November 15, 2012
Thank you to all who supported and attended MiniTrends 2012: A Conference on Translating Emerging Trends into Business Opportunities on October 17-18 in Austin, Texas! We enjoyed interacting with everyone and appreciated the contagious enthusiasm. The speakers were fantastic, the synergy between attendees exciting, and the overall response great. Now let’s build on it!
We want to give special thanks to all of our outstanding speakers. A special shout-out goes to our Keynotes John Vanston, David Pearce Snyder, and Bryan Reese whose excellent presentations provided the structure of the conference. Please spread the word on their speaking talents and availability.
Let’s use the new LinkedIn MiniTrends Group to continue to network and keep the energy going until MiniTrends 2013. Please feel free to share thoughts from the conference and your own minitrends, experiences, and resources. (We may plan a MiniTrends networking and/or educational event or two before the next conference to keep the momentum going.)
We also welcome you to “like” us on our Facebook Page. We will be posting pictures of the conference, luncheon, and reception soon.
Please let us know of any progress you make with minitrends that you might uncover and take advantage of, particularly those using concepts from MiniTrends 2012 and the MINITRENDS book. Feel free to send us your ideas and progress or participate in our social media avenues. We are always looking for good examples, and if we use your minitrend, we’ll be sure to give you credit!
Again, thank you for all those who attended and supported MiniTrends 2012. We are looking forward to staying in touch with you until MiniTrends 2013 and welcoming some newcomers, too!
October 25, 2011
I’ve attended the InnoTech Conference and Expo and its associated eMarketing Summit for several years now and always learn a lot. This year I wanted to pass on some comments from experts that I heard yesterday relating to emerging trends that are becoming more and more important:
Sean Lowry, of the very successful InnoTech series, always does a great job of making sure everything runs smoothly. I was even able to steal him for a minute to ask what emerging trends he saw coming. He told me, “I see continued convergence of all the different technologies we are seeing here today. Development of mobile applications and host applications in the cloud are particularly important. There is so much video activity and a lot of it is being hosted in the cloud now.”
I asked Giovanni Galluci, social media expert and Dallas photographer what he thinks the next trend in social media is going to be. He said, “Getting over it. Everyone is burnt out with all the hype and now people are looking for more meaning in social media. Twitter is ridiculous. Those who do marketing are beginning to realize it. Online social media is becoming part of the umbrella of marketing, which is where it belongs. Social media is becoming more commodatized—as in more of a commodity.”
He gave several great hints about Facebook including that Facebook ads are the best way to grow a fan base; Facebook is the 2nd largest search engine, so take advantage of it (including using pictures with metatags, main key words in description, etc.); and put Facebook info on all your printed matter including cards and bills.
I chatted with William Leake, CEO of Apogee Search Marketing, and his take was that “More and more advertising presence is going to be driven by physical location. If you don’t have a physical location strategy, you are going to lose.”
Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo and a video expert, had a lot to say about the future of video marketing. According to Craig, “In the future, no one is going to stand in line anymore. Offline and online is no longer relevant. This is already starting to happen and it is going to become ubiquous.” He added that “QR readers are going to be incorporated into devices and the present obstacles to their use will be chipped away.” (On a side note, Craig was most recently the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Match.com. That had to be an interesting job!)
According to Pat Scherer, Web and Mobile Deployment Manager at The Detail Person, “Mobile space is going to be huge. With the explosion of devices, I think it’s going to make a huge impact on the retail industry. Not only for payments, but for creating local-based experiences utilizing mobile social media. I anticipate this leveling the playing field with e-commerce.”
Finally, I got to chat briefly with siblings Kevin Olsen and Kerri Olsen, Co-Founders of the Austin Grand Prix. Having Formula 1 in Austin exciting!
Media/Marketing Director, Technology Futures, Inc.
Co-Author, MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends
March 30, 2011
Google is taking a slice from Apple’s strategy, bringing back company co-founder Larry Page to ignite innovation at Google, where the stock has flatlined for the past year. Page is scheduled to take over next week as CEO from Eric Schmidt, who is reportedly under consideration for the Secretary of Commerce position in U.S. President Barack Obama’s cabinet.
