Tech Thursday this week looks forward to 2012. There’s a lot of predictions going around right now and like everyone else, I have a few things I’ll be watching to see how trends set up in the coming year.
Digital marketing and social media played an enormous role in the 2008 presidential election. From information dissemination to donations collection to grass-roots organization technology strode its way to the forefront of the campaign cycle, particularly for Barack Obama’s camp who redefined how the internet could be used. By the time the 2010 mid-terms rolled around regional groups as part of the national Tea Party movement were able to self-organize, fund and mobilize through the extensive use of technology, which ultimately laid the foundation for much of the congressional change during the election cycle.
American politics will help drive not only the adoption of existing technology but will also create interest in upcoming technologies. The movement will go beyond politicians and their constituents as PACs are being overshadowed by corporate entries into the forum thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions. This will push the bounds of message dissemination and voter rallying.
Furthermore social media helped further the effects of Arab Spring in the Middle East. Networks like Twitter were a centerpiece of the Egyptian uprising and continued to play a heavy role helping usually repressed people organize and facilitate aspects of the uprising throughout the region. Similarly, despite governmental restrictions in Asia by many of the communist governments, technology is influencing how people are coming together and understand their plight and position in the world.
Mobile and video already a centerpiece for many prognosticators and the political forum will push it further to the forefront. There are a number of ways to utilize the technology that haven’t been done before including mobile donations leveraging mCommerce solutions to voter check-in incentives for day of polling to personalized interactions with the stakeholders possibly using augmented reality. Some of the existing technology will be also pushed to its limits both nationally and on the international stage as political imbalance continues to ravage parts of Europe, the middle east and now especially North Korea.
Technology provided a huge part of the excitement surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It became a defining moment for video technology like Microsoft’s Silverlight, began the screen convergence between broadcast and web-casting and social media helped overcome media blackouts due to time zone delays so feigning fans could get up-to-the-second updates on their favorite events. By the time the 2010 Winter Games came up many of the awkward advertising integrations were more fluidly defined, social media was embraced as a forefront of fan interaction and mobile began to creep into the screen convergence.
Over that same time American major league sports embraced technology in new ways too. At one point it was considered cutting edge that Washington Capitals owner and former AOL exec Ted Leonsis was blogging throughout the season, now all four major sports have nearly every major player microblogging to the point where leagues are actually setting game-day rules for it. All four leagues took brought their game-day offerings from simple text-and-graphics to detailed multimedia offerings that include in-game instant highlights, social interactivity and mobile apps that generate an attempt at screen convergence. Major League Baseball has won awards for their technological innovation and the NHL’s work with HBO around the Winter Classic to make the experience increasingly more personal.
Look for sports to help lead screen convergence in the coming year as broadcast, web and mobile increasingly battle for the same eyeballs. This will impact how consumers interpret how they view content moving forward and cultivate their expectations and aspirations of it. Furthermore, sports is a unique area to combine viewer interest with advertising interaction. This has the potential to drive simple, direct eCommerce actions in the context of games and viewer interaction with those games. Sports will also help define the context of social interaction as players, coaches, owners, the media and fans will force perspective to those interactions and lessen the distance between each stakeholder in the sporting world, particularly outside of the big-four arena as it influences players and fans down to the pee-wee leagues. Let’s hope the next big story is built from a fantastic come-from-behind fan-inspires-player highlight and not some pee-wee league social media harassment debacle that captures the screen convergence through video.
Only a few years ago the Edge network’s 2.5G was all the rage, now it’s all about 4G LTE. Before it was about web-enabled feature phones, while now it’s about quadcore processor,