A few weeks ago I promised my web and social media predictions for 2012, here they are. I realize these predictions are somewhat narrow and perhaps too focused, and if I had more time, and more of my thoughts written down as they came to me, earlier this year, I could have expanded out my predictions past the few subjects I’m going to write about today – I will just talk about things that interest me enough to have taken note of them, that I can recall enough to write about now.
As it is, some of my world predictions will be discussed during a webinar with the Recorded Future on December 21st - see this link for more instructions on how to join me there.
Social Media Analytics:
As I have been covering here (and in my book) 2012 is a year of convergence; 2011, according to Mashable, wasn’t much to write home about, mostly incremental advances by all the platforms, sorta a “catch up” year. A lot of the platforms I deal with in Social Media Analytics were in the process of being acquired and as I am the most connected with this space than any other, I’ll start with it. There’s also a search I saved on The Recorded Future for Social Media Predictions for 2012.
- by the end of 2012, most of them will have been acquired.
- Google, as I covered, will enter the space as a collection system and PR type dashboard (which they haven’t formally announced that part yet. To make things worse for the existing platforms, the aggregation of social data will be opened to any third party developer that wants it via an open API that will allow any platform to use Google’s aggregation and Google Analytics, together, along with their advertising. Facebook will fight back, but ultimately, submit (since advertisers and publishers will demand it – and they cave in). Twitter will happy go along, along with their data partners GNIP and DataSift, who will adapt and feed their data into Google’s Social Data Hub (which will, in a way, undermine one of them, the other will be acquired by either Google or Microsoft). PeopleBrowser will get lost in the shuffle, as people never understood that platform, or what it offered, anyway. The use of Google’s API to store social interactions will lessen the need for other platforms to collect that data themselves, and gradually, over the next 2 years, Google will become the market leader, forcing standards in Social Media Measurement that industry needs but lacked the consensus to enact.
- As a result of the imminent appearance of Google in 2012 as the emerging market leader in SMM, the remaining independent firms will face choices of consolidation (mergers of disparate platforms) or will hurry off to sell themselves to advertising, marketing, market research or PR agencies that haven’t been able to scale social listening, successfully. There will be few independents of the first and second generation SMM (as covered in my book) by the end of 2012, though a new crop of Analytics platforms will emerge that will be more useful and nimble than what has been in place, and the prices will drop for services, since the data is already a commodity.
- Analytics platforms will improve or incorporate mobile Analytics, which, to a large extent, has been lacking in the first and second generation platforms. The platforms will continue to improve and workflow, which has often been lacking or disparate, will start to merge with business requirements, providing in 2012, the first actually useful platforms for business analysis that incorporated social data, that have been more or less hit and miss, up to this point.
- It’s not much of a stretch that as more and more people are using mobile devices, and the mobile devices are becoming more powerful, that more time will be spent generating social media, and that by the end of 2012, social media data will, for all it’s limitations, be a must have for most businesses to capture. We’ve seen mainstream companies such as American Express getting into Search Engine Marketing Services, and now, Social Media Monitoring services for their cardholders. What now seems like an isolated trend with one or two large adopters, will be greatly multiplied next year, making Social Analytics mainstreamed. Coincidentally, for the last year or so, all the social analytic vendors I’ve spoken to have tripled their billings and it’s likely that 2012 will be their best year, yet.
- Based on what I’ve been reading out of @semangel’s blog, I think there’s a good bet that Web Analytics and Social Media Analytics will merge in 2012, and that will continue a trend that has already been going on this year and I’ll be talking about that, and likes and gripes on Social Media Platforms on a Semphonic Webinar on January 11th, 2012 with Gary Angel and Scott Wilder – join me there.
I will also be giving a webinar on December 21st with The Recorded Future on Davos, the World Economic Forum and the World Economy in 2012, as shown through Recorded Future’s temporal Analytics platform, and I hope you join me there to find out more about the economic forecasts for next year. I’ll be publishing my presentation shortly before the webinar takes place.
- Some of the predicted events for next year are a slowing of the Chinese economy, which I suspect will ease some of the pressure on the price of oil (but then again, with Peek Oil approaching, it’s hard to say if the pressure will actually lessen, or if it will increase).
- There seems to be a growing consensus the Euro will collapse as a common currency for the Eurozone – I can’t say that is going to happen in 2012, but it does appear to be likely, and that will likely put added pressure on the world economy. It does appear, according to information detected by the Recorded Future,Greece will freeze bank deposits shortly, and the damage will spread to other parts of Europe, and indirectly to the US (whose dollar might actually get stronger, as a result).
- A lot of people have been predicting the end of the world in 2012, I don’t think anything like that will happen, but I’m wondering if the rush to Cloud Technology, ironically, will do us in, indirectly due to the Cloud failing as a result of severe weather and astronomical disturbances (even though may data centers have extensive battery backup and redundant power supplies). If, say, a solar flare or some “magnetic” disturbance, as has been predicted by some, takes place next year, solid state systems and the electrical grid might be affected, including data storage devices and processors – and if enough of them were hit at one time, perhaps several Cloud(s) just go belly up at the same time? If so, it may takes months, years to recover from from something like that. I can’t find any believable source past About.com to back it up (if you consider that source, believable), but it does seem to me the the interdependence of many systems may poke holes in the resilience of our infrastructure to counter electrical and environmental disruptions, and we saw what happened in Japan over the last year – no matter how well a system is planned, there can be unpredictable co-occurring events which occur together and are unprepared for.
- There appears to be an unusual amount of flooding, locally (I’ve seen and heard a lot about the north east – esp CT and RI, and I suspect it is far more widespread, at various places all over the world and I take this to be the result of Global Warming and the melting of Polar Icecaps, placing a lot more moisture in the atmosphere; the moisture has to go somewhere, and it ends up causing more storms, more rain, and more flooding.
- It seems to follow that if my first prediction comes true, the value of batteries, and stored supplies will go up, and it seems a prudent thing to do to stored energy available, just in case.
There’s just so much more to say than what I put down here – so much I felt I could have said but left out, or just can’t gather it all, here, now. Maybe it’s like that with life, we can only scribble down a few thoughts and the rest, we have to take on faith, is there, and we’ll know what we need to, as we need to.
At any rate, since a lot of people give their predictions just now, thought it was time to put my hat in the ring. My hope was to use Recorded Future for most of the predictions this time, since I have access to this platform, now, but found that it worked best for certain types of questions and it would take me a bit more time to do a fuller set of predictions using RF.