My tip is to keep an eye out for when Neil Perkin puts out a call to crowdsource one every few years…
I’d been meaning to write about how social networks really do seem to have killed something with regards to blogging – the blog meme. Rather than posting and tagging people to get their opinions, which used to happen a lot a couple of years ago, people are just asking the same questions on Twitter and Facebook. Bit of a shame for longer answers (And the chance to get some backlinks!).
So, in response:
1/ Best single thing [personal &/or professional] you did/achieved in 2010.
Professionally, the best thing by far has been the fact that rather than sign-on for unemployment benefit whilst applying for every job available, I took the opportunity to try to start my own business. Thanks to a great number of wonderful people I’ve managed to secure some great clients, avoid bankruptcy, and although I’m still speaking to people about potential permanent roles in the future, I can limit it to those opportunities which are truly amazing, and that can stack up against building up my own empire.
Personally, I also have to say I’m immensely proud of finally turning some talk into action, and starting up Digital People in Peterborough. So far there have been two pub meets, with about 15 people coming along to each, plus around 40 people signed up for the old site. So with a new site and a new year, it should be even better in 2011.
2/ Most shameful thing [personal &/or professional] you did/achieved in 2010.
Probably the biggest source of shame has been launching a new business and a couple of personal sites when I have a young family to support and spend time with. The balance between work, my own sites (ORD and FPSPrestige), and my family is getting better with time, but it can definitely be a struggle at times. And as a result, this blog has suffered quite a bit in terms of regular updates providing value to everyone as well as hopefully attracting a little bit of new business. Plus 140Char has been effectively shuttered since October.
3/ Ad industry scandal or scoundrel of the year.
I’m not strictly an ad man, and don’t fancy picking out something from one of the bad advertising lists elsewhere, so I’ll generically call out all of the businesses who typically spend lots of time and money on shiny adverts which promise lots and don’t deliver.
That includes companies who are now claiming to be social or engaged as bandwagon jumping, but haven’t invested the time and effort behind the scenes to make it part of their actual business process. At it’s core social media and engagement is about customer service and conversation, and not pitching someone one week and then sending him a generic PR link-building request the next (It’s happened to me several times as people failed to click on the About page on this site, for example).
4/ Your overall rating for 2010 out of 10. [1 = shit / 10 = showoff]
It’s been a challenging year, and the current economic and political environments aren’t making life easier. But I’ve managed to conquer several obstacles, and I’m pretty proud of both my business, and some of the resulting efforts of my clients. I don’t think 2011 will be easier or any less hectic, but I’ve got a far clearer picture of what I need to be doing, and it seems like the last month in particular has built a lot of momentum for 2011.
5/ What do you think will be the most overhyped advertising related subject of 2011?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a good example of fantastic technology which really isn’t being used very well by a lot of people. (Looks like Forrester agree with me on that one). But I can’t see that stopping more companies jumping on mobile, tablets and technology like AR without stopping to sort out their underlying business strategy and approach first. I’m confident that most magical solutions generally fall back to a base level fairly quickly, and that includes Apple platforms like the iPad and the iAd ad network.
Technology is awesome and something that I truly love, and there are great opportunities in utilising new technology as soon as possible. But if your basic plans don’t work with the most basic of tools, then any new technology solution is just going to mask it in the short term.
Who am I tagging:
Apparently I need to pick on five people and distract them from their Christmas relaxation, so I’ll go for:
As the year draws to a close, the thoughts of almost every blogger turn to making their predictions for 2009, and whether they were proved right in 2008.
But, rather than indulging myself in making some educated guesses, here’s one really good list of predictions on social media and content marketing at Junta 42, including some best guesses from yours truly.
Here’s mine, in case you get distracted by the likes of Paul Bradshaw, David Meerman Scott, Giles Rhys Scott, Scott Monty, Neil Perkin, and many more people I’ll be following in the future – in fact the only downside is even more worth paying attention to in my RSS feeds!
Prediction: Social Media Marketing will become a more mainstream approach, with a better understanding of how ROI is driven both directly and indirectly – this means an influx of brilliant examples, but also of the worst examples of jumping on something without investing the time and resources to understand it properly first.
Technology wise, Twitter will be officially mainstream, and will have monetized in some way, so I’d expect a rush of companies using whatever appears as a short term, low effort way to get into the buzz around micro blogging.
I’d also say video will continue to become more and more utilized – both as a publicity tool, but also as an interaction tool using sites like Seesmic, 12 secondsmobatalk as ways to actually engage with people and provide a way for conversations to form via video.
If you’d rather see facts and figures without risking RSS overload, then there’s some interesting research from Pew on The Future of the Internet, with around 1196 participants – there’s some good analysis all over the web, but the aforementioned Neil Perkin spotted something I hadn’t seen elsewhere.
Oh, and another good round-up of predictions kicked off by Peter Kim which encompasses another 14 top minds sharing their thoughts.
There are lots of really insightful and educated analysis around 2009, with regards to technology, marketing and the economy – but having seen so many different sides to every argument, it seems like the best option is to go with your gut instinct for what you believe to be fundamentally true – and then be ready to adapt it as things unfold. In my case, that means constantly watching how to best allow the power of networks and human communication to be empowered and measured, whether that’s through digital or real world approaches.
It’s a call to change the way we think about online communities, and one that’s shared by a few people, myself included, but Rich has expressed it with a nice clarity.
We know about technology and we love the internet, but we (in general) don’t know half as much about the people forming communities and about ways to get a better understanding of what they’re doing and what their needs are.
He also raises good points about balancing what we learn about technology with other disciplines including psychology and sociology (with some helpful links to some interesting sources) – I won’t say any more in an effort to encourage you to go read it and leave him some comments.
He’s not alone in his thinking, but the benefit of the manifesto will come if it helps to join some of the minds in this space. I’d include people like Dave Cushman, Mark Earls, Neil Perkin, and others who regularly appear in my RSS feeds but whose names have deserted me for the moment…which I shall rectify with a bit of an overhaul of my link lists shortly. It’s something that has been implemented in Seth Godin’s private Triiibes group (somewhere I need to spend more time if I can).
That’s why I posted on ‘Why Belief Matters‘ back in November, and used football and motorsport as examples. It’s the ‘why’ and the ‘what for’ of any community, and it comes from the people, not from the technology!