A.M.Sall's Motivational/Inspirational Ramblings
Amadou M. Sall - The Cross-cultural Connector, author, translator, coach, success mindset philosopher
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Davos Special Report: Africa rising | Reuters
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
RPT-Facebook may 'lock in' its Internet dominance | Reuters
An Interview with Chris Brogan, Trust Agent | Lateral Action
Sourcing Content on Twitter - 5 Tips - Online Marketing Blog
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
‘Controlled Serendipity’ Liberates the Web - Bits Blog
Seth's Blog: Why write a book?
If you've never written a non-fiction book, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to. It organizes your thoughts. It's a big project worthy of your attention.
But once you've written a book, it's not clear that it's a useful thing to publish one. After all, it takes a year. It involves a lot of people. You need to print a lot of copies, ship them everywhere, create a lot of hoopla and hope that people actually a) hear about it, b) decide it's worth the effort to track it down and c) read it and spread it.
Wouldn't it be easier to just blog it? Or to post a PDF online and watch it spread?
Some of my books have been short... one was under a hundred pages long. It could certainly have a been a series of blog posts. And the posts might even have reached more people than the book ultimately did. If my blog posts were counted on the same metrics as bestselling books, every single one would be a New York Times bestseller. Yours too, most likely. Books don't sell that many copies.
The goal isn't always to spread an idea. Sometimes the goal is to make change happen. A book is a physical souvenir, a concrete instantiation of your ideas in a physical object, something that gives your ideas substance and allows them to travel.
Out of context, a 140 character tweet cannot change someone's life. A blog post might (I can think of a few that changed the way I think about business and even life). A movie can, but most big movies are inane entertainments designed to make a lot of money, not change people. But books?
The reason I wrote Linchpin: If you want to change people, you must create enough leverage to encourage the change to happen.
Books change lives every day. A book takes more than a few minutes to read. A book envelopes us, it is relentless in its voice and in its linearity. You start at the beginning and you either ride with the author to the end or you bail. And unlike just about any form of electronic media, you get to read the book at your own pace, absorbing it as you go.
I published a book today. My biggest and most important and most personal and most challenging book. A book that scared me.
It took me ten years to write this book. I'm hoping it changes a few people.
Monday, January 25, 2010
WPR Article | The New Rules: Globalization Makes the World a Better Place
Friday, January 22, 2010
4 Ways to Market Your Business With Content
Best Online Tools For Small Business Marketing
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Social Media Today | Integrate Social Media with Traditional Advertising for higher returns
The Curbside Marketer » The Secret To Achieving Your Social Media Goals
Top Tools For Tracking Topics on the Web
How to Extend the Profitability of an E-Book Beyond Launch Week
International SEO - 10 Tips for Multilingual Search Engine Optimization from WebCertain - Online Marketing Blog
TopRank is fortunate to have an excellent team of consultants, many of whom contribute here at Online Marketing Blog. It is therefore, a rare occasion that we invite guest posts. The globalization of search and to follow, search marketing, brings a tremendous need for quality information and best practices. Search Engine Optimization for North American English can be a challenge on it’s own, but what about SEO for 5 languages and 12 countries? Or 30?
That’s why I’ve invited Andy Atkins-Krüger, CEO of UK based WebCertain, a specialist agency in multilingual search marketing to provide a list of the most common challenges companies face when embarking on international SEO efforts. Avoiding the big mistakes can save companies time, money and embarrassment.
After more than a decade of working in international SEO, it would be true to say that many of the same issues present themselves time and again. Lee kindly invited me to describe the commonest of these to help marketers take positive avoidance steps, so here they are.
1. Translating keywords is by far the most dangerous trap of all in international SEO rather than the technical hosting issues or the cultural risks – not appreciating that ‘keywords’ cannot be translated is rule number one. If you’re not a linguist, this can be a difficult concept to appreciate but the fact is that ‘keywords’ are convenience words – not really normal words – created by people to help them search and then responded to by search marketers.
