digital

Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013

Originally published in Harvard Business Review.

It's that time of year again — time to take a stab at what's going to matter in the year ahead as technology continues to influence how we work and live. In previous years, I've looked at trends under the "social media" lens because that has been the major disruptive force, creating both opportunities and threats. This year, I'm using the umbrella term "social-digital" to broaden the focus. First, a quick re-cap from last year:

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The Evolution Of Digital Display

I've been following John Battelle's thinking on the future of digital display. Earlier this year he wrote a long post on the so-called 'death of display', the rumours of which have been greatly exaggerated.

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The Future Isn't About Mobile; It's About Mobility

Originally posted on the Harvard Business Review

While the globe grapples with uncertain economic realities, "mobile" appears to be gold.

Facebook is expected to announce their uniquely targeted mobile advertising model before the end of the month. Amazon is talking to Chinese manufacturer Fox Conn with ambitions of building their own mobile device to serve as a complement to Amazon's considerable digital ecosystem of products and services.

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Jakob Nielsen Dissects the Olympics Web and iPad Designs

I regularly feature Mr Nielsen’s opinions. He really does know what he is talking about and he writes in an engaging and direct manner.

So what does he think about the Olympics? Read it here.

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Incognito Supercomputers and the Singularity

Thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and computer processing ability, machines are now evolving faster than humans. At some point within the next decade, according to proponents of the Singularity, machines will become so intelligent that they will start making decisions for us in ways that we could never imagine or understand.

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On The 'Death' Of Online Advertising

I've lost count of the number of articles I've read over the years declaring the death of online advertising. The reasons cited usually touch at some point on banner blindness, falling click-through-rates (the average CTR having dropped to less than a tenth of 1%), and the uneven distribution of clicks (Comscore's 'Natural Born Clickers' study for example showing that only 8% of Internet users account for 85% of all clicks).

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Robo-Pricing

There was something of a kerfuffle recently when it became public knowledge that travel website Orbitz were recommending different price ranges of hotels based on the user's operating system. Data mining had told them that Mac users typically pay a premium of upto 30% on a night's stay so they were using data to improve content recommendation, and in the process their chances of selling products at premium prices.

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Hey Internet Providers: Data Wants to Be Free, Too!

Last summer, the fastest way to spend $50 in America was to fill up at the pump. This summer, the fastest way to blow through $50 might be streaming videos and music from the Web to your smart phone. From cable companies to wireless providers, the companies that provide the tubes of the Internet are waking up to the sheer amount of data that’s coursing through their networks and cooking up new pricing plans that are based on data usage.

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From Islands To Ecosystem: Connecting Social, Digital + Mobile

From Web And Desktop To Anytime, Anywhere.

In the early stages of digital, businesses first dipped their toe on the Web by launching brochure like Websites which had to be located initially through a browser "URL" (WWW) followed quickly by search engines which organized the Web. Today, the Web and the digital landscape looks dramatically different compared to the Internet's frontier years. For starters, the Web has become mobile, with 1.2 billion of the world's population accessing the Web through a mobile browser.

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What Facebook Knows

"This is the first time the world has seen this scale and quality of data about human communication" Cameron Marlow, Facebook

Social Networks are of-course giant data gathering machines, and Facebook is the bucket-wheel excavator of data. I wonder if we're even coming close to imagining the potential of how it all might be applied.

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