SM & Your Eyecare Business: 4 Major Social Media Trend Predictions for 2011 – Lesson 39
As much as I hate predictions, this blog seems to be the perfect place to do just that. Hopefully it won’t turn around and bite me in 2012, but at least it will give us something interesting to talk about next year! Picking internet trends isn’t quite like making football picks, but some strong trends are starting to emerge that you can start to think about “parlaying” two or three of them into your future marketing plans to stay ahead of the competition. This year promises to see a few major new technologies trend “up” in importance. Here are the 4 most compelling IMHO.
Media Moves to “The Cloud”
Think streaming the 3 M’s - movies, music and media - to any device from anywhere. No need to take up space on your hard drive when your entertainment sits in the cloud. Now, when you download to your personal entertainment “cloud,” you can watch, read or listen on any of your devices and not have to worry about managing different download rights. I’m really looking forward to this trend getting some muscle behind it, and I think Apple will need to lead the way and, if they are smart, maintain their competitive edge by leading the way to the entertainment cloud.
Open Places Database
If you have an iPhone, Android or other smart phone and you have several options when it comes to using geolocation and placestreaming apps. You might use navigation, you might “check in” at your favorite hang outs or you might utilize map functions. Whether it’s Foursquare, Yelp, Gowalla, Google or Facebook, each app uses its own database of content and “places” to pinpoint locations for its user. Using one app usually negates the need for using others, as there is content duplication. There is also feature duplication; when one app comes up with a novel feature, the competitors quickly follow suit, further reducing the need to use more than one geolocation app. How is this market going to play out?
2011 promises to be the year where an open places database starts to find legs. An open places database is a database where all the providers of geolocation and placestreaming technologies can pull their data from. The benefit is standardization of the data and the ability to “wiki” it – have the public comment on, correct errors or add data to make it a more comprehensive and updated database that is, in a sense, alive and changing as locations change. Companies working on open places databases, also known as federated databases include Factual, MapQuest (via OpenStreetMap - http://www.openstreetmap.org/ - a free, editable map of the whole world) and Foursquare. Experts are expecting OpenStreetMap to become the major force behind a collaborative open places database.
Quora is gaining in momentum and is likely to be the next big thing after Facebook and Twitter in 2011. What makes Quora and similar “Intelligent Information Discovery” platforms sexy is their ability to create a user’s Interest Graph. An interest graph is a collection of data that defines your online presence by your interests, as opposed to your Social Graph, which defines your online presence by the people you know. Layering of your Interest Graph over your Social Graph creates a profile that enables applications to learn more about your online interactions and pull up information based on the people you know combined with your interests; much more information specificity helping you to navigate all the clutter in your social networks and the internet in general.
2011 will also be the year social influence trends stronger. Social influence reflects your level of participation on various social websites like Twitter, Facebook and others. High social scores will be sought as will people who hold them. The benefit of having a high social influence score can range from receiving perks at the local coffee shop for people with greater influence to banks using social influence scores as a kind of credit rating eventually. The leader in quantifying a netizen’s social influence is the website Klout.com. Companies like Virgin America and Dove Soap are already rewarding people with high Klout scores with perks.
What social media resolutions have you set for your business in 2011?
- Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO
Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care
Twitter Handle: @EyeInfo
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