It’s often difficult for mature companies to innovate the way startups do. For one thing, they lack the financial compulsion that drives entrepreneurs to market or die. Look at how News Corp. has shouldered losses at MySpace while Facebook restlessly innovates, or what happened to AOL after the merger with Time Warner, or what might happen to The Huffington Post now that it has been acquired by AOL. Google can afford to simply hold onto a company such as YouTube without the pace of self-improvement often seen in startups.
Amir Efrati, who covers the Internet for The Wall Street Journal, has been stirring things up in Silicon Valley this past week with fascinating reports on attempts by Google and Yahoo to stay innovative. In an article last Saturday, Efrati used unnamed sources to speculate that Larry Page is being called back to “speed up what [Page] says has been sluggish decision-making at Google’s top levels.”
One of Page’s new edicts, according to The Wall Street Journal, is face-to-face bullpen sessions:
… [E]very afternoon, [Page] and the company’s executive officers sit and work on small couches outside a boardroom in Building 43 at Google’s headquarters.
That might have worked when Page left the company in 2001, with 200 employees. Whether it will work 10 years later, with over 100 times as many people on the payroll, remains to be seen.
The difficulty of fostering innovation in mature companies is one of the main drivers behind the Minitrends project at Technology Futures, Inc., the Austin, Texas, technology forecasting firm and publisher of the book, MINITRENDS, and this blog. The authors devote a significant portion of the book to fostering innovation in large corporations:
Fewer than 30 percent of the companies listed on the Fortune 100 twenty-five years ago are still on the list today. Often the primary reason for the demise of such companies has been a failure to recognize and react to changing trends.
One of the ways that companies innovate is through acquisition rather than invention. Efrati generated a second round of buzz this week when he quoted Yahoo’s director of development, Steven Mitzenmacher, on The Wall Street Journal‘s Digits blog as saying Google’s investment in YouTube was “crazy.” It’s an odd comment, given YouTube’s burgeoning revenues and the fact that Yahoo is embarking on a buying binge to remain relevant.
Savvy institutional investing reporter, Riley McDermid, follows the fallout from Page’s return to Google in an insightful article at VentureBeat. Always one step ahead of the competition, McDermid managed to write about The Wall Street Journal‘s article a day before the article appeared. It’s hard to keep up with futurists!
So where do large corporations find the stimulation they need to stay at the forefront of technology trends? Among the resources mentioned in MINITRENDS are innovation competitions and working papers. Among the best examples of where to find both is the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), which held its version of “March Madness” — an innovation competition — in Washington, D.C., last Saturday.
The NCIIA competition is sponsored by companies that are working to stay competitive and rewarding innovation in education. The NCIIA has already published all the conference papers online, for free; they contain a treasure-trove of ideas for mature companies looking for a little stimulation or entrepreneurs looking for adventure.
If you prefer to watch rather than read, we recommend you screen the videos submitted to the NCIIA’s “Open Mind” Awards and nicely catalogued by David Orsman at Inventors Digest. It’s by doing research like this that you are likely to find the Larry Pages and Steve Jobs of tomorrow, who will set the technology trends that others follow.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “Obama Nears Appointment Of Eric Schmidt As Commerce Secretary,” BusinessInsider, March 18, 2011
Source: “At Google, Page Aims to Clear Red Tape,” The Wall Street Journal,” March 26, 2011
Source: “Larry Page already cracking the whip at Google, a week before he takes the reins,” VentureBeat, March 25, 2011
Source: “Yahoo Executive Talks Acquisitions, Slams YouTube Buy,” The Wall Street Journal‘s Digits Blog, March 28, 2011
Source: “The Open Minds Awards: Taking Innovation off Campus & into Commercialization,” Inventors Digest, Feb. 18, 2011
Photo courtesy of Jeff Keyzer (mightyohm), used under its Creative Commons license.
March 1, 2011
The “24-hour news cycle” must be on a New Year’s diet, because it’s down to about 24 minutes now. That’s about how long it takes for a breaking news story to circle the globe and get filed away.
Technology trends are fueling the every-shrinking news cycle to match the ever-shrinking attention span of the always-online news addicts. If I haven’t lost you already by exceeding 140 characters, let me quickly show you a couple of tech trends that are feeding the instant news beast.
