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).
You’ve heard of the horror stories of students getting fired from their jobs for saying bad things about their bosses on Facebook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So now you know why you need to manage your online reputation. As an artist or as a job-seeking individual, future clients and employers are looking and you need to take control of what they see. Let’s look at a few easy things that you can do today to clean up your Facebook profile and avoid missing out on opportunities because of embarrassing content.
Be ruthless with this. I don’t want to see any pictures of your first keg stand or the outrageously inappropriate costume you wore for Halloween.
If you are thinking to yourself, “I’m going to have to untag this” then maybe you shouldn’t take it in the first place. Also, there should be absolutely no pictures of underage drinking or illegal drug consumption in your profile.
Most people create a “Limited Profile” list of friends, where they choose who they don’t want to see their pictures and other content. Instead of this, try creating a “Pictures Viewable” list of friends, where you choose who you do want to see your pictures. This reduces the number of random people viewing your content, because you have to consciously choose who gets to see it.
- Go to your Friends page and “Create New List” titled “Pictures Viewable”.
- Now click “All Connections” and select the friends you want to see your pictures by clicking “Add to List” and selecting “Pictures Viewable”.
- Go into your Profile Privacy Settings. Select “Custom” on the drop-down menu next to Photos Tagged of You.
- Select the bullet “Some Friends” and type in “Pictures Viewable” or whatever you named the group.
- Uncheck any networks you had selected previously.
Now, in order for people to see your pictures, they must be manually added to this exclusive group.
Facebook, by default, allows almost everyone to see your profile. This is probably, not what you want. Explore the Privacy Settings menu and customize to your liking. In my opinion, the safer the better. Here are my suggestions:
- Limit your profile visibility to “Only Friends” or something more exclusive.
- Have your Search visibility set to Everyone, but only allow people who find you in search to see a Profile Picture, link to add you as a friend, and a link to message you.
- Create a public listing for search engines. You still want people to be able to find you, just not able to stalk you.
Even once you have created an exclusive friends list for your pictures and untagged any embarrassing photos, you still have to go in and manually delete any profile pictures that you might not want visible. Click directly on your profile pictures to browse through your Profile Pictures Album. Hit Delete Photo for any pictures that don’t meet the same criteria you used to clear up your other photos.