So for instance, let’s take ‘car insurance’ by way of example. The correct translation of this into French would be ‘assurance voiture’ where ‘car’ equals ‘voiture’ and ‘assurance’ equals ‘insurance’ which does see a small number of searches. However, most search volume is at ‘assurance auto’ where ‘auto’ is an abbreviated form of ‘automobile’. French searchers and speakers have simply adopted this phrase out of convenience. The translation simply goes to the wrong place. This happens in all languages including English.
The solution to this is in fact, very simple. You simply recreate the keywords in the target language exactly the same way you would do in English. What that means is using a native-speaker of the target language – who is also trained in search marketing – researches them from scratch. That’s why we employ some 45 nationalities within WebCertain!
2. Not giving consideration as to how you’ll manage content when multiple languages are involved is a particular blind spot to many causing some nasty budget surprises. Worse, many organizations (the larger are more guilty) will invest considerable sums of money in producing truly FABULOUS English content – and then hand it over to the localization team with little budget and no thought for its SEO value.
A better strategy is to build your English content with localization or translation in mind. In other words, the copywriter’s brief should be to create the content without in-jokes or cultural references that a translator will simply not be able to translate. And bear in mind that fresh copywriting in each new language will be significantly more expensive than using translation – although a good option is also to mix fresh copywriting on particular local subjects which warrant it and using localization for the rest. The ideal would be to work with an international search marketing company which can localize and optimize at one and the same time.
3. Believing that an associate or, worse the CEO’s nephew, has studied French and therefore would be able to make a good stab at the language is not going to fly. You need someone who learned the language at their mother’s knee ideally growing up in the country in order to have the degree of intuitive understanding that will be required.
4. Taking an agency’s international claims at face value is an understandable mistake. One agency who claims a vast team of people who can work in 40 languages intrigued me so I undertook a detailed credit check. They happened to be based in a country where it’s a requirement to declare the number of employees within accounts and they employed just 3 people – which makes roughly 13 languages each. And if you see organizations which offer more than 40 languages then they’re almost certainly sub-contracting to translators (which you definitely don’t want) because there are only 42 languages including several versions of English which are regularly targeted within international search.
5. Choosing new target countries based on existing analytics is a good idea to support your export initiative, but is not the best way to decide in which languages to roll out your new web site additions. For instance, if you sell Supergizmos to the Dutch on your existing web site then what a good idea to try and expand those sales by checking on what the Dutch are looking for. You may find that they actually search for ‘supergizmos’ in English because that’s how they most easily expect to find them. Perhaps some additional support via paid search targeting the Netherlands would be a good idea. But localizing your web site into Dutch would target the same people who are already buying and may not increase their propensity to buy.
Meanwhile, some keyword research might reveal that the Italians (who fanatically buy supergizmos) are not using your web site at all – so an Italian language web site would incrementally add to your sales in the way that adding Dutch would not. Your analytics are never going to tell you this.
6. Finding excuses to run with a dot com – and not using local domains is very common. It would be true to say that I have made it something of a personal mission to promote the local domains – especially in the US – with some success. A number of proponents of the dot com have changed their minds after looking more seriously at the problem. Local domains are better for SEO because they give the best geographic information to the search engines AND users prefer them AND people you want to link to your site also want to link to local sites.
If the dot com decision is a policy decision and outside your control – fine we can find some workarounds. But take note of that word ‘workaround’ – that’s not what we ideally want right?
7. Not getting local links or hosting is a major handicap for many international sites – these do make a difference – though aren’t quite so critical if you have local domains.
