I've got a few New Year's resolutions for 2009, like sticking with more edamame and fewer shrimp tempura rolls topped with spicy tuna (which Ichiro on New York's Upper East Side mysteriously calls a Manhattan roll). I've got even more resolutions for digital media -- including those for me, for the industry at large and for certain key players.
- For Me:
- More Twitter listening, especially with frequent usage of tools like Twitturly that aggregate Twitter buzz.
- Blog more. Twitter hurt some of the blogging for awhile but it's meant to complement blogging, not replace it (for most).
- Get my blog off a TypePad template and start diving into the advanced features. Facebook Connect, here we come.
- Peruse less e-mail and unsubscribe from anything that doesn't make a difference in my day.
- Pick up the phone more. It's still one of the best social-networking tools.
For the Industry:
- End the term "viral" for once and for all, until after something has really spread through viral growth.
- On that note, don't call something a viral or word-of-mouth marketing success when its uptake is directly the result of a multimillion-dollar media blitz.
- Accept that engagement means something different in every medium and channel. Stop using it as a catch-all term.
- Plan holistically. Even if you can't integrate a tactic with everything else, plan it in conjunction with something. That's often a step up.
- Figure out how and when the social graph affects advertising. Let's see if it's really any better than other forms of demographic, behavioral and psychographic targeting.
- In the process of understanding that, respect consumer privacy to the fullest. Don't just dismiss it or say consumers are fine with it because it's covered by Facebook's terms of service (something I heard a vendor say recently).
- Add Trends-style charts to Google Blog Search already. Really, you're on the verge of making other blog search services irrelevant. Just finish the job.
- Add Google Gears support for Gmail.
- Don't be evil. Please. Don't compromise for short-term gains just because the economy's hurting.
- Survive. A lot of us are still rooting for you.
- Come up with new products integrating the internet with furniture. The Surface put the internet on a table. Imagine what you could do with a chaise lounge or a credenza.
- Come up with a really good gift recommendation engine already. You're so good at recommending things for me, and yet for gifts, year after year I wind up shopping elsewhere.
- Give Lexicon a much-needed upgrade. Providing agencies and advertisers with self-service tools to show what people are talking about on your site can encourage them to do more to reach those users. We in the ad world love pretty graphs.
- Add a real search engine. This is ridiculous already. And that goes to just about all you social networks. Maybe the reason comScore's saying you and MySpace are such large search engines is that it takes 20 searches to find anything or anyone on your site.
For Barack Obama:
- Whether or not social media played a material role in your election, you showed that you know how to use the various channels to galvanize your target audience and you effectively adapt your strategy to each channel. Change.gov promises more of the same (in a good way). Now let's see how you can use social media to unite one of the most diverse real-world social networks there is: the United States of America.
~ ~ ~
David Berkowitz is director of emerging media for 360i. He has written dozens of articles covering media, marketing and technology for several trade publications over the past decade and has spoken at Digital Hollywood, Ad:Tech, SMX, OMMA and dozens of industry events. He blogs regularly at Inside the Marketer's Studio.