Instagram Instant Photos
Last Thursday (I realize that’s a long time ago), image-sharing app Instagram made its application program interface (API) available to developers to facilitate the instant sharing of photos taken by iPhone cameras. Now you can snap a picture, apply a hashtag, and upload it. Anyone watching that hashtag, or the location where you took the photo, can instantly see the new image.
The image above shows how the Instagram API works on the website, Foodspotting. Type in a location (i.e., Texas) and a dish (i.e., toast), and Foodspotting will show you all the pictures tagged “toast” that are geotagged from Texas. While this may seem trivial when searching for Texas toast, imagine the same search, updated in realtime by a news portal, for “protest” and “Middle East,” and you begin to get an appreciation for how fast the news is moving.
Equentia Instant News
Earlier this month (the Stone Age in realnews time), Erick Schonfeld, co-editor of TechCrunch, who has been writing about technology since pre-history (before the Web), wrote an update on Equentia, a realtime news service:
[Equentia] indexes 100,000 articles a day across blogs and news sites, puts them through a semantic engine to categorize them into every topic imaginable, and [then looks] at how much social attention each article is getting.
You can customize the search results, of course, by applying filters such as geographical regions, companies you want to follow, preferred news sources, time-span covered, product names and brand names, etc. And the news results are delivered to you along with a Twitter crawl for related subjects.
Instant Updates on Web Pages
Speaking of Twitter crawls, widgets that allow you to show your latest Tweets and Facebook Updates have brought realtime news to plain old Web pages (you remember what those are, don’t you?).
The image above shows a Twitter crawl from the Childhood Obesity News blog. You can almost see the kids getting bigger in realtime.
Web developer extraordinaire, Glen Stansberry, provides a tutorial on 10 ways to integrate Twitter into your website at Tuts+. His tutorial is old news, I realize, but not all of us are hip to the 24-second news cycle yet.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “Instagram Unveils Realtime API With Foodspotting, Fancy, Momento, Flipboard, About.me And Others,” TechCrunch, Feb. 24, 2011
Source: “Experiments In Realtime News: The Eqentia Streams,” TechCrunch, Feb. 14, 2011
Source: “10 Awesome Ways to Integrate Twitter With Your Website,” Tuts+, Jan. 23, 2009
Images of Foodspotting and Childhood Obesity News are used under Fair Use: Commentary.
February 22, 2011
Is your business ready to lose control? That appears to be the direction of enterprise computing, according to a new set of predictions just released by management consulting powerhouse, Accenture.
In the free report, Accenture Technology Vision 2011, Accenture’s information technology (IT) team, led by Kevin Campbell, chief executive of the company’s technology group, reviewed such sources as the subjects of keynote speeches at technology conferences, the types of projects receiving venture capital funding, and the predictions of well known IT experts. These sources are similar to those John and Carrie Vanston recommend consulting when analyzing the viability of trends in their book, MINITRENDS. The Accenture report arrives at a short list of eight trends that are transforming IT.
Accenture sees “a world of IT that barely resembles what enterprise computing looks like today,” according to Gavin Michael, Accenture’s managing director of research and development, as quoted by TMCnet reporter, Rajani Baburajan. “IT is no longer in a support role. Instead, it is front and center driving business performance and enriching people’s lives like never before,” Michael said.
Accenture sees three major rivers running through its predictions:
- Greater Distribution of Data: “Data is dispersed across many more locations, and under the control of far more owners.”
- The Separation of Software and Hardware: “Technology today enables decoupling of entities and layers once deemed inseparable.”
- The Meteoric Rise of Analytics: “Analytics will become the super-tool with which to drive more agile and effective decision-making.”
You have to be something of a mindreader to parse the jargon of the report and glean the pearls of wisdom it contains, but they are there. Accenture sees decentralization at the core of technology trends, such as cloud computing, which we have frequently covered on this blog.
The report’s insight that IT security needs to move from a “fortress mentality” to a layered and distributed series of security checks is prescient, as is the awareness that greater automation in security and the ability of software to handle “noise” will improve results. Imagine how the technology behind IBM’s Watson (the new Jeopardy champion) will enable computers to understand natural language and anticipate security breaches instead of waiting for an attack.