8. Launching new countries e.g. Ireland, without thinking of the impact on the old site has seriously hampered some organizations success. Duplication on international sites remains a major issue – particularly for the world languages such as English, Spanish or French. It is very common to find that a site which has recently fallen in terms of performance in the UK, had just had a duplicate copy of the site provided to Ireland or Australia and because it wasn’t on anyone’s radar – no one realized what the consequences would be. There are many different ways to solve this issue – including sacrificing smaller sites to protect the larger ones (do you really need to rank well or Angola or is Portugal more the target?).
9. Responding to cultural differences is key – but this is only really good marketing. I get a little tired of all the stories about the ‘Pinto’ in Brazil being mixed up with part of the male body. In fact there are a great many famous Brazilians with that name as a surname, so I asked one of my Brazilian colleagues how come and he said “They have a very hard time at school! These make great stories – but the truth about culture is that countries reveal it in what they search for. Good keyword research can be used not just to improve the performance of your site generally but to understand how your potential customers are thinking and which products might be the best ones to target selling to them via that web site.
10. Lack of research is the nub of the problem. Few people have time to undertake really thorough research to most effectively power up their global export or marketing programs. The best trick is to find an effective international search marketing agency as they will have all the tools you need.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Mom-and-Pop Multinationals - BusinessWeek
Monday, January 18, 2010
A New Age for Social Media Marketing | Brian Solis
Haiti: It’s Not Fair - Elie Mystal - The Black Side - True/Slant
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The 75 Best Business Blogs of 2009 | Business Pundit
5 Social Media Secrets for 2010 - SlideShare Newsletter
5 Social Media Secrets for 2010
Social media took a wild ride in 2009. The mainstream press fell in love with Twitter, Facebook grew aggressively and a new wave of companies starting taking social media seriously as a business tool. Below are 10 secrets to staying on top of it all in 2010
1. Pay Attention to the Metrics
You can't manage what you can't measure. Chief Marketing Officers are going to pay more attention to metrics and tie in social media more directly to overall business goals, not just web-related goals. When starting up new project agree on what the metrics should be and what goals are appropriate.
2. Scale Good Habits
As you grow, make sure you match your structure, policy and guidelines to your organization size. What works with 2 people won't work with 20 people. All in all your structure should encourage good habits. Your entire team should be motivated to respond quickly, post consistently and talk like a human. Speaking of policies and rules...
3. Have Rules, But Trust People
As your social media strategy matures, you'll add in more rules and guidelines. However, you can't have a rule for every situation. You need to trust your team. Lead by example, don't manage with rulebook.
4. Creativity & Personality Trump Big Budget
Social media is definitely one of those areas in life where more money doesn't always win. Two of the most powerful ingredients in social media are creativity and personality. They are the key to having a viral message and to being a trusted resource. They are also essential to discovering useful strategies and tactics. You can't be afraid to try something new or go against the grain.
5. Listen Listen Listen
Don't focus so much on you and your message. Put that farther down on your To Do List. Focus first on your customers. Hear what they are saying, see what they're up to. Once you've been able to connect, and figure them out, then see how you can help.
Capture Leads on Your Domain
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We foresee this being leveraged in social media campaigns to help convert eyeballs into conversions. Lead capture can increase the ROI of your site, blog or webinar archives even without a campaign.
Have a campaign idea regarding LeadShare? Contact us.
Bloggers from Non English Speaking Backgrounds – Share Your Tips and Stories Here
IndustryWeek : Are You Cued in to Cultural Intelligence?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
WPR Article | The New Rules: Globalization's Next Wave of Integration
Friday, January 15, 2010
For American Workers in China, a Culture Clash
How be unique and stand out from the crowd | RADSMARTS
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Predictions That Will Shape Gobal Small Business in 2010 | Small Business Trends
Trust in Business: The Core Concepts > Charles H. Green > Articles : Trusted Advisor Associates
How Much Time Should You Spend On Social Media?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
China becomes biggest exporter, edging out Germany « Northern Kentucky International Trade Association (or NKITA) Blog
Already the biggest auto market and steel maker, China edged past Germany in 2009 to become the top exporter, yet another sign of its rapid rise and the spread of economic power from West to East.
