2010 has been the year that the world really woke up and recognised how technology in general and social media in particular, is fundamentally changing the way we live, behave and interact with others.

Those visionaries who joined Facebook back in 2004 and Twitter in 2006 were rebuked and reprimanded by friends and family who thought they were just ‘messing about’ online. In reality they were pioneers laying the foundations for how both the personal and commercial worlds are connecting and expanding today.

We think there were three ‘milestones’ which are likely to change our lives forever:

1. Traditional Media vs Social media

When social media first came on the scene all you read about was “Traditional Media vs. Social Media,” “Online advertising and blogs are turning the screws on newspapers,” “Traditional media is dying and new media is the only way to go.”  This pseudo-battle makes for good headlines, but it is complete nonsense!

Using the over simplified and child-like perspectives of “new = good so old must = bad” resulted from people feeling threatened.  The truth is that our world is full of the old and the new.  People of all ages are using the internet – but they are still watching TV, reading newspapers and magazines and so on.

It is highly likely that in the years ahead you might watch less TV and be Twittering on your TV screen while you upload a YouTube video.

Businesses and advertisers will make increasing use of the social networks to reach more people because the results are more measurable but they are unlikely to stop using traditional media totally. People will still make friends at work and in their neighbourhood but they will also have friends around the globe via the social networks

2. Innovation and creativity are helping us to do things faster.

The internet has removed many of the barriers to entry for starting a business.  It is now very quick and easy for a business to sell products and services online.   The business world has become far more collaborative and ‘customer engagement’ is the buzz phrase of the day.

3. Privacy is a thing of the past.

A recent study in the US worryingly revealed that 92% of all 2 year olds in the U.S. have an online record.  Imagine what information there will be online for those children when they reach age 30:  everything from their sonograms, emails, text messages, and browsing history to their YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog use will be recorded and archived.  Add to that geo-location enabled pictures and videos that other people tag them in.  This is where we are headed

Many respected internet marketers believe that we are the last generation to know real privacy.  We are entering a new era where we are solely responsible for creating and defining our online persona.

These are the top 3 changes we have seen. What are your thoughts?  What do you see changing and where do you think we’re heading as our online and offline lives continue to merge?  Please leave a comment below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Digital Marketing Services in Surrey, Sussex, Kent & the South East of England

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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