The Accenture report, like most similar surveys, sees the rise of the social platform in enterprise computing. The website will no longer be the primary connection point between an organization and its constituents. Companies will have to set up shop where the consumer is — on sites such as Facebook and Netflix — rather than waiting for the consumer to come to them.
The report concludes with this powerful insight: The primary role of IT in the past has been to reduce an organization’s costs; in the future, it will be to enhance the user experience. The authors of the report foresee technology that goes beyond Apple Computer’s famously intuitive user experience to something that instantly and seamlessly shapes itself to the unique characteristics of the user.
Accenture’s vision is at once thrilling and unsettling. Organizations will have to move out of their bunkers, distributing their computing resources and allowing users to take control. Like a fast-paced, high-tech amusement ride, it’s going to be scary but enjoyable for those entities able to loosen up and cede control of their IT resources to the audiences they are charged with serving.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “Accenture Technology Vision 2011” (PDF), Feb. 7, 2011
Source: “Accenture Maps Eight Trends That Will Drive Future of IT,” infoTech Spotlight, Feb. 9, 2011
Image by Mulad (Michael Hicks), used under its Creative Commons license.
February 15, 2011
If you haven’t heard about “Social CRM” yet, get ready. Predictions are this will be the “technology trend of the year” for 2011.
Simply stated, Social CRM is the marriage of your Rolodex with Twitter. The Rolodex represents your Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM: your database of contacts, clients, prospects, employees, customers, or anyone else your organization keeps tabs on. Twitter represents the social side of these contacts, whether they express themselves on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, through comments on blogs, or other ways online.
When you merge your CRM system with social networking, what you get is an amazing lifecycle understanding of how your customers were influenced to contact you, what they purchased once they did, and how those purchases worked out for them. Imagine being able to ask a customer, “How did you find out about us” and “How is that purchase working out for you” without having to ask — and being able to rely on the answers as honest and real. That’s the power of Social CRM.
Social CRM begins when an organization starts to listen to what people are saying about it online, and posts its own messages through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Social CRM deepens when organizations go beyond watching themselves to watching their customers, employees, and other contacts. According to CRM expert and Inc. magazine reporter, Brent Leary, “2011 looks to be shaping up as the year companies go beyond focusing on marketing and promotion” with Social CRM.
Leary is on the board of the Customer Relationship Management Association and editor of its newsletter, “Insights.” His article for Inc. magazine reviews a conference on Social CRM at the University of Toronto held at the end of last year. The conference was the inaugural event for the new Center for CRM Excellence at the University’s Rotman School of Management. Leary debriefs several experts on Social CRM including Greg Gianforte at RightNow, Marcel LeBrun at Radian6, Alex Bard at Assistly, and John Bastone at SAS.
Social networking gives organizations the opportunity to eavesdrop on contacts as they reveal their opinions through actions and comments online. Social CRM gathers those tidbits of information and combines them into reports about contacts that are far more elaborate than professional profilers ever could have imagined. Social CRM makes it possible to, among other things, fix a customer’s problem before they even know they have a problem, or before they report it. That’s powerful marketing!
Another excellent article comes from Maria Ogneva at Mashable, a site not known for deep articles. Ogneva has an interest in the subject, as the director of social media for Nimble, a social relationship management firm. Still, Ogneva intelligently lays out the fundamentals of Social CRM:
The social customer may go to Twitter with a question, a user forum with a customer service query, Facebook with a compliment, or Yelp with a complaint. The processes you establish will largely determine your ability to respond quickly and with the relevant information, while uniting all of these interactions under one customer record.
If you think Social CRM is just another fad that will soon disappear, maybe Gartner will persuade you otherwise? In a study released this week, the giant IT research firm predicted that Social CRM sales will exceed $1 billion by 2013. Spending on Social CRM is expected to double this year, from 4% to 8% of total CRM spending.
