Pin me, I’m board – (Some) Predictions for 2012

(Part three of a three-part series)

Pinterest is a visual social network that allows users to pin favorite ideas, pictures, recipes, etc. to boards. These boards are for personal reference or for sharing with other "Pinners."

Ah, the grand finale for my New Year Extravaganza (I am lighting the fuse now).

I hope that at the end of this year, we can fall back to this posting and say I was right. But then again, I’ve made quite a bit of predictions in my life that have fallen short.

I predicted Alex Rodriguez, the third baseman for the New York Yankees would never win the World Series, I predicted the Dallas Mavericks to lose to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, I predicted the Texas Rangers to win the 2011 World Series and I predicted my girlfriend would say “Yes” when I asked her to marry me over the holidays.

Now sure, I was wrong three of four times (am engaged now), but when it comes to predictions, getting one right can give someone a big head.

But predictions are never guarantees, they are just fun to read and think about. I could predict I am going to win $1 million, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. However, you probably thought for just a second on what you would do with $1 million, so my prediction got you thinking.

And that’s what I hope to accomplish with my ACTUAL predictions in the online spectrum — to get you thinking or to try something new.

So, when it comes to my sports predictions, the opposite always seems to happen. So maybe I should predict the Dallas Cowboys will never win a Super Bowl under Jerry Jones ever again.

As far the following predictions, well, you can tell me at the end of the year whether I was right or wrong.

  • Google+/Pinterest become social staples: Ahh, yes, I brought Google+ full Circle (pun intended). To me, because of its user-friendly layout, it’s combination of Facebook and Twitter formats, Google+ will become a major social player. And so will Pinterest, another “hot” social network at the end of 2011 (adding nearly 3 million users since August). Pinterest is a visual social network that allows users to target and pin their favorite photos/ideas featuring recipes, fashion, puppies, jewelry, etc. OK, so this sounds like more of a woman-friendly social medium, but so what? I bet lots of brands would like a better way to market to women, and here’s a way. My girlfriend, ahem, excuse me, my fiancé (got to get used to saying this) is addicted to Pinterest like I am addicted to fantasy sports. So far, she’s told her two friends, and they’ve told their two friends, and they’ve told their friends, and so on and so on…
  • Mobile surfing/app usage rides even bigger wave: A couple of weeks ago it was reported that 40 percent of Facebook users logged on through their mobile device — that’s more than 300 million people using their phone or tablet to access their profile. Apple and Google’s app downloads were at 10 billion mark each at the end of 2011. Also of note, Apple’s Mac App store, in one year since its opening, reached 100 million downloads. These figures show that users are more and more flocking to apps. The Internet is not in Kansas anymore folks, the app tornado is causing many to follow the yellow brick road of online success.
  • Social Media Marketing REALLY takes off…and won’t land anytime soon: With a continuously growing client base for us in 2011, we foresee an even bigger demand for building one’s social voice in 2012. With more than one billion users combined on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ alone, the social flock keeps growing. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow for “brand” pages, and Google+ just added this feature as well, but has some improvements (in my opinion) to make before its feature comes close to that of Facebook. These pages have allowed for brands to gain visibility online, which could be huge for success down the line.

Care to make any predictions for 2012? And no, you can’t predict the world WON’T end on December 21, 2012!

Dear Social Media: Change These 2 Things Quickly in 2012

(This is part two of a three-part series)

Hello there, how about that ride in (to 2012)?

I’m back for part two of my New Year Extravaganza (I am probably buttering up this statement just a tad). This portion focuses on what I would like to see happen in 2012.

In 2011, we’ve saw many new beginnings in the U.S. such as Google+, Spotify, Siri, to name a few. While none of these ideas would have even crossed my mind in a 2010 form of a “New Year’s Resolution” post, I hope that what I want to see this year happens (one of these wishes is very trivial, but could have great impact for everyone, but you can guess which one it is).

It’s not a long list, but if I had too many resolutions for the new year, my expectations might be let down more than I’d like.