Total 2009 exports were more than $1.2 trillion, China’s customs agency said Sunday. That was ahead of the 816 billion euros ($1.17 trillion) forecast for Germany by its foreign trade organization, BGA (by J. McDonald, Associated Press).
Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
Monday, January 11, 2010
American Executive - RedCoat Publishing
Translation and Software Localization Blog: 2009 Recap and Looking Ahead
With the global economy taking a severe downturn, 2009 proved to be a challenging year for many. It paid to be nimble and diversified to navigate the waves of budget cuts, project delays and slower payments. The localization industry, had deal with the slowing economy, shrinking budgets and the erosion of localization rates along with the natural evolution of tools and technology used in the process.
Most companies reduced their localization/translation budgets, some by necessity, others by choice. The industries that hurt the most cut back significantly creating a ripple effect in many industries associated with them including IT and business services.
For instance, when automotive companies cut back their budgets, they impacted all their suppliers, like the CAD/CAM/PLM industries, creating budget reductions and freezes. Even companies that were not doing badly took their precautions and limited their spending or negotiated better terms.
Some industries however continued to be healthy. GlobalVision services also the Medical Devices market. Many medical device manufacturers grew their spending in 2009. There was also accelerated spending in Government related projects.
As always, being diversified in the serviced markets and retaining low overhead helps vendors hedge their bets. The vendors that focused only on automotive or IT, or that depended largely on in-house resources suffered the most.
Technology and Process
As predicted in our blog in 2008, all the rave and clamor made about changing paradigms with the advent of crowdsourcing, open source solutions and machine translation did not translate into major forces enabling or disrupting the industry. Yes, LinkedIn considered the use of crowdsourcing, and Google and others continue to improve their machine translation engines and translation tools, but we see these changes as a natural evolution in the state of technology and processes and not a revolution in our industry.
The move to XML authoring continued in 09 and single sourcing trends in authoring. Translation Management Systems also continued to evolve streamlining the translation management process.
The real gains are however in streamlining the translation process but so far, translation memory tools dominate. Experienced translators and quality professionals are and will be the driving forces behind the localization industry for much time to come.
We feel that in 2010, with the economy hopefully recovering, companies will re-engage their vendors with the projects they froze or delayed and will re-establish their global release plans and strategies. Global trends will continue onward revitalizing the industry and re-establishing the positive growth that we experienced in the past decade.
Companies on unstable footing are at risk if the economy does not recover.
Technology will continue to improve gradually, improving the productivity of the translator and improving project tasks management and collaboration. With translation rate erosions contained, companies will seek to invest in efficiency building technologies.
XML and SQL trends and online translation management tools and collaboration, will continue to make inroads. Machine translation will improve but not to the point to be used globally like translation memory tools are being used today. Hybrid TM and MT tools will continue to emerge. TM sharing will face copyrights issues.
With the turn of the new decade, 2010 will prove to be an important year for the localization industry. Let us all work to make the best of it.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Nick Morgan - Public Speaking Advice and Commentary: The Future of Conferences – Part Two: What are the current trends?
It took a year for the conference world (and the traveling public) to recover from 9/11. How long will it take for conferences and meetings to rebound from the financial meltdown of Fall 2008?
In a way, the comparison is misleading; what we’re in now is a recession much like, the experts say, the 1991-92 one in its sharpness. 9/11 was a discrete event. Different things.
And this recovery may be slow; it may well take longer than a year. That seems to be the consensus in the conference world; from a low of 13% in June 2009, the number of meeting planners who think conditions ahead are favorable has only bounced back to 19% (in October, the latest figures available). That’s according to Meeting Professionals International (MPI), one of the two big organizations of conference people.
So there’s not much optimism out there yet, though anecdotally I see and hear that business for professional speakers is picking up already from 2009.
What are the current trends beyond the difficult financial times? Below I highlight four trends that I’m seeing from my window on the industry.
