Monday, 7 January 2008

Digital Trends for 2008

Always following the festive season is the rush of hit predictions for the coming year. This one from Advertising Age's Digital publication, by renowned digital industry commentator Steve Rubel. Read it here and at

Three Trends That Will Shape Digital in 2008
The Big Picture: Customers, Consumers and Content
By Steve Rubel

Published: January 07, 2008

The new year is when people like to make predictions. However, I find it more valuable to look at the bigger picture -- the trends that will play a role in shaping digital media and marketing over the next 12 months.

Conventional wisdom says never compete with your biggest customers. But that's exactly what's happening in the ever-changing dynamic between advertisers and media partners. Thanks to the web, brands are becoming their own media companies, vying for the same constricting field of attention the media long have dominated. This will force the media giants to increasingly become launch pads for advertiser-created content even as they carefully navigate the resulting Chinese-wall issues.

For many, the living room is no longer the hub of a household. We spend more time today in front of computers tucked away in bedrooms and home offices than we do gathered around a single TV. That said, the living room is slowly undergoing a revival as consumers buy HDTVs. Early adopters are adding Windows Media Center PCs or Mac Minis to their home theaters so they can view photos in glorious hi-def.

Mainstream consumers are not there yet. However, they will join the geeks as the technology gets easier to use and connectivity finds its way into existing devices, including TV, digital cable boxes, TiVo, Xbox 360 and Wii. All of this will make the living room a place where families gather again, particularly as TVs connect to social networks.

During the past 10 years, content has become a commodity. So has data. Information overload makes it difficult for anyone to separate essential air from smog. Search engines don't really help -- it's hard even for them to separate gems from junk.

Enter curators. Brands, media and consumers who relish information will prosper by aggregating mountains of information and distilling those down to their most essential parts.

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