It’s the time of year when people start placing their bets on where we’re going next. Developers, consultants, experts and users all like to weigh in with their predictions for 2009’s big developments, innovations and attempts for the coming year.
Yesterday, at Make Your Mark’s Social Media Afternoon, I was asked what my predictions were. And I realized
1. I hadn’t thought about it much
2. I hadn’t blogged about it
So, here are my 2009 Predictions for the Social Web
Mashups are great. I love them! But I think 2009 will see a more refined world of mashups take over.
We have seen plenty of mashups where a website is able to push together a mapping tool, some public data, and user-created content like comments. I think these mashups are tremendously helpful to organizations working to make real change in their communities, allowing them to more dynamically tell their story and make their case in a compelling way to supporters, funders, and the community at large. Mashups in this sense aren’t going anywhere, especially as platforms are built to help create them with less technical knowledge and in less time.
The mashups that will come out in 2009 are going to be ones that create hybrid spaces in between the different tools we are already using. Mashups of applications and spaces, not just information. We are going to see tools developed that provide a space to interact with your contacts and content in new ways. Like FriendFeed, but to the next level – where you aren’t creating new contacts or content or spaces; but they all exist already and are ported to the in-between spaces for you and with you as you move.
Tools for individuals are great, but what we’ve seen in 2008 is that the tools that individuals like the most and use the most are the ones that create the most dynamic communities. Tools like Twitter, FriendFeed and social networking.
As new tools develop, whether they are the mashups above, or new tools altogether, they are going to be driven by needs of already-formed communities and not individuals. We have lots and lots of tools at our disposal as individuals on the web. We can do what we need to do. What comes next is tools that accelerate and are created by the needs of communities we already work in and have created online.
This includes organizational communities, in the sense that your organization has created a space for supporters to connect with you (on your blog, Twitter, forums, wiki, whatever), as well as the network of contacts and content I have chosen to follow, subscribe to, or otherwise connect with.
Regardless of my predictions or anyone else’s, 2009 is going to be a very exciting year. The ‘networked president’ takes office in the US, many countries around the world are facing incredible financial insecurity, terrorism is plaguing many communities, and many of our ‘same old problems’ continue to exist. Innovations online will certainly be tempered by those facts and the developments we see in our social media tools will need to help us continue to connect and discuss the issues we are dealing with around the world.
What are your predictions for 2009? What do you think is going to change the web next year? What was your favorite innovation from 2008?