10 Digital Unpredictions for 2013



It’s safe to say that just because I waited until January 8th, it doesn’t mean that I can’t roll out what I think will happen in the next 12 months. In other words, not posting prediction pieces in December does not diminish their likelihood of occurring. In the immortal words of former NFL coach, Dennis Green, predictions are what we thought they were.

With that said, I wanted to go with things that can truly occur in 2013. Thus they aren’t predictions they’re the opposite, they’re Unpredictions!  I’ll explain why with each one .


  1. The GIF goes Hyper. Some say that the GIF has grown up. Well once they grow up, then they’re on their own right? The only limitation? One’s own creativity. Which may mean the GIF becomes so 5 minutes ago in about 3 months. 🙂
  2. Image is everything-meaning image sharing sites continue to explode, mystify and push the envelope.  Snapchat, Poke and Instagam are the first iteration, which is scary.
  3. This tape will self-destruct in 10 seconds.  See the Poke link above. But know this, Data deletion will become de rigeur i.e. standard. Want to combat the Nano bytes of data that seem to replicate exponentially? Eliminate it almost as soon as it’s created, especially if it’s useless. Look for that to be a growing option in 2013. want to know who really takes advantage of this? marketers. Marketers will jump on this and snap a gamification piece onto data deletion. In other words, Act now. No we mean it, Now!
  4. Speaking of hard drives. They become useless too in 2013. Can we just get a better name than The Cloud?
  5. Content isn’t King. The creator of the content is King! The act of publishing of content is no longer the issue. The platforms, they’re simple. But the person or marketing teams who “get” the user and write for the user, they are the new kings.
  6. Simple is the Queen to the Content Creator but dumbing it down will continue to dominate design.  Why do you think Video has exploded? Because no one wants to read! Duh!
  7. The Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple games/wars continue in earnest in 2013. This is about the easiest prediction in the bunch. But predicting who comes out on top for the year 2013-We put our money on Amazon. Surprised?
  8. 2013 decides whether Google Plus becomes relevant since users seem to be incapable of figuring that out.
  9. In 2013 everyone realizes that they must measure their digital and social efforts but that still doesn’t solve the problem.  Prepare for the birth of the Social Data Analyst Marketer.
  10. Contrary to what this article says, the death watch of the desktop officially begins.


Can anything that any of us predict, really happen in 12 months? Not really. In order for it to happen, it really has to be in the works prior to 2013, right? So that means, maybe they aren’t so much predictions as they are things that should happen because everything that we have seen heard and experienced in the past 12 months, indicate that they should happen.

Let the games begin.

On Dependence of 3rd Party Platforms and Leaving the Grid

We use Gmail to send email. We use Facebook to connect with our past. We use Twitter to let people know what we’re doing right now. Without technology, how would we connect with people? The phone, the written word via snail mail, and or lo and behold… face to face?

What happens if Facebook, Apple,  Twitter, Youtube, Pandora, Verison, Spotify, Evernote, Amazon, Google and Microsoft were to go away? What happens? Life goes on. Case in point, you’re talking to someone on your cell phone and the call is dropped, what do you do? You look at the phone, you may call them back, you may not, you shrug your shoulders and life goes on.

Have you ever thought about how dependent you are on the digital things that make your life go? I know I do. In fact, we often joke about what would happen if some of us were off the grid for any substantial amount of time.Would we  shrivel up like a raisin? Get a case of the DT’s? For some it’s possible, they can hop right off of the grid and shut it down no problem. Digital for those that can’t disconnect, resembles some type of ambient ubiquity which they cannot separate themselves from for any extended period of time-like 2 days.

But what if someone just disconnects

This morning I was looking for someone who I had gotten to know fairly well who essentially created a whole new life for himself  around social media. They created a slipstream niche around how to use social media for SMB’s. They wrote a book, they V-logged, they tweeted over 15,000 times, they created an active Facebook page, and then all of a sudden. No more. The sites are shut down, the social profiles are dormant and the person has just disappeared from the social ecosystem.

