2006 is coming to an end and it is time to see what will 2007 hold for new communication models that are expected emerge in the next 12 months. New communications Review has some interesting predictions:
Blog "impression" numbers will finally be available.
Blog monitoring/analysis/measurement will show up on to-do lists everywhere.
I believe virtual currency may be the next big thing. We are seeing more and more examples of this (Second Life = linden, Microsoft = points). But we ain't seen nothing yet. But watch -- someone will brand this "Money 2.0" (oy).
Voice will be better incorporated into communities. It's about time.
Second Life will grow in importance; its integration with the real world will develop. Unlike blogging and other social media tools, Second Life is not intuitive, or easy to use for most people. We are already seeing a growing number of Second Life blogs and podcasts. These sites intersect with the real world and search engines. Two things will happen: 1. Second Life will become easier for people to use, and 2. there will be more integration into the real world and searchable content on search engines for Second Life. If Second Life does not achieve this, other 3D environments will leapfrog the environment. However, Second Life's leadership position will be tough to assail because the community wants it to succeed.
Social media communications and product managers will begin to realize just what they have on their hands, and via partnering, API's plugins and widgets, social media websites will seek to become ever more part of people's Internet experiences.
We're unhooking from our computers and will be getting much more online info via our cell phones, PDAs, etc. Beware the marketer who doesn't remember this and doesn't format blog posts, etc. to be read on a cell phone or Treo!
2007 will see an explosion of web content syndication with RSS and the sharing of content on social media sites. Already one in twenty web visits is to one of the top social media sites according to HitWise. And, these sites are driving traffic to search engines and verticals like travel and telecom.
In terms of predictions for the coming year, I think we will begin to see the rapid deterioration of the daily newspaper business model under the assault from consumer-generated media. I believe this is an alarming trend that will ultimately lead to the death of some prominent newspapers, but the losers will be replaced by a more diverse and flexible form of new media that fully leverages Web 2.0 technologies and the voices of individuals.
The number of blogs will drop for the first time in 2007, as more people realize that there is nothing really new to view.