So in the spirit of making yearly predictions right before the upcoming new year, I’ll make mine.
“Social media” will evolve. Much the same way we have thousands of pro bloggers worldwide, we will have lots of people earning their living from social media. New ways of earning income will abound, look for the first paid plugs in a videocast, or more importantly, the first paid PRODUCT placement. Think Lonelygirl15 starts drinking lots of diet coke for a reason?
Social marketing will explode. The number of videos online will triple, but the number of ads attached to those videos will rise by 10x. Who this is good for: interactive agencies, media planners, video production companies, CDNs, video sites, YOU.
Podcasting will change. Gone will be the 30 minute long weekly shows in favor of 5-10 minute segments which can be better monetized, and better distributed. People have ADD as a collective whole, and don’t want to listen to poorly edited talk radio.
Online advertising will grow more than experts think. Google will post huge gains, but the efficiencies brought to light by Yahoo’s Panama search marketing platform, and MSN adcenter, and I’m guessing AOL will have something neat too, will all change the ways that people buy ads. I’m betting ebay will partner with yahoo or aol on a method to track CPA ads better (yahoo/aol sell the ads, track the ads, and then people buy through paypal, and use skype to speak to the merchant).
Widgets, widgets, widgets. 2007 is going to see a number of new delivery methods for widgets, more useful widgets will emerge. We’re already seeing the emergence of video chat and regular chat widgets making any site a lounge of sorts. My guess: widgets will further decentralize the web. We’ll also see a growth in widgets on blogs, and social sites. We might want to look for a social widget that ties into a user’s browser, so they can tell people where they are hanging out on the web, or tie together their countless social networking accounts.
Social Networking will change. I think we’re going to see the vertical encompass everything social networks morph to more topic oriented sites. People like to socialize with other like minded individuals. Whomever can capitalize on this, and tie together a few smart hubs will make some decent money. Remember its easier to market to niches than to everyone at once.
Smart startups will embrace SEO, PPC, SMO, SMM and the other marketing venues. As people start their search more and more on search engines and information hubs (or portals), people will need you to prepare yourself to be found by them. You can’t just cross your fingers and hope people stumble upon your site.
More events outside of the valley will emerge. Wouldn’t you rather go to Miami in the winter? 🙂