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TrendReport Track Record for Predictions for 2011

Before we issue our annual list of trends and predictions of media and social media issues this month, here's our annual report card of how we did with our 2011 predictions.

  • The Battle between the iPad & the iPad Killers. The battle we predicted between the iPad and the "iPad Killers" did not turn out to be much of a battle, as most of the wannabe iPad Killers were quickly considered misfires. HP's TouchPad was launched and taken off the market within a matter of weeks (writing off $3.3 billion to “the wind down of HP’s WebOS device business," which was the platform for the TouchPad). RIM's PlayBook launched without some key software apps.

    We don't think we were wrong in calling it a big trend, though. In an article, "Tech 2011: Biggest News Stories of the Year" published in Dec. 30, 2011, Wired included three tablet-related stories, including "Non-Apple Tablets Proliferate – But No One Seems to Care." Wired nominated two other tablet-related news events as top stories:

We were right in predicting that the iPad2 would continue to dominate the market, that a lot of media coverage would be about our app-enabled culture, and that there would be a lot of discussion about iOS vs. Android. There were not as many stories as we expected for the PC market. We did not predict the Kindle Fire, which generated huge amount of coverage (overshadowing Barnes & Noble's equivalent Nook) as the media continued its attempt to anoint an iPad killer. Grade:, A-. As for 2012, we expect that the soon-to-be-disclosed (in a bar, perhaps) iPad 3 will be popular, and will continue to dominate the market. The Kindle Fire will do well, but a re-priced iPad 2 will outsell the Fire. Some Android tablets will continue to improve and to sell units, but will mostly eat iPad's dust.

  • 2011: The year of the app-based media subscriptions. Pricing for app-based subscriptions were a big issue for publishers, but many now produce free apps that enable either per-issue (for a fee) access or free access for print subscribers. Some publishers have not figured things out, charging more on a per-electronic copy than for a per-print copy. Slowly more subscriptions are available on the iPad's Newsstand, which is great in that it aggregates a number of publications in one place, but not so good for publishers that once could expect their apps to appear on the screen by itself. Grade: B since this did not get much media or social media attention.
  • Converging media continues to converge.We predicted blurred lines among traditional media as newspapers reporters post video versions of their text stories; TV reporters post text versions of the video staandups, etc. That trend will continue in 2012 and beyond. Grade: A.
  • Ongoing stories
  • The rules for social media will continue to evolve – rapidly. Our point: Companies are still learning how to navigate social media, which gives newbies the opportunity to jump in, and to learn from what others are doing well as well as from mistakes others have made. One challenge remains: staying ahead of the range of sites, which can rise and fall in the once dominant Friendster. Google-Plus launched in 2011 after some high profile social media failures on Google's part, but which generated 65 million users in a few months. So Google-Plus has quickly become a site that businesses should consider as part of their social media strategy. It's not to late to sign up, but it does mean another site to pay attention to, in addition to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  • There weren't media stories directly about this but in 2011, companies were judged by how quickly they respond to social media situations. For example, when Kenneth Cole posted an offensive tweet about protests in Cairo during the Arab Spring, it took him six hours to respond to criticisms. The story became focused on the amount of time it took Cole to respond. Grade: A.
  • We said the press release would not die in 2011, and we feel that it didn't, even as some companies used Twitter to issue news. We feel that the press release will continue to be relevant in 2012.Grade: A.
  • Traditional media did move to a stable, if fragile, footing in 2011, as we predicted. Grade: A.
  • While there were more apps designed to allow viewers to interact with other viewers while watching TV, these apps are more for avid fans and did not exactly become common. Perhaps that's because it's an uncomfortable combination of lean-back activities like watching TV and lean-forward activities like using a computer. (Expect to hear a lot of people talk about lean-back/lean-forward activities in 2012.) We overstated this one. Grade: B-.
  • Hybrid, mashup and curation were used a lot in 2011, but they were not the most overused words. According to Lake Superior State University, the list of most overused words include: Amazing, Occupy, baby bump and man cave. I really dislike the last two. Grade: B.
  • We were right about some of the top stories – the economy, health care, politics, and the battle among Google vs. Apple, etc. We were wrong about 3D TVs – not much media interest when there did not seem to be much consumer interest in the technology.Oprah's network, OWN, got some coverage, but was not a major story – just as it did not turn into a major cable network. Yet. (Don't bet against Oprah.) Grade: B+.

Overall, we earned an A-/B+.

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