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2012 predictions in technology

As the future is already upon us (*more about that at the end of this post) do we really need any end-of-the-year lists of predictions for 2012? A good prediction is based upon the predictor having special knowledge, something that the average Jill and Joe does not possess - but the prediction lists keep coming anyway. (Not having special knowledge isn't stopping our Congressmen and women from ruling on #SOPA, but that's another post..)

For e.g., oddly, or perhaps predictably, HTML5 keeps coming up in the prediction lists for 2012, but so far the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, a group that has been working on new HTML5 standardization since 2004, says that advancing HTML5 to Recommendation has to wait until 2014. So let's hold off on those 'HTML5 is the future, everyone must learn it' predictions until 12/31/2013, yes?

Let's face it, the predicting game in technology is a tricky one. Here's an example from 2008 - former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, decided blogging was passé, and wrote An End To Blogging. I can only wonder if he also predicted the end of his own tenure as Sun CEO in 2010, which actually came true! He famously signed off with a Haiku on Twitter: Today's my last day at Sun. I'll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku. Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more. At least he had a sense of humour, and special knowledge.

I would never have agreed with Schwartz about blogging coming to an end - however anyone wants to spin it. Even Brian Solis, whose pronouncements about social media, I have to admit, we could rarely see eye to eye on, gets it right in his post The State of The Blogosphere 2011 when he writes, "Over the years, blogs have formed the foundation of social media, democratizing the ability to publish thoughtful commentary, build a noteworthy community and equalize influence along the way. Blogs are underrated and largely underestimated."

OK, so with those sentences he's preaching to the choir, where the choir = me: I love writing. Wherein writing, as I am here, currently means blogging. I've been writing online since 1995 and the days of America Online (gasp!), and god knows I must have bored the pants off a few people along the way. Yet judging by the stats across my various online outlets, people are either masochists or they actually find value in my screeds. If you don't mind, as it's the Holiday Season and you should be nice, I'm going with the latter.

Thanks for reading this far, I know your time is valuable!

As a small project for the year end, instead of attempting to divine the future I reviewed all the posts I'd written during 2011, and then had a dig through the stats to find the most read and most shared amongst them. Although my interests and positions are catholic, as in the non-ecclesiastical use of the word, the data show that I tend to stick to only a handful of categories. I found that in the top ten most read and most shared posts the following keywords appear the most often:
social media • music • technology • social web • brands • UI/UX • iPad • mobile • influence • Facebook • agency • and did I mention mobile?

No surprises there, simply a reflection of the work I do at North. My music blog and my everything blog give very different results of course.

So here are the most read and most shared posts of 2011 on
Social media overload, some thoughts

London burning, punk rock and a Tea Party dream come true

What happened to the big idea in music technology?

Nancy Upton versus American Apparel: The problem with brands and the social web

A new Deschutes Brewery website: Applying mobile first

Your problem is stopping to think about it: Or, more thoughts about the iPad

Thoughts about Klout scores and so-called social influence, BwaH HA HA!

Radiohead and research versus Rupert Murdoch and the Daily

Facebook Likes are not engaging

The agency of the future one year later

As for the * at the beginning, here's where we currently are as we head into 2012 - from two people with special knowledge:
Mary Meeker: Mega-trend of the 21st century is empowerment of people via mobile-connected devices

Louis CK - Winning

Here's to 2012. Happy New Year from @DaveAtNorth and @North

Experts exposed by blogging

Shea Hembrey: One man, 100 artists