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Social Media Predictions for 2010… Shotgun-Style

by Joe Loong on January 12, 2010

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Earlier, I established that my 2009 social media predictions were a mixed bag. And to be frank, I don’t have a clue as to what areas I should be predicting about, let alone what the actual predictions should be.

So, instead of bringing a laser-like focus to a few topics, I’m going shotgun-style, firing off a volley of predictions, in the hopes that come 2011, people will focus on the hits and forget about the misses. (a.k.a. the “Tabloid Psychic strategy”) Also, I will try to daisy-chain them together, thematically:

Twitter: Rolls on through 2010. The divide between people who use Twitter to keep abreast of celebrity broadcasts versus those who use it as a tools platform for their personal network will grow. In an effort to stay relevant among the latter crowd, Twitter will try to co-opt indy features that leverage Twitter distribution, especially location-based social apps like Foursquare. They won’t do a very good job of it.

Location-Based Services: Speaking of location-based apps, some entrepreneur will remember people who don’t live in New York and San Francisco spend a lot of time driving. They’ll develop mobile, peer-to-peer social network apps optimized for driving at 60 miles per hour, with one hand on a mobile device, one on a coffee mug, and the steering wheel between the knees. It may involve insults. It will be insanely popular, but will result in many crashes.

Augmented Reality: More crashes: The AR hype will die down as badly-bruised people decide they’re tired of walking into things. AR will remain a niche play until a workable consumer-level heads-up display is introduced, at which point it will explode again. This won’t happen in 2010.

eBooks: The triumph of the eBook also won’t happen in 2010. There will be more e-book readers. They will still suck. New DRM debacles will alienate readers, and we’ll find that the people who don’t care about DRM also don’t read.

Journalism: …Especially newspapers. The decline of newspapers will be exactly like the weather: Everyone will talk about it, no one will be able to do anything about it. There will be a lot of yelling at clouds. To the extent they still exist, online newspaper sites will slide even more towards superserving consumers of pet galleries, weird news, bikini slideshows, and flamebait editorials. It won’t really help.

Crisis Response: On the topic of not helping, a crisis stemming from a natural disaster will gather vast amounts of social media attention, most off it still cuing off the traditional, mass media, which will come from ham radio reports. All the furor will result in very little useful information or actual aid. CrisisCamp types will continue to find many, many lessons learned to talk about.

Social Philanthropy: More unrealized promise, seemingly just out of reach. It will continue to be that way until people realize that it’s more fun being bad, and figure out a way to leverage that. Which ties into…

Casual Gaming: Sketchy practices and explosive growth abound, as people continue trying to find fulfillment by elevating manual labor, without having to do any of that messy “hard work.” The next big casual gaming fad will involve… laying laminate flooring.

Facebook: Facebook wins the privacy war. Hell, they’ve done that already, it’s just that in 2010, people will have forgotten what the fuss was about. This will impact…

Microcelebrity: The cycle of microcelebrity will get even shorter and more intense, as will the backlash and inevitable dropoff. Since everyone’s default mode is stuck on “public-viewable, attention-seeking,” social media spectacles become more outrageous as more people compete for attention.

I think I’ll stop there. I had more stuff sketched out for public media, warblogging, gov 2.0, etc, but I’d better quit while I’m ahead.

Have your own predictions? Leave a comment with a link.

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