Not surprisingly, it’s a no-frills era.
After all the bad press that organizations like AIG received when they continued to send top executives to fancy spas for retreats at enormous expense, the whole focus now is on the low-key, the no-frill, and the minimal. That’s not such a bad thing as long as companies don’t go crazy trying to save money. Somewhere between designer sheets and a lumpy mattress at a truck stop there’s a good balance to be struck. Business travel is stressful and difficult these days, so people shouldn’t wear the hair shirt just for appearance’s sake.
The good news is that ‘green’ still is a ‘go’.
Partly because environmental awareness has become – slowly, with a long way to go – a part of business consciousness, it has become a part of the meeting planners’ world, too. Again, that’s a good thing. Minimizing the enormous waste that’s generated by meetings, from the bottled water to the bags of loot to the paper trail, is relatively easy and a boon for the environment. And it saves money, too. I’ll have more to say about this in a blog later in this series when I interview Tim Sanders, speaker extraordinaire and author of Saving the World at Work.
The bad news is that planning cycles are shorter.
The days when you started planning the next annual meeting as soon as the last one ended are gone. Some conference planners are now getting used to the idea of planning a small meeting in 30 days – an extraordinary shortening of the cycle. Because businesses can’t predict a year out, they can’t plan a conference a year out. This shift puts enormous stress on meeting planners, but in an era of instant thinking and goldfish-length attention spans, they’re just going to have to get used to it.
We can expect more virtual meetings in lieu of face-to-face sessions.
This is perhaps the worst news to come out of the conference recession. While of course virtual meetings have the enormous advantage that you never have to leave your office, or your den, to take part, they have the enormous disadvantage that you simply cannot achieve the same things that you can in a face-to-face meeting. Trust, understanding, commitment, bonding, group cohesion – all of these are huge aspects of meetings, and they simply don’t happen virtually. Virtual meetings can work well where there is already a relationship established, but they are very poor ways to initiate human relationships. Any regular reader of this blog will know why this must be so. Certain things only happen between people in personal and intimate space. Perhaps the most important of these is trust.
Next time, I’ll talk in more depth about green meetings and the future.
Nick Morgan - Public Speaking Advice and Commentary: The Future of Conferences – Part One: Do We Still Need Conferences?
I’m starting a series of blogs on the future of conferences. Last year was a difficult one for the meetings and conferences industry, and as we start another year, it’s good to take stock. What is the state of conferences today? What does the future hold? What should the industry be doing in order to stay ahead of the game and continue to provide worthwhile activities for organizations thinking about sending their employees away from the office for a day or more?
I invite everyone to join in and share your ideas for what makes a worthwhile conference, what you wish conferences would do differently, and what you particularly like about them. I’ll be talking to some knowledgeable industry watchers to bring in their perspectives, and I’d be delighted to include yours.
I’m going to kick off the series with 5 reasons why we still need conferences. Although the industry took a hit last year, and trends like virtual meetings and videoconferencing gathered momentum, it’s still important both to get people out of the office and get them together. Why?
1. Conferences offer work teams and individuals a change of perspective.
Organizations that never get out of their usual ruts run the risk of missing the trend, the rival, the new market that could change their business or their mission forever. If you don’t take active measures to continue to scan the horizon for what’s out there, it’s going to get you. Conferences are a good way to get out of your rut.
2. Conferences offer organizations and their employees the opportunity for powerful face-to-face encounters.
Because of the way our brains are constructed, with mirror neurons that fire with the emotions of the people around us, we get important experiences from face-to-face meetings that we can’t get virtually. Organizations that are experiencing change – or wanting to make change happen – simply can’t motivate their employees as strongly via webconferences and phone calls. As I’ve said before in this space, the only significant things that happen between people happen in personal and intimate space. If you’re an executive, you owe it to your people to give them an opportunity to have these experiences with others beyond the immediate office environment.
