Six trends for 2011 and beyond on how businesses can tap the power of the web

The very dynamic Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins of Bluewire Media recently did a video interview of me, asking me about the trends driving how the web will shape business.

Here is the video, with a summary of my headline points below. (Also see Bluewire Media’soriginal post of the video , which has my comments written up in greater detail.)

What do you see the future of the web being for businesses?

The fundamental trends include:

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We will need better filters as spurious news explodes: the curious case of the king of Saudi Arabia buying Facebook

Earlier today ‘satirical’ website DawnWires published a story titled Saudi King to buy Facebook for $150 billion to end the revolt: Goldman Sachs to advise. The article was published in the LoLNews category, and the bottom of it says “Sunday Humor… (Sunday Humor article at Dawnwires.com are meant to humor our readers. They may or may not be the truth.)”

The article was taken up by a number of mainstream news sites in the Middle East, including Tehran Times (quoting “inside sources”) and Egyptian media, as noted by Google exec Wael Ghonim. The original story on DawnWires shows almost 30,000 Facebook shares and over 30,000 shares on other channels, suggesting a lot of people have seen this now.

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When will tablets be given away for free? Perhaps before the end of this year

When we launched our Newspaper Extinction Timeline I noted that tablets similar to the iPad of today will cost less than $10 and given away for free by the end of the decade, a prediction that interviewers have frequently questioned me on since. 

I have since realized that tablets are likely to be given away far earlier than this, probably first bundled with content subscriptions. However it is not just publishers who would consider subsidizing the cost of a free tablet. Marketers may find it less expensive than traditional advertising to reach the right audience by giving them tablets which embed carefully presented messages. Consumer services companies such as banks could provide handy interfaces within tablets to embed and broaden relationships with select customers.

The following chart comes from John Walkenbach’s blog via Kevin Kelly, suggesting that Kindles will be given away for free by November 2011.


Source: John Walkenbach
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The Future of Customer Relationships: notes on where they are going

I’ve just finished a teleconference on The Future of Customer Relationships (follow the link for an overview), hosted by Focus.com and Brian Vellmure.

The panellists were:
Ross Dawson
Dr. Graham Hill
Dr. Michael Wu
Denis Pombriant

Our discussion will be available shortly as an mp3. For now, here are a few quick notes I took from the discussion. We certainly didn’t have the time to cover the full scope of the future of customer relationships in our 45 minute discussion, but we did get across some very interesting issues.

We started by talking about the big picture, where I covered a few of the themes from my map of the ExaTrends of the Decade.

MapoftheDecade_500w.jpg

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The future of business: choosing the industries that will prosper in the decade ahead

The cover story on the current issue of MyBusiness magazine is on The Future of Business: Businesses to seek – or flee – in the next decade.

It features ideas from three futurists: myself, Bernard Salt of KPMG, and Christine Christian of Dun & Bradstreet.

Here are a few of the quotes from me they used in the article. I will do a separate post tomorrow that runs through some of my ideas on the specific industries that will grow and shrink in the coming decade.

Ross Dawson, a futurist and Chairman of Future Exploration Network, advises that it is not important to pick which industries will rise or fall. Canny business people, he believes, will try to preduct what those changes will mean for the way business is conducted. “It does not make much sense to think about rising or shrinking industries,” he says. “It makes sense to think about where value is going.”

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Blogging is fragmenting into multi-platform content creation – long live blogging!

Drawing on a new Pew Internet report on Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults, The New York Times headline is: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.

It’s a misleading headline, so let’s unpack it.

First, blogs are not waning. All the major blogging platforms are growing. As noted in the article, Blogger’s visitors were up 9% last year, while WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg on his blog notes that WordPress is up 80 million views in the same period.

Second, while it is true that younger adults are moving away from blogging in its traditional sense, older adults are blogging more than they used to.

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Insights into effective social media policies

Last week I was part of a panel on the SkyBusiness Technology Behind Business program discussing corporate social media policies, comprised of Peter Williams of Deloitte, Adrienne Unkovitch of Workplace Guardian, and myself.

Here are some of the key points made during our discussion.

* Example of Commonwealth Bank which introduced social media policies that impinged on staff’s personal rights, and quickly reversed them based on the response.
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Apple subscriptions vs Google One Pass subscriptions – comparison and analysis for publishers

The lovely pace of change in the media world isn’t slowing down any…

One day after Apple launched its long-expected subscription service, Google announced its One Pass content payment system. Here is a quick comparison.

– What they are
They are both payment and delivery platforms for content sales and subscriptions.

– Delivery platforms
Apple’s platform is for content delivered to apps that are sold in the Apple iTunes store, so only to iPad, iPhone and iTouch products.
Google OnePass works on any web or mobile platform (not just Android) as long as it is permitted in the terms (i.e. it cannot be used on Apple devices)

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Crowdsourcing attracts the best advertising clients, and it all began with a tweet…

John Winsor, founder of Victors & Spoils, the world’s first crowdsourced agency, gave the opening keynote at our Future of Crowdsourcing Summit in September last November.

It was fascinating to hear about how he had brought together an extraordinarily talented distributed team, and convinced major brands such as Harley-Davidson, GAP, Levi’s, and Virgin America to use a crowdsourcing approach.

Harley-Davidson moved on from its long-standing agency Carmichael Lynch last year, shifting to Victors & Spoils for its creative work. The first work from the agency for Harley-Davidson, based on an idea from “passionate amateur” Whit Hiler, has just been launched:

AdAge interviewed Harley’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer, who said about the ad:
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Will tablets take over enterprise work? More than half of large companies say yes

It wasn’t long ago that one of the most solid and unquestioned assumptions of enterprise software was that users sat at a desk in front of a desktop (or sometimes laptop) computer. As such, maintaining a fleet of almost exclusively Windows-based computers was sometimes a larger task than selecting, developing, and running the enterprise software on which work was performed.

The rise of tablet computing, still less than a year now from when the iPad first become available, may significantly change that scenario. Morgan Stanley has just released the results of a survey showing that 51% of CIOs of large organizations expect to be buying tablets for their staff within a year, with another 16% expecting to support staff using their own tablets on the company’s network.


Source: Digital Daily, Morgan Stanley
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