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!

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