, use will increase and a larger tipping point among individual users is likely to happen in late 2010.
[tags]Social Media, predictions, 2010[/tags]