3. Conferences offer people a chance to focus in an information-saturated world.
Many industries and professions use conferences for various forms of continuing education. It’s a good use of everyone’s time. In an information-saturated world, there’s no way that most busy employees can keep up with their industry and professional changes from year to year. A conference allows you to ensure that your team or organization knows what’s current and what’s developing in their particular areas of expertise.
4. Conferences offer busy, stressed-out employees a chance to think about the office away from the office.
When you don’t see your way out of a particular issue with an employee, or you’re stuck in some unhelpful work pattern and can’t seem to break it – or if you’re just so busy you think you’re becoming immortal because the CEO will never let you die until you finish everything – then you desperately need a couple of days away to get some distance on your problem. Paradoxically, the best way to solve an intractable business problem is often to put down your tools and go away.
5. Conferences allow you the chance to create new coalitions and alliances in a neutral setting.
It can be hard to approach a potential partner, joint venture participant, or even a prospective employee if you have to do it formally, in a meeting set up solely for that purpose. It’s often better to approach the person or group in the casual-but-focused context of a conference or meeting. You’re already there, you’ve got a natural reason to talk about the industry, or the topic, or the trends in your field. What better way to get to know someone, find out how much they know, and gage their interest?
What reasons beyond these do you see for conferences? Let me know. Next time, I’ll talk about the current state of the industry.
Friday, January 08, 2010
My 3 PPC Resolutions – Why 2010 Will be Defined by Mobile, Facebook and the Website Optimizer | Search Engine People Blog
Need To Build A Community? Learn From Threadless
Thursday, January 07, 2010
13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content | Social Media Examiner
Conversation Agent: 2010 Public Relations: Looking at the Past to Succeed in the Future
9 Secret Ways to Persuade and Influence People - by Dumb Little Man
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Entrepreneur Connect Groups: Outsourcing vs. Doing It Yourself: When is it time to let go a little?
TPM: The Philosophers’ Magazine | The biology of identity
Guest commentary: Why populists are wrong about impact of free trade» Naples Daily News
Top Web Design Trends For Small Business In 2010 | Small Business Trends
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Does Your Company Have the Content Mindset?
The Less You Know, The More Money You’ll Make
Conversation Agent: The 7 keys to social branding
Monday, January 04, 2010
How Much To Share? I Say Give It All Away… | SocialMouths
3 Helpful B2B 2010 Social Media Predictions - Digital Influence Mapping Project
Predictions 2010 - John Battelle's Searchblog
A new decade. I like the sound of that. I'm a bit late on these, but for some reason these predictions refused to be rushed. I haven't had the contemplative time I usually get over the holidays, and I need a fair amount of that before I can really get my head around attempting something as presumptive as forecasting a year.
So I'll just start writing and see what comes.
While past predictions have focused on specific companies and industry segments (like Internet marketing), I think I'll try to stay meta this time. Except for Google, of course, which is still the only company in the Internet economy that can be seen from space. For now. But we'll get to that.
1. 2010 will mark the beginning of the end of US dominance of the web. I am not predicting the decline of the US Internet market, but rather its eclipse in size and overall influence by other centers of web economies. In essence, this is not an Internet prediction, but an economic one, as the web is simply a reflection of the world, and the world is clearly moving away from a US-dominated model.
2. Google will make a corporate decision to become seen as a software brand rather than as "just a search engine." I see this as a massive cultural shift that will cause significant rifts inside the company, but I also see it as inevitable. Google, once the "pencil" of the Internet, has become a newer, more open version of Microsoft, and it has to admit as much both to itself as well as to its public, or it will start to lose credibility with all its constituents. While the company flirted with the title of "media company" I think "software company" fits it better, and allows it to focus and to lean into its most significant projects, all of which are software-driven: Chrome OS, Android, Search, and Docs (Office/Cloud Apps).