Chris DiMarco, Web Editor for TMCnet, nails the significance of Gartner’s report when he writes, “The utility to include and target individuals based on information they’ve provided voluntarily on social media sites will likely be necessary to compete in the very near future.” In short, if you don’t get Social CRM, you don’t get the customer. And that’s the simple reason Social CRM is shaping up to be the app of the year for 2011.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “2011: The Year Social CRM Goes Mainstream,” Inc., December 27, 2010
Source: “Why Your Company Needs to Embrace Social CRM,” Mashable, May 21, 2010
Source: “Gartner Says Spending on Social Software to Support Sales, Marketing and Customer Service Processes Will Exceed $1 Billion Worldwide By 2013,” Gartner news release, February 8, 2011
Source: “Social CRM to Explode in the Immediate Future says Gartner Study,” TMCnet, February 8, 2011
Image by nerissa’s ring, used under its Creative Commons license.
December 8, 2010
On December 2, International Data Corporation (IDC), the giant IT research firm out of Framingham, Massachusetts, released its annual predictions for IT in the coming year. The firm is forecasting a perfect storm for IT: a combination of cloud computing, mobile computing, and social networking that threatens to consign desktop PCs to the storage closet.
The author of the survey is IDC’s chief analyst, Frank Gens, who leads IDC’s 1,000 analysts in 110 countries in tracking IT trends. Summarizing this year’s report, Gens sees a nearly complete transformation in the dominant computing platform:
What really distinguishes the year ahead is that these disruptive technologies are finally being integrated with each other — cloud with mobile, mobile with social networking, social networking with ‘big data’ and real-time analytics. As a result, these once-emerging technologies can no longer be invested in, or managed, as sandbox efforts around the edges of the market. Instead, they are rapidly becoming the market itself and must be addressed accordingly.
As the IDC report ripples through the Internet, different players are examining what it means for the future of computing. At ComputerWorld, Sharon Gaudin comments on the surge in social networking, suggesting that business startups will stop building expensive and complicated websites and opt for free Facebook pages instead.
Anuradha Shukla at TechWorld is enthusiastic about IDC’s upbeat predictions for IT expenditures. The report forecasts a 5.7% increase in outlays over 2010, to $1.6 trillion worldwide. IDC sees half of that spending coming from emerging market countries shrugging off the recession.
At PC World, Patrick Thibodeau focuses on IDC’s prediction that shipments of apps-enabled mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — will surpass shipments of PCs in the next 18 months. Thibodeau points out, however, that shipments of PCs are not declining; rather, they are growing, but not nearly as quickly as mobile devices.
Another prediction that is sure to catch the eye of venture capital firms: Gens says that nearly a third of the major players in social networking will be bought up in the coming year by the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, HP, and IBM, who need to get in the game.
While many others futurists we have covered on the Minitrends blog have made similar predictions about the growth in cloud computing, mobile computing, and social networking, none of them have joined them together with such a powerful vision of a whole new way of working that Frank Gens brings to IDC’s report.
What do you think is coming in 2011? Do you think it will be just more of the same, or the beginning of a totally new platform, as the IDC report speculates? We welcome your comments.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “IDC Predicts Cloud Services, Mobile Computing, and Social Networking to Mature and Coalesce in 2011, Creating a New Mainstream for the IT Industry,” IDC Press Release, 12/02/10
Source: “Business will get more social in 2011, IDC says,” ComputerWorld, 12/06/10
Source: “Cloud services, mobile computing and social networking to mature in IT industry,” TechWorld, 12/07/10
Source: “In historic shift, smartphones, tablets to overtake PCs,” PC World, 12/07/10
Photo by davedehetre (David DeHetre), used under its Creative Commons license.
December 2, 2010
We monitor technology trends on this blog. One of the biggest tech trends of late is accusing Google of having a monopoly, or monopolies (plural), which begs the question of what, exactly, Google has a monopoly over? Most of the accusations center around search.
“Google ‘owns’ search,” says Columbia Law Professor, Tim Wu, in a November 13 piece for The Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ “Review” section. Wu’s new book, The Master Switch, is sounding the “Google as monopoly” bell which rang loudly before the U.S. Presidential elections in 2008 but has quieted down since.
Wu’s definition of “ownership” is quite a bit looser than a pure monopoly. Google “owns” less than two-thirds of the search market, according to ComScore. In June of this year, Google held 62.6% of search queries; Yahoo held 18.9%; and Microsoft’s Bing has grown to an impressive 12.7%. Having a dominant position in a field with few barriers to entry is not a monopoly. Just ask MySpace.
