As 2008 will bring greater focus on professional online publishing for Master New Media, here is the second part of my anticipations and predictions for this new year that has just started.
In this second part:
If you haven't seen Part 1 yet, check it out here:
New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 1
2007 has been in many ways a record year for online collaboration tools with literally dozens of new tools having joined these fast growing group. Screen-sharing, video-conferencing solutions based on Flash as well as new innovative solutions have been all over the news thrughout 2007. Will it stop? Absolutely not.
You are going to see more real-time and asynchronous collaboration tools entering the space as well as notable innovation from many of the existing players. Screen-sharing will become a standard integrated OS or application integrated feature in an increasing number of cases.
Adobe is one of the key companies now setting the benchmarks in this space nonetheless the broad installation base of WebEx and other enterprise conferencing systems still own the numbers. But Adobe has set a long term strategy for the development of its next line of collaboration tools and characterized by a light footprint, cross-platform compatibility, easy to use and feature-rich approach. Connect and Brio are two brilliant examples of this successful strategy. Adobe is not my sponsor, but when a company does well over and over again, one should have no shame of saying it.
What to expect? I think that if Brio and the last iterations of Connect are any indication, you are in for some serious good surprises from these guys which means easier to use and more effective collaboration tools at your disposal.
For online independent publishers, mobile is the next frontier, as more and more people log, search and read news while on the move on their mobile phones and PDAs.
Better integration of monetization and advertising opportunities, as well as more sophisticated tools to easily convert your standard web site in one that can be accessed by any mobile device will show up during 2008.
Cooler than cool a new mobile application will allow you to post to your site or blog using your voice and the images / video you capture on the move. The great thing is that your voice is converted into text and published as written content along your mp3 downloadable podcast.
In 2008 you will also be able to access remotely all of your tools, music, data and multimedia content, while being able to play it back on any television set or computer you will find available. Thanks to tools like Mojopac, Orb, Slingbox and TakeTV you will be able to access all of your tools and music / video content from just about anyhwere.
Yes, I have already written about web tv yesterday in my first part of new media predictions, but live video will be a technological innovation that will affect not only web television channels but a much broader set of application and uses.
While accessible and cost-free live video streaming has been here for a good year now, the ability to stream live video from anywhere you may be without having to open your whole notebook is the new video-casting frontier. Two companies (Wwigo and QIK) have already introduced tools and services that allow anyone to broadcast real-time video from their Nokia cellular phones and in 2008 you should see a breakthrough announcements in this field from some top international brand names.
SEO and SEM are not enough anymore to do a good, comprehensive job of promoting your content or specific products online. The online marketing mix now requires a great deal more understanding of how Google expects you to publish and architect your content, plus it helps a great deal if you are fully active in using social media destinations and in leveraging the power of social networks.
In 2008, I expect a new wave of services and tools that can help you simplify and manage more efficiently all of these chores. From pushing your new content to the best most relevant social media destinations for your target audience (Digg, Reddit, Sphinxx, Delicious, etc.), to creating your own mini network of supporters and fans that will proactively help you give visibility to it.
It is likely that you may see also the expansion and diversification of borderline services like Subvert and Profit which have aggregated a large team of individuals to push, for a price, selected content on major social media destinations like Digg and YouTube. As you may have learned recently from Techcrunch, getting video clips to get viral is not really a matter of having a particular talent at shooting video but rather the consequence of a very well orchestrated operation borderline marketing in which ethics and rules get easily subverted to achieve phenomenal popularity in the arc of a few days.
APML is coming and with it a possible wonderful and pretty scary innovations. As advertising is here to stay on the web, wouldn't be better if the ads you saw were tailor-made to your interests?
Think of this as the next step forward from the AdSense contextual advertising you can see appearing in this article. Contextual advertising services such as Google Adsense attempt to serve relevant advertising based on the content of the article that they appear in. As such, you have a greater chance of seeing ads that will appeal to your tastes than you might through mainstream, mass media advertising, which simply sends out the same message almost regardless of context, and hopes that some small percentage of viewers will be interested.
If the APML standard takes hold, however, content providers and advertisers will have a much better chance to serve you with relevant information, so that ads become useful rather than something that interrupts what you came to see in the first place.
2008 is going to be the year for P2P to take the front stage for publishing and sharing contents in ways that need not be underground or illegal in any way. Radio, film and video distribution, and to a large degree live television can so greatly benefit from P2P distribution approaches that further delaying the understanding of the key benefits P2P can bring must the highest priority for any commercial television.
Beyond Joost, Babelgum and Hulu there is a yet uncovered world of classic mainstream television channels which haven't seen yet the light of the day on the Internet. Why? There is no good reason for this. Only ignorance.
Zattoo and Livestation seem among the few ones so far to have sniffed the meal asvia what should be called P2PTV major broadcasters and TV networks can not only reach a much broader public without needing extra expensive broadcasting hardware and without needing to give up any of their advertising or sponsorship components, but they can also track and monitor with much greater accuracy what viewers are really watching.
