1. Personal Brands – People now understand the importance of the Personal Brand. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook have alerted everyone to the importance of their Personal Brand. What kind of relationship does the rest of the world have with them – even if the rest of the world includes their close personal friends and no one else. Everyone on the planet sees what they do and is on the Web. Not all of them care about doing anything with it, but they have the awareness. And in 2011, there will be more and more ways for it to manifest itself. The future of you may not be who you believe you are, but who you want people to believe you are. Especially when it comes to getting a job.
There is no barier to the iPad. It's a game-changer.
2. The iPad – I have an iPad. My friend Mike has a Galaxy Pad. I feel bad for him, but I’m sure he’ll survive. When the iPad first came out, everyone viewed it as a big iPhone. Big mistake. I realized the iPad was much more when the owner of my company was carrying one around. He is not a tech person. But he is living on his iPad. That alone makes it a game changer. It’s something a computer couldn’t do. It couldn’t even level the playing field for someone like him. The iPad does. There’s no barrier to iPad. The iPad is for everyone. It’s just simple great. And simple great will take over the world.
3. Real-Time Interactive – It’s one thing to offer a website that allows you interaction. But how does that interaction change the real world? This will become more and more important as individuals start to look for a world outside the computer. They won’t let go of the computer, but they will want more real-world connections because of it. They will want to control or affect things that live in real time. They will want to be a part of more things that live in real time. Putting the Web world and real-time world together will be an even bigger deal than it was in 2010.
4. The Consolidation Battle – Facebook wants you to spend the majority of your time on Facebook, including your e-mail time. Foursquare wants you to check in on Foursquare and talk about things on Foursquare. Google wants you to turn into some sort of Google creature that can’t function without Google. Meanwhile, there are multitudes of other check-in sites including Foodspotting, Get Glue, Philo, etc. Many of these sites/apps are linked and many are not. The battle for the majority of your time is ongoing and well, pretty insane. Who will win? Will anyone? I don’t know but I know it will be a fight to the death.
5. Crowdsourcing – Using the Cloud to do all the work is in vogue. Although it’s not necessarily new, the execution of it has gotten far more sophisticated. Agencies like Victors and Spoils have taken it to a new level. They have legitimized it to big advertisers like Harley-Davidson, WD-40 and others. Doritos and Converse have been doing it with their TV and Web films for years now. The trend will continue until it isn’t fascinating to advertisers anymore. That could happen soon or keep on indefinitely as more and more advertisers try it. It’s such a cost-effective way to go, that the trend is very appetizing and could remain so.
Foursquare checks in at No. 6 on our list -- as rewards and discounts for people who use it become more a prevalent business practice.
6. Coupon Gaming – Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp and a host of others are or will be rewarding people for checking in at their establishments with discounts and freebies. When I was at my coffee place (Sambalatte in Vegas), the Foursquare mayor was asking the owner why he wasn’t giving him a discount for being the mayor of Sambalatte. When the early adopters start demanding it, the regular folks will follow. It will be fun to watch the developments once everyone is in the game. And you thought seniors got all the discounts.
7. The Power of the Disenfranchised – Yes, they have power. And they are the multitudes. I’m not including myself because I have a job and can pay my bills. But I probably should add myself to the list. Why? Because I think there are a great many Americans who are figuring out that they are one bad Friday away from being disenfranchised. And that’s a frightening prospect that’s motivating people like never before. It’s also one of the reasons a Palin could become the Republican nominee for president. I didn’t say the disenfranchised made wise decisions. But they do have power. And that power will manifest itself outside the world of politics as they realize just how much they can effect. When roving mobs with pitchforks and torches come back, I will tweet about it.
8. New-Fangled Television Advertising – This is going to sound crazy, but I’ll say it. Television advertising is still important. The drive to spend more money online is hurting television advertising budgets and leveling out the mix but not making television obsolete. With Hulu, Netflix, Hi-Def DVRs, 3-D television, Google TV and about a zillion Web videos, you will need a good mix to have a chance at reaching anyone. Right now most digital shops don’t get the magic of television. They don’t understand what Web videos can be. They treat them more like content and not the branding vehicles they should be. When it’s done right, what you see on the computer is a perfect complement to what you see on television. I sit and watch television with my computer on my lap. I have learned to watch whichever one has the best stuff on it that particular minute. Try it.
9. Things That Have Nothing to Do with Technology – The wired world has already hit a kind of critical mass. Hipsters are looking for ways to let go of technology. That same need will get past the cool hunters and become a need for the rest of us this year. Like I mentioned above – computers are too entrenched for us to lose them completely. But we will start to look for things that can give us a well-needed break. But not exercise. That’s where I draw the line.
10. More and More Ways to Make You Part of the Entertainment You Watch Every Night – If you watch The Colbert Report, you know that he had an art episode with Steve Martin where he had Shepard Fairey and others work on a picture of him to make it collectable. Then he continued that online where you could participate and change the picture as well. Then those pictures that you created end up on the show. Conan has taken to involving the audience in making films for his show that live on the Web and on air. This is what the smarter shows will do – make you feel like a part of them.