Two days ago, however, the accusations that Google has a monopoly moved from the rhetoric to real threat as the European Commission opened an investigation into whether Google has abused its position as the dominant search engine by intentionally skewing search results to benefit entities it owns. From the EC’s press release announcing inquiry launch:
The Commission will investigate whether Google has abused a dominant market position in online search by allegedly lowering the ranking of unpaid search results of competing services which are specialised in providing users with specific online content such as price comparisons (so-called vertical search services) and by according preferential placement to the results of its own vertical search services in order to shut out competing services. The Commission will also look into allegations that Google lowered the ‘Quality Score’ for sponsored links of competing vertical search services. The Quality Score is one of the factors that determine the price paid to Google by advertisers.
The argument here is not that Google is a monopoly because of its size. Rather, that Google has used illegal means to penalize competitors, which is what eventually gets so-called monopolies in trouble. I have long suspected that Google Blog Search favors blogs on the Google-owned Blogger/BlogSpot platform over rival WordPress. The EC review is based on favoring Google’s price comparison results over rival Foundem.
Two Google vice presidents have posted a response to the EC’s announcement on the Google Public Policy Blog, but they do not dispute the EC’s claim of favoritism. It was Microsoft’s exclusionary sales contracts that required PC makers to install its operating system and not competing software that got the software maker into antitrust trouble, not its market share.
As long as consumers have access to alternatives, does Google really have a monopoly on search? Does Facebook have a monopoly on social networking? The same could have been said of MySpace three years ago. MySpace has suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for owner News Corp. Facebook could fade just as fast and, believe it or not, so could Google. In a previous post on this blog, we cited Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker as noting that seven of the top 15 Internet companies by market capitalization in 2004 are not in the top 15 today.
The primary reason for the demise of [Fortune 100] companies has been a failure to recognize and react to changing trends.
Those words come from the new book, MINITRENDS, by futurist John Vanston with Carrie Vanston. One of the main reasons the Vanstons wrote this book was to give large companies a formula for staying innovative. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to pioneer new ideas, and often much harder for those ideas to come from within giant organizations. But it can be done, and MINITRENDS provides a process these giants can use to identify and develop new methods and markets.
It has been Microsoft’s argument against the antitrust regulators that, absent criminal barriers to entry, its businesses are open to competition and subject to decline unless Microsoft continually innovates. Bill Gates, who is no stranger to the issues now facing Google, lashed out at Matt Ridley, author of the new book, The Rational Optimist, in last weekend’s WSJ Review:
Like many other authors who write about innovation, Mr. Ridley suggests that all innovation comes from new companies, with no contribution from established companies. As you might expect, I disagree with this view.
Gates knows that Facebook’s advertising network could upend Google’s fragile hold over the online advertising market, and that Facebook itself could fade as fast as MySpace did in a matter of a few years. For those companies who hope to stay ahead of the game, as Apple and Microsoft have consistently done, MINITRENDS provides a way of nurturing innovation — a process that itself is a significant innovation — in the quest to remain competitive.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “In the Grip of the New Monopolists,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/13/10
Source: “Search engine Bing gains market share,” BBC Technology News, 07/14/10
Source: “Antitrust: Commission probes allegations of antitrust violations by Google,” EUROPA Press Releases, 11/30/10
Source: “MySpace losses lead way down for News Corp.,” Los Angeles Times, 08/05/09
Source: MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends, Technology Futures, Inc., p. 13.
Source: “Africa Needs Aid, Not Flawed Theories,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/27/10
Image by cambodia4kidsorg, used under its Creative Commons license.
November 29, 2010
In case you hadn’t noticed, this Thanksgiving marked the tipping point of a major new technology trend: Social Shopping. When you combine the spread of social networking, the market penetration of mobile phones, the desperation of retailers to capture more business, and consumers’ love of the deal, you wind up with Social Shopping.
Richard MacManus, the founder and CEO of ReadWriteWeb, which is consistently one of the best blogs covering Internet technology trends, recently kicked off a series looking back on the top tech trends of 2010. He begins the series by looking at Social Shopping.
