Social Media Predictions For 2010
Augmented Reality Success or Bust?
Cashmore's position on AR is somewhat mixed. While he believes, "it's yet to become part of the consumer consciousness- it has attracted early-adopter buzz in the latter part of 2009," he has his doubts as to its continued functionality.
Enabled by GPS, AR maps the data from the likes of Google and the accelerometer technology in modern phones and overlays data on your environment with reviews of the restaurants you walk past and Wikipedia entries about the sights you see.
According to Cashmore, "the challenges for such services is to prove their utility - they have the 'cool factor,' but can they truly be useful."
While I understand Cashmore's concerns, I think there were several examples of AR used effectively in 2009 that counters his position. In an analysis I conducted in October, titled, "Real-Time Augmented Reality: Future or Fantasy?" I uncovered a application for AR that utilized real-time search most effectively.
Sporting events are perfect venues to adapt this type of technology, and this past June, Wimbeldon was the first major international arena to actually test it. The beta version of the Wimbeldon Seer developed by IBM, which runs on Google’s G1 smartphones provided fans at this past year’s matches with AR read-outs about what was being viewed during the tournament. The Seer’s features included match updates, players’ stats, newsfeeds, menu items available at the refreshment stands and could even tell you if the lines at a particular restroom were too long. All the real-time data on this system came from Wimbeldon’s own controlled channel.
Companies to develop social media policies
David Armano's Harvard Business Publishing report asserts that "if the company you work for doesn't already have a social media policy in place with specific rules of engagement across multiple networks, it just might in the next year." From how to conduct yourself as an employee to what's considered competition, it's likely that you'll see something formalized about how the company views social media and your participation in it.
My tongue-and-cheek review back in October, titled, "Social Media Nazi Says 'No Twitter For You'" explored the 'prohibition' of Twitter and Facebook in the workplace. While Armano touches on the possibility of a formalized employee 'social media' handbook, I think there are going to be more stringent social media restrictions put in place as it pertains to social networking at your place of business.
Affecting more than half of all businesses in the US and according to a new survey conducted by Robert Half Technology, fifty-four percent of companies have completely blocked social networks at work, while another nineteen percent will only permit it "for business purposes." According to a CNET Report, social networks "have become so ingrained in culture and communication that some companies choosing to block them can appear draconian rather than prudent." Unfortunately , this 'big brother' trend, I believe will see even more traction in 2010.
Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web
The Semantic Web, which has been discussed, debated and debunked by many of the social media gurus mentioned here will emerge as a major sea change in 2010 as to how we conduct business and socially interact on the Web.
According to Peter Sweeney, founder of the semantic technology firm Primal Fusion, "Web 3.0 is industrial" and as an industrial entity "the automation of tasks displaces human work." He states that "instead of users manually creating content, machines will automate the heavy lifting. Consumers simply push the buttons and get stuff done. Think textile
mills versus spinning wheels."
Semantic web refers to the web-study of interlinked documents accessed via the Internet. Web pages are generally written in HTML,which describes the structure of information i.e the syntax but not the semantics. But if the computers can understand the meaning behind the information then this can help us surface the information that we are looking for more expeditiously. There are quite a few Web 3.0 applications we have been exposed to already including the likes of Twine, Google Squared and Mozilla Ubiquity. Also many regard Google Wave as the first major door-opener of Web 3.0 wave era.
In my article, "'Social Awareness' To Replace Social Networking," I see us getting closer to the 'Internet of Things' where 'social awareness' will aggregate everything we do online to the extent that tweets and status updates will become fully automated by the world around us versus us ever having to touch a keyboard again. This will be accomplished by the coding of every object, appliance and entity we interact with on a daily basis where all of our movements will be recorded, stored and communicated automatically when appropriate. This coupled with all of our content being warehoused for future data-mining purposes, the involvement of humans for some of these tasks will no longer be needed (as noted above by Sweeney).
My feeling is that while real-time search, location-based social networks, augmented reality and the other predictions noted here will all make significant inroads in 2010, the one most noteworthy will be Web 3.0 -- as all of these other new developments will have a direct correlation with how that movement unfolds.
The next decade has been marked as the beginning of
the age of semantic technology. Once that ball starts rolling downhill,
all of these other social media components will unfold at a faster and
faster clip. Jennifer Leggio, also known as "Mediaphyter" notes in a ZDNet article,
that "2010 is the year that social media will just be, rather than
serving as a shiny new toy." I concur with Leggio's assumption that
social networking will become ubiquitous, and add that Web 3.0 will
replace Web 2.0 as the next new shiny thing we can't stop talking about