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new years fireworks

Photo by linuslin on Flickr

In case you weren’t sure, this week marked the beginning of a New Year. You know what that means: a 2010 Year-in-Review from every blog, newspaper, magazine, and random mailing list you still receive and don’t know why. So to add to the pile, I’m taking a look back at my 2010 predictions to see how well I did (I wasn’t terrible!)

Prediction #1: Twitter will remain unpopular among college age students.

Verdict: Kind of.

It’s hard to say whether this prediction is right or wrong as Twitter does not often release usage statistics, but PEW Internet recently released an interesting study on social media usage by demographic. While the younger age group (15-24) still makes up a majority of social media users, the fastest growing group is the over 74 year cohort. This neither proves nor disproves my prediction, but it is still an interesting statistic!

Prediction #2: Twitter will be bought.

Verdict: False.

Okay, so Twitter wasn’t bought. BUT, I did say that they would not monetize. Given that they have not released any information regarding their profits (and given that they probably would have if they were actually making a profit), I’m going to postpone this prediction to 2011.

Prediction #3: LinkedIn profile expansion among college age students.

Verdict: False.

It seems that most college students still don’t understand the power of networking sites like LinkedIn. The usage demographic remains heavily skewed towards the older male demographic with fewer than 4% of users in the 18-24 age group. Hopefully my E-Book about Networking for New Grads will help that.

Prediction #4: People will actually start to care about Facebook privacy.

Verdict: True.

This summer, Facebook’s privacy debacle made headlines on almost all major newspapers. It’s agreed by basically all journalists that Facebook screwed up royally. Whether anyone actually cared about it? I hope so!

Prediction #5: Explosion in sales of E-book Readers and 3D TVs.

Verdict: Half true.

kindleDid you get a Kindle for Christmas? The Kindle has dominated the Amazon Best Seller’s list for the entire year. Gartner group reported in December that electronic book readers would reach 6.6 million by the end of 2010, which is a 79% increase from 2009.  If only I’d stopped there.  Due to a serious lack of content, 3D TV sales this holiday were dismal at best.  Guess no one wants to wear funky glasses in their living room.

Prediction #6: More cross-over between social platforms.

Verdict: True.

You can login to almost any website now using Facebook Connect and Twitter now allows you to look for friends by connecting your LinkedIn profile. The Facebook and Twitter APIs also allow lots of social media newcomers like bookmarking site Diigo to send updates straight to Facebook and Twitter.

Prediction #7: Pressure from baby boomers to improve Facebook usability.

Verdict: Kind of.

This is a hard prediction to measure and I don’t think there can be a definite answer. What we do know is that baby boomers are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, so Facebook is making more of an effort to cater to this age group. I recently set up my aunt on Facebook and saw that they have a great new “Welcome to Facebook” page, something I would not have seen when I joined the site back in 2006. If they keep adding features like this to improve usability, I think baby boomers will continue to flock.

google wavePrediction #8: Google Wave will be an epic fail.

Verdict. SO true.

You may ask, “What is Google Wave?” Exactly. Google announced this August that they would no longer be developing their Google Wave product.  From one of the most buzzed about products in 2009 to a discontinued service in 2010, this definitely qualifies an epic fail.

Prediction #9: Backlash towards telegraphic communication.

Verdict: False.

Guess I was wrong. People don’t seem to have a problem with twitter’s 140 character limit. Is social media making us dumber?

Prediction #10: Service that combines personal recommendations with personal networks.

rotten tomato recommendationsVerdict: True.

Facebook has been doing this all over the place. With their Facebook Connect and API, websites can creepily steal utilize information on your facebook profile to offer recommendations based on what your friends like.

Well there you have it. With four and a half true, three false, and two kind of, I’d say that’s a pretty good showing for 2010. Check back soon to see a new set of predictions for 2011.

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January 7, 2011 | Filed Under Post, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment 

For those of you who don’t know, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest consumer electronics trade show of the year, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last year was kind of a disappointment, with most companies feeling the effects of the downturned economy and not showing many exciting products.

But this year CES is back with shiny new gadgets. You probably won’t be able to afford them, and they probably won’t actually be available until next year, but still, they are shiny new gadgets!!

So I’ve picked out some of my favorites and I’m going to tell you what they do or why they are cool, without using the words Core 2 Duo, OLED display, or HDMI.

IdeaPad U1

Source: Lenovo

Tablets and Netbooks

Tablets and Netbooks were big this year at CES. So why not make a laptop that is both a tablet AND a netbook?! Lenovo’s Ideapad U1 does just that.

It’s basically a really small laptop that has a detachable screen for easy mobility. It’s kind of like a Barbie doll (super skinny and easy to pop the head on and off). Here: watch some people play with it!