P2P has many things going in its favour, but more than other innovative new media technologies it may best represent the tip of iceberg of a deep paradigm change we are not ready to dive into just yet. I invite you to look at the fascinating ideas of P2P as a way of living that Michel Bauwens and his network have been bringing forward. This is the stuff we should be looking into, and if you want to be really innovative while helping others tangibly to create a vision for the future Michel Bauwens may be the best lecturer to invite at your next media related conference.
If you haven't yet given yourself the treat of using a microblogging tool, now is the time. Tumblr, Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and many others offers the simplest interface and command set for any online publishing tool you may have encountered so far, while providing you with a truly effective way of shooting out rapid fire news, information, call for action, updates and even personal stuff for your friends, if that's all you care about communicating.
In 2008, some microblogging tools will start to integrate audio and video functionalities using an approach similar to Seesmic, the new still in Beta service which allows individuals to shoot out short video messages while forming their own personalized social network.
On this front there is still a lot to go, but it appears evident to me that these tools are absolutely powerful and hugely powerful radars to allow you to stay in touch with hundreds of unique sources at once as well as providing a great publishing assets for any serious online blogger, trainer or independent reporter.
Microblogging tools have moved the online conversation paradigm a step further beyond blog comments. They are still a bit rough around the corners, offering little control over "grading" the incoming sources and news in different ways, while being able to better categorize and group them according to your needs. The conversational aspect will also need to be refined a lot more before we can gain a true conversational experience even when using these asynchronous tools.
But the above should likely be the innovative areas in which these tools will be making their next steps during 2008.
This is the dream of any online publisher. Write once and publish your content to multiple media outlets at once. And thanks to RSS, the steady growth of widget use, the recent introduction of Open Social and of cross-media publishing tools the original dream has been actually surpassed by the reality we have been able to create so far.
Publishing all of your content via one or multiple RSS feeds is one of the strategic keys that allows you to get highly enhanced distribution. But widgets, who are built on RSS, are increasingly a more effective strategy to get extra exposure, visibility and traction while possibly being able also to extract some monetization opportunities from them.
In 2008, look for further innovation and new content publishing tools that allow you and your readers to package and distribute your content in multiple ways. If you want then to make the best of such opportunities, follow these great recommendations from Fred Wilson:
"1 - Microchunk it - Reduce the content to its simplest form.
2 - Free it - Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it.
3 - Syndicate it - Let anyone take it and run with it.
4 - Monetize it - Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk.
Widgets are a syndication tool and a tracking tool. And hopefully they’ll become a monetization tool as well."
How do you love having a tens of different usernames and credentials to log into the different services you have signed up to? OpenID comes to the rescue and in 2008 you should see larger adoption of this new identification standard which is free, non-proprietary and which can be integrated in most any web-based service out there.
While OpenID is largely still in the adoption phase it is becoming increasingly more popular, as big organizations like Microsoft, AOL, Sun and Novell are starting to adopt and support the use of OpenIDs on their web-based services.
This is why if you are an online publisher looking to expand your membership-only services you may want to consider learning more about OpenID and the unique benefits it may bring to your customers and readers
"For businesses, this means a lower cost of password and account management, while drawing new web traffic. OpenID lowers user frustration by letting users have control of their login.
OpenID takes advantage of already existing internet technology and realizes that people are already creating identities for themselves whether it be at their blog, photostream, profile page, etc. With OpenID you can easily transform one of these existing URIs into an account which can be used at sites which support OpenID logins.
As Brad Fitzpatrick (the father of OpenID) said, “Nobody should own this. Nobody’s planning on making any money from this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most liberal licenses possible, so there’s no money or licensing or registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if something like this exists, and we’re all a part of the community.”
Offline web-based applications were in my new media predictions for 2007 as well, but nonetheless the interesting progress made by Socialtext, Zoho and Google Gears on this front, major advances that would allow mainstream adoption of this functionality are yet to come.
Offline web apps represent a new capability for traditional online-only web services which now allow you to go offline and be able keep working until you re-connect next.
In 2008 you will see off-line web apps going mainstream and leveraging this unique feature as a critical competitive selling point to significantly increase their user base.
This is an idea whose time may not have come yet but it remains firmly on my radar for what you should start preparing for.
X-Events are events which are planned and carried out in a continuous experience that merges offline physical events and online activities.
The best way to explain this is a physical conference for which a community site is built before hand and in which participants, lecturers and sponsors start interacting and actively engaging with each other way before the physical event starts. Nonetheless the core event takes place in physical space it is also re-broadcast and made accessible in multiple ways, while numerous forums and post event showcases are set-up after the physical event is over.
A truly eXtended event in these terms would guarantee much greater success to the physical venue, extended exposure and visibility for all commercial partners, much greater opportunities for engagement and social networking for participants as well as an infinitely more capable platform for including presentations and shows from a greater number of people.
Even though most of the tools that would be needed to set-up an effective X-event have been out there for a while now, the true challenge is not only in integrating these into a coherent whole but having individuals who can see this vision and bring it to a plan that is certainly more challenging and complex than the typical tech conference. But so would be the success and rewards, I believe.
Whether X-events will become more of a reality in 2008 it is hard to say, but given the popularity and revenue streams that these conferences can carry I think it is only a matter of time before we see someone starting to properly ride this valuable horse.
end of Part 2
Originally written by Robin Good for Master New Media and first published on January 1st 2008 as New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 1