  • Let me edit my turrible grammer: The first thing I noticed about Google+ when I joined was if I made an error, I could immediately edit, or even two hours later, without having to delete the post and re-post it, or using an asterisk, followed by my correction. If Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (to name a few social venues that do not allow for this completely) make one change, this would be it. It’s a simple request, at least in my eyes. Hey, Google+ did it, why can’t you?
  • Social media – Friend not a fad: With more than 800 million users on Facebook, 200-million-plus on Twitter, 100-million-plus on LinkedIn, 60-plus million on Google+, etc., social media does not appear to be going away any time soon. Sure, MySpace dwindled, and many networks have phased in and out, but others moved in and replaced them. I’ve been a Facebook user since 2005 (back in the good ol’ days when only college students could register), and back then, I might have thought it was a fad that would last a couple of years, but not now. That skeptic voice has long since faded away, and so should yours. Another reason social media should move to friend status is more and more businesses, companies, organizations and brands are flocking to social media to spread the word about their goods and services (remember those terms from your high school economics class?) Good thing dr2marketing specializes in social media marketing isn’t it?

What are your New Year’s Resolutions in 2012? I hope you at least ate your black-eyed peas!

Sayonara 2011, Aloha 2012!

(This is part one of a three-part series)

I’d say within the last month, I’ve seen a throng of 2012 predictions and “best-ofs” for social media, technology and even the world. (There’s even a top-10 list for the “Best Top Ten Lists of 2011”).

It’s expected to see many of these prediction, and “best-of” articles, at the end of the year.

Now I am going to do the same, and yes I am a little late to the party as it is not 2011 anymore, but in my experience, the party doesn’t get good until later anyway.

So here you go: I offer you my New Year’s Extravaganza — my thoughts that will roll out in three posts: My 2011 “best-ofs,” 2012 resolutions and then ending with my 2012 predictions. Subject matter of these posts include social media, radio, technology, the end of the world and a potential threat against social media, and even our freedom of speech.

But let’s not dive into that part just yet, instead, let’s focus on what I liked about 2011.

 Some 2011“Best-ofs”

  • Google+ — I’m still skeptical of this social network (up to 62 million users as of December 2011 and traffic was up 55 percent from November to December), but I am still learning, as many of you probably are. And as time has advanced since I registered, I am moving from a skeptic square to a Circle (pun intended). Its hangouts feature allows for multi-user interaction through video, and it later added space for brand pages, which adds even more social discussion for brands to expand their name. Now Google+ needs to add customizable pages for brands, and maybe most importantly, just keep Farmville out of my “feed trough” (i.e. news feed). P.S. Click to Circle us.
  • Social Democracy — While this isn’t exactly a “best-of” of my own because news outlets like Mashable have coined 2011 as the “Year of Social Democracy,” I just want to say I completely agree. With news events such as the “Occupy” movements, Netflix separating its streaming and DVD rental fees, and Verizon charging $2 for online bill pay, the online world became a place to speak one’s mind, with voracity in 2011, and social media was a major player. Netflix’s popularity has dwindled immensely since it announced its change, much thanks to social media outcry. In turn, its stocks have been in decline ever since. As for Verizon, they denounced making their change after an online petition (and some social media backlash) made it known that many customers were unhappy with being charged the extra fee. These are just a few of MANY examples of the social voice becoming more and more influential, and that voice seems to get louder and louder every year. And after 2011, it’s starting to become deafening.
  • Facebook Timelines — Timelines began creeping in toward the end of 2011, and while in its infancy (as of this post, the change hasn’t been made for everyone worldwide yet), I actually am a big fan (maybe one of the few?). I see the potential this could provide at a professional level, amongst other ideas, as per written in one of my previous blog posts.
  • Video has yet to kill the Radio star: Arbitron reported that radio added 1.4 million weekly listeners compared to December of 2010. This suggests that radio continues to thrive despite any naysaying about it becoming a dying breed. Now with Clear Channel’s move to reduce many of its stations into “cookie cutters,” there could be a setback for this trend, but we will have to wait til the end of 2012 to see if the number of listeners declines.
  • Spotify your mind: Spotify, a digital music service, launched in Europe in 2008, and after huge success, it was subsequently released in the U.S. in July of 2011. Spotify provides users access to millions of songs for free, however, the free version limits your choices. But a small monthly payment, including a premium amount, users gain access to Spotify’s entire music library. But most importantly, users gain access to albums before they are released publicly and get chances at winning tickets to live shows and big name competitions. Later on in 2011, Spotify integrated its services socially with Facebook. Users can now share songs with Facebook friends using playlists/suggestions. This move for Spotify and Facebook was huge in the social landscape as far as music is concerned. I, for one, enjoy it immensely, and I don’t even pay for the monthly service.

What do you feel were some highlights in 2011?

Stay tuned for parts two and three!