In 2010, we’ve seen the rise of so-called ‘social shopping’ services. They rely heavily on technologies such as social networking, crowdsourcing and smart phone scanners. Here we present five of the main social shopping developments of 2010.
MacManus doesn’t just pick five companies to profile, but five different types of Social Shopping technologies. Who knew there were so many? Here are his top picks, along with examples of companies that have been using these technologies to attract consumers:
2. Real-Time Shopping: These deep discounts might last for only a few minutes or hours or until supplies run out. Example: Woot.
5. Barcode Scanning: Phone apps that allow you to take a picture of a barcode or QR code with your phone, then search for reviews, deals, or other information on the Internet. Examples: RedLaser, ScanLife.
Last week, we wrote about how Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed a new feature for Android phones that will allow you to skip the barcode photo and just wave your phone near an NFC chip to learn about deals on a product.
If those aren’t enough leads for you to explore the new world of Social Shopping, then take a look at Mashable’s list of 18 Sites for Social Shopping — and don’t forget to look in the comments for another 18 or so!
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “Top Trends of 2010: Social Shopping,” ReadWriteWeb, 11/15/10
Source: “SHOPPING SPREE: 18 Sites for Social Shopping & Deals,” Mashable, 08/08/07
Photo by Jenelle/Thriving Ink, used under its Creative Commons license.
November 17, 2010
Mary Meeker runs the global technology research team as a managing director of investment giant, Morgan Stanley. When Meeker talks, the market listens, and she was saying plenty at the recent Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco.
On Tuesday, November 16, Meeker shared her picks for the top Internet trends, backed up with some of the most cleverly crafted stats I’ve ever seen. Among the revelations: Print publications occupy only 12% of the amount of time consumers spend with media, yet account for 26% of advertising spending. This does not bode well for the future of advertiser-supported print media.
On the other hand, Meeker’s stats show that the Internet takes up 28% of people’s time for media, yet draws only 13% of advertisers’ budgets. She says there’s $50 billion too little being spent in online advertising.
Mashable’s Ben Parr summarized Meeker’s misallocation thusly: Facebook is “the most under-monitized asset in online advertising.” According to Meeker’s stats, social networking is earning a mere 55 cents per thousand impressions (CPM) from advertisers. Compare this to CPM’s of about $2.70 for the majority of websites that accept display advertising. Also grossly undervalued, according to Meeker, are display ads embedded in email, which earn only 89 cents CPM.
Parr was modest enough not to mention that Mashable ranked as one of the Top 10 brands on Twitter, coming in at position number 10 — right behind the National Basketball Association (NBA) and just ahead of Martha Stewart.
Another slide in Meeker’s presentation compared the number of people who “like” brands on Facebook with the number of viewers for popular television programs — and the CPMs associated with those TV shows. Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker leads the likes on Facebook with 27.2 million, which is roughly equivalent to the number of American Idol viewers. Whereas display ads on Facebook cost a mere $0.55 per thousand impressions, American Idol charges $30. We profiled Zynga founder Mark Pincus here on the Minitrends blog last month, where he talked about the importance of good eating habits.
Some of the other trends mentioned in the book, MINITRENDS, which also caught Mary Meeker’s eye, include the growth of virtual worlds. Meeker favorably compared the Japanese social networking site, Tencent (637 million active users), with Facebook (620 million annual visitors). The difference? Tencent is a virtual world using avatars. The shocking stat that caught my attention: over $1.4 billion in virtual goods have been sold on Tencent! Those are real yen shelled out for virtual merchandise such as outfits for avatars.
Another shocking stat: Seven of the top 15 Internet companies by market capitalization in 2004 are not in the top 15 today. Punishment is swift for those who do not stay on the edge of innovation. Case in point: Nokia and RIM held 70% of the smartphone market as recently as 2008. Today, that market share has dropped to 52% while Google (Android) and Apple (iPhone) have gone from nothing to gobbling up 42% of the market.
News Editor, Minitrends Blog
Source: “The Unprecedented Rise of Apple iOS and Other Internet Trends,” Mashable, 11/16/10
Source: “Mary Meeker On Ten Questions Internet Execs Should Ask And Answer,” TechCrunch, 11/16/10
Image from Morgan Stanley, used under Fair Use: Commentary.