VT 25

Source: Panasonic

3D Televisions

Panasonic VT25 Series TVs. 3D television in the home is here! All you have to do is wear these super cool looking 3D glasses…

My question is, how long until these glasses are worn ironically by New York hipsters?

VT 25

Source: Hearst

E-Books

The Amazon Kindle now has some competition. CES 2010 saw such E-book readers as Samsung’s E6/101 and Entourage’s Edge. But I’m most excited about Hearst’s Skiff Reader. It’s designed to let you read electronic versions of your magazines all on one device. Now we just need the magazine industry to put their magazines on it.

Cellphones

VT 25

Source: Google

Google has a cellphone! The Google Nexus One is Google’s first foray into the hardware industry. It’s branded Google, sold by Google (and T-Mobile at the moment), and fully compatible with all of Google’s service. It’s like the iPhone, but made my Google!

Intel Wireless Display

This technology (once you buy a new TV that has it), will let you plug in a box that allows you to see your computer screen on your TV without cluttering your beautiful living room with wires.

Skype on your TV

LG and Panasonic have begun including webcams in their sets that, combined with Skype applications, allow for easy, free video conferencing through your television.

VT 25

Source: Skype

What did you think was cool?
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January 11, 2010 | Filed Under Post, Uncategorized | 1 Comment 

10 Predictions for 2010

January 7th, 2010

introspection

Happy New Year by coquetboy on Flickr

Happy 2010! After four months abroad in Spain, I am back in the United States, settling back into Chipotle burritos, big SUVs, free tap water at restaurants, and going to bed at midnight instead of 6am. And it’s great. Although it’s not great that I haven’t written since December, but it’s a new year! So here are 10 new thoughts on the emerging trends of 2010.

1. Twitter will remain unpopular among college age students.

2009 has been the year of twitter. Twitter traffic grew more than 1300% from Feb ‘08 to ‘09. However, one demographic remains dubious towards adopting another social media platform: college-age students.

Twitter should be used for developing professional networks and college age students are (usually) not thinking about their professional networks or careers (past their GPAs). For personal networks, twitter does not do anything that facebook doesn’t also offer. Which leads me to my next prediction…

2. Twitter will be bought.


My brother will argue with me on this one, but I think that Twitter has to monetize next year or they will be bought by Facebook. And if they haven’t made profits yet, I don’t see them doing so in 2010.

3. LinkedIn profile expansion among college-age students.

More students will create LinkedIn profiles. However, they will miss the point completely, using it as an electronic copy of their resume rather than a networking tool because (see #1, they don’t think about their professional networks until after college).

4. People will actually start to care about Facebook privacy.

You’ve heard of the horror stories of students getting fired from their jobs for saying bad things about their bosses on Facebook.

facebook fail
In 2010, students will be more aware of their online reputation, increase their privacy settings across the board and cut back on the incriminating keg-stand photos.

kindle5. Explosion in sales of E-Book Readers and 3D TVs.

Anyone seen Avatar? Heard of the Kindle? This one is kind of a given, with all the predicted CES hype around 3D TVs and E-book readers , you will be sure to see them crowding the shelves by Spring.

6. More cross-over between social media platforms.

LinkedIn paired up with Twitter to offer cross-platform status updates. Maybe this is more of a desire than a prediction, but I want a multi-platform supported service that allows me to manage all of my social media identities from one single place. So, I predict it will happen.

7. Pressure from baby boomers to improve Facebook usability.

The Facebook interface and user experience is sloppy. The site is difficult to navigate, privacy settings are confusing, and finding the features you want to use involves wading through pages of poorly designed interfaces (just ask my mom). The baby boomers are the largest growing demographic on Facebook. I’ve personally had to set up over ten accounts for family members who couldn’t figure it out. If Facebook wants to retain the baby boomer demographic, they’ll have to figure out a way to maintain the functionality they have while improving the user experience.

8. Google Wave will be an epic fail.

After playing with Google Wave for 3 months, I still don’t understand its purpose. I rarely check it and I don’t see many people adopting it into their internet toolbox in 2010.

9. Backlash towards telegraphic communication.

In my experience, Twitter’s 140 character limit is not a positive. It hinders any real communication or connection and what you get is millions of users sharing a lot of links and talking mundanely about their personal lives.

10. Service that combines recommendations with personal networks.

I predict that some large retailer or rental company (maybe Netflix) will adopt users’ social media profiles into their algorithms for making suggestions. This would work great on an E-Book reader: “Looking for a new book to read? Your X friends that you have interacted with the most on ______ (insert social media platform) liked: ______”.

And there you have my predictions for 2010! Do you agree? Disagree? Have predictions of your own? Leave a comment and let me know.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any money lost due to gambling these claims. Unless you win.

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January 7, 2010 | Filed Under Post, Uncategorized | 4 Comments