Did he die? Did he just decide that social media is so superficial that there has to be something better out there? Did he get a new job that necessitates that he not participate at all in social? I may never know because the only way I ever communicated with him were through 3rd party platforms and social networks. He doesn’t use those anymore. Maybe he wants to reconnect with his family? I don’t know. In a sense, he has gone from one extreme to  the other, and that’s OK. Why? I’m starting to think about the overall value of social as it pertains to our truly personal, social selves and maybe just maybe this person decided that it wasn’t worth it.

It makes you wonder though. What will social look like in 5 years. Is social in and of itself creating its own oxymoron? Where social doesn’t really mean social at all? Maybe there is something to Facebook Fatigue. All I know is that when someone ceases “to be” in social media either a life has ended or…maybe just maybe…life goes on.

Is it ever wise to knock the competition?

Talking about the other team is a fine line. On the one hand by acknowledging that they exist, you acknowledge that they are a threat and you are aware of them. By not recognizing that they are in the room, you risk not respecting what they might be doing to to succeed in the same space as you. As I said, a fine line.

A healthy respect is one thing but the one thing you should never do is give the competition an advantage of any sort. Either in the press, in person or otherwise. It’s called bulletin board material. Some teams thrive on that. Some teams need it. Some ignore it and others use it as examples that they are the one’s to beat.

Take what a senior executive from one of the world’s largest computer company’s said about one of the most notable and recognizable companies in the world and a direct competitor the other day:

“They’re  great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island. It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex,” Their global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organizations, said to CIO Australia.

“Their product with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1,500 or $1,600; that’s double of what you’re paying. That’s not feasible.”

Even in business. Think it, but don’t say it to everyone “outside” the firewall.  It’s not like they needed ammo but it’s like saying, “Yea Kobe has 5 rings but he still can’t hit the 11 footer off the backboard…”


DRM, The music business has to change, again.

I have a friend who has a site called Howzitsound. He wants to change the way we listen to music. But he wants to be unlike all of the others… Where have we heard that before? If you must know, I’m still in favor of changing the way we listen to, access, and share music, as it stands today. But by no means do I think the current model works. The system is still flawed. In fact there is a great blog post about it right here by Ian Rogers, who seems to understand that, we as listeners and purveyors of music are tired of being played<—pun intended.

What my friend wants to do is open up Howzitsound to the best and the brightest, to build the model that works best for them. He wants Howzitsound to contribute something positive to the music industry. Something sustainable. His problem is, he just doesn’t know what it is. What that ideal model is. I got news for him, neither does anyone else. Think things are ok? tell that to the woman who just lost a court case against the RIAA to the tune of<—pun intended, $200,000! Thats right she was made the poster child for anyone who has downloaded music illegally.  Oh and she has 2 children too. I’m thinking the 10-20-life law might apply here, what do you think? What message did they send by doing that? Was it necessary?

So back to what would a viable web 2.0 music model look like? What would it need to have in regards to having a large scale buy in<—-pun intended, from all of the labels as well as the current keepers of the keys to the kingdom?

What do users want? What I do know is that what they want, is to play their music on any device, access the music from any site, and have it be compatible with anything; Car, house, device, you name it. They don’t want to have to jump through hoops time and time again, and they want access to the largest catalogue possible. I hear you led Zep and Radiohead fans!

 Now I’m getting excited, look how it’s now we and not they… 🙂 We want widgets, we want contextual apps, so that we can listen to similar music, we want to be able to share our playlists and we want it to be affordable. The only problem with that limited wish list is, that like Ian Rogers said, we’ll have to wait, roughly 8 years for even the smallest of miracles in regards to headway.

Tell me what we need to do!!! Lets help my friend at Howzitsound. Someone turn him on to someone else…and lets change the music business again, lets let the users decide for a change!