This shift means Google will, by years end and with fits and starts, begin to minimize its efforts in media, including social media, seeking to embrace and partner rather than compete directly. This is a significant prediction, as Facebook is clearly Google's most direct competitor in many areas, but Google will realize, if it has not already, that it cannot out Facebook Facebook, but it sure can be a better software company.
3. 2010 will see a major privacy brouhaha, not unlike the AOL search debacle but around social and/or advertising related data. Despite the rise of personalized privacy dashboards for most major sites, there is still no industry standard for how marketing data is leveraged, and there is a brewing war for that data between marketers, their agencies, and third parties like ad networks and measurement companies. Add in a querulous legislative environment, and it's hard to imagine there not being some kind of major flap in the coming year.
4. By year's end the web will have seen a significant new development in user interface design, one that will have gained rapid adoption amongst many "tier one" sites, in particularly those which cover the industry.
Despite nearly ten years of blogging, most publishing sites are still stuck in the mode of "post and push down," which is, frankly, a terrible UI for anyone other than news hounds. Thanks to the three-headed force of social, gaming, and mobile, I think the PC web is due for a UI overhaul, and we'll see new approaches to navigation and presentation evolve into a recognizable new standard.
5. (image) Apple's "iTablet" will disappoint. Sorry Apple fanboys, but the use case is missing, even if the thing is gorgeous and kicks ass for so many other reasons. Until the computing UI includes culturally integrated voice recognition and a new approach to browsing (see #4), the "iTablet" is just Newton 2.0. Of course, the Newton was just the iPhone, ten years early and without the phone bit....and the Mac was just Windows, ten years before Windows really took hold, and Next was just ....oh never mind.
6. 2010 will see the rise of an open gaming platform, much as 2009 was the year of an open phone platform (Android). Imagine what might happen when the hegemony of current game development is questioned - I want open development for Halo and Guitar Hero, damnit!
7. Traditional search results will deteriorate to the point that folks begin to question search's validity as a service. This does not mean people will stop using search - habits do not die that quickly and search will continue to have significant utility. But we are in the midst of a significant transition in search - as I've recently written, we are asking far more complicated questions of search, ones that search is simply not set up to answer. This incongruence is not really fair to blame on search, but so it goes. Add to this the problem of an entire ecosystem set up to game AdWords, and the table is set. Google will take most of the brand blame, but also do the most to address the issue in 2010.
8. Bing will move to a strong but distant second in search, eclipsing Yahoo in share. Of course, with the Yahoo deal, it's rather hard to understand search share, but I measure it by "where search queries originate." This is a pretty bold prediction, given the nearly 7-point spread between Bing and Yahoo now, but I think Microsoft will pick up significant share using cash to buy distribution.
9. Internet advertising will see a sharp increase, and not just from increased search and social media platform (PPC/PPA) spending. Brands will spend a lot more online in 2010, and most predictive models are not accounting for this rise.
10. (Image) This is probably a layup, but one never knows, layups are sometimes the ones you miss: The tech/Internet industry will see a surge in quality IPOs. However, at least one, if not more will be withdrawn as public scrutiny proves too costly and/or controversial. A corollary: There will also be a surge in M&A and "weak" IPO filings.
11. I'm out of my depth on this one, but it feels right so I'm going to go with it: We'll see a major step forward in breaking the man/machine barrier. By this I mean the integration of technology and biology - yes, the same fantasy that fuels the blockbuster movies (Avatar, Matrix, Terminator). I'm not predicting a market product, but rather a paper or lab result that shows extraordinary promise.
12. I'll figure out what I want to do with my book. SOGOTP, so to speak. Three years of predicting that I'll start it is getting a bit old, eh? I feel good about branching back out into more contemplative fields, with FM in a strong position and our economy coming out from its defensive crouch.
As always, thanks for reading and responding. I look forward to 2010, it'd be hard to predict anything other than it'll be a better year, overall, than 2009.