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2012 Predictions

I’d like to share the trends I see happening in 2012.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do own a deck of Tarot cards (not that I needed it to come up with these predictions):

  1. E-mail will not die.  If snail mail is still inching along, the demise of e-mail is still a long way off.   On Worldmeters.com http://www.worldometers.info/  the number of e-mails sent daily is still 100 times the number of daily tweets.  Compared to the state of the Postal Service in both Canada and the U.S., e-mail is in great shape!
  2. Convergence will escalate.  Look for more mergers, buy-outs, acquisitions and takeovers in every industry – financial, sports, pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods and, especially technology.  Organic growth in these industries is becoming more and more difficult, leaving acquisition as the only means to significant growth.
  3. Watch out for the little guy.  Convergence is hell on the businesses involved. They are so busy focusing internally that their ability to steer the business suffers, for a minimum of 12 – 18 months.  In addition, it’s rare that large organizations are flexible, rapid and adaptable.  This leaves plenty of opportunity for small or niche companies to emerge to grab the hearts and minds of customers.
  4. Social Media will continue to be a free-for-all.  It took decades after the advent of advertising for the players to agree on definitions, rules of conduct, policies, processes, terms and standardized metrics.  Even if our current pace is exponentially faster than it was in “those” days, we’re still 3 – 5 years away from the kind of standardization that will result in a level playing field that will allow all of us speak the same language, mean the same thing, measure the same elements in the same way.
  5. Look for more frequent, larger gaffes and blunders to be “heard around the world”.  Until such standardization mentioned in the previous point exists, the gulf between those that utilize Social Media and those that manage large companies and their products/brands will be gargantuan.  Without common definitions and understanding of Social Media the senior executives that want to dive in (or who are talked into diving in) to Social Media may not be able to clearly communicate what they want to achieve.  And we all know what can happen when the lines of communication are not clear…SNAFU!

MY 2012 “Un-wish” List

And here is my “un-wish” list for the coming year.

What is an “un-wish”, you ask?  Well a wish is defined as “to have a desire for (as something unattainable)”.   http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wish.  Or, to really, really want something it’s impossible to have.

An “un-wish”  is to really, really, not want something that you have, but your desire NOT to have it is unattainable!

–       I un-wish for “Top” 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 Lists.   Come on!  Let’s give those other, less popular, numbers a chance.  Or, maybe we could do away with “Top X Lists” altogether?  (Yeah, I thought not.)

–       I “un-wish” for misleading titles.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been lured into clicking the link to an article or blog post, only to realize, after a few lines, that the content has nothing to do with the headline.  Then, just because I think I might be jumping the gun and judging too early, I read on, hoping that the connection will be made.  The result?  I’m double-disappointed (that’s disappointed for two different reasons by the same thing) because I was too stupid not to trust myself and quit while I was ahead.

Can we pass a law or something that says the content has to have a passing relation to the title?  Can we make people add a disclaimer “Please note that the contents may not relate to or even resemble the headline in any way, shape or form.  Read on at your own risk.”?

–       I “un-wish” for more distractions.  Please, no more social networks, I can barely get my work done now.  Would you consider turning your not inconsiderable genius to solving world peace or turning around the economic situation?

–       I “un-wish” for the intimate knowledge of strangers as they publicly share very private information while talking on their mobile phones.  Poor Alexander Graham Bell must be spinning in his grave at what his communication device has evolved into.   A better, accessible and immediate means of communication across great distances has become a broader, all too accessible and immediate means of communicating details right where I sit/stand (that were never meant to be shared outside the four walls of one’s home).

–       I “un-wish” that some perfectly good and powerful words have been rendered useless by overuse.  Words like “effective”, “motivated”, “innovative” and “problem-solving” to name a few of the “10 Most Overused Linked In Profile Words”.  http://summify.com/story/TueWxS7Xr1JtAe5Z/mashable.com/2011/12/13/linkedin-buzzwords-2011/

I’ll have to use some of my precious time off over the next week to go in and replace these words in my Linked In profile!

–       I “un-wish” for some of the corollary effects of social media.  For example, the absorption that translates into rudeness as individuals, on their personal mobile devices and wholly immersed in their bubble, forget they are part of the crowd around them on the street, in transit, or in public places and that they need to be considerate of others.                                                    

What also results is a lack of awareness that was once a vital and exciting part of being out in public — the potential of communication with total strangers.  A shared smile, a mutually puzzled shrug, an eye-roll of exasperation that makes you realize you are part of the human race.

That’s it for me.  Happy Holidays and all the best for 2012.  Looking forward to catching back up with you next year.

In the meantime if you want to share, I’ll be checking in.

What are your predictions for 2012?  What do you “un-wish” for?