A Look Back: 6 Thoughts On 2014
Can you believe it? The year is over at midnight tonight! I don’t know about you, but I feel like January 2014 came, I blinked, and now it’s end of December. In honor of 2014, here are some of my favorite insights regarding the last year:
Social Media Is Faster
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I know, Ferris Bueller, I know. But I’ll tell ya something, if you take your eye off social media, you could miss a whole world of news could spin by.
This was the year where social media OWNED traditional news. With tracking top hashtag trends, Google alerts, feeds and notifications, Tweetdeck, daily news updates from edgy sites, and, well, Reddit – it takes a lot of effort to have a portion of a finger on the pulse of any given day.
Be More Human, But Not Too Human
Being human in social media doesn’t mean you should call be “Bae” or “Bruh.” And it certainly doesn’t mean you should make inappropriate jokes with me. Have personality! Employ some charm and empathy! Build a rapport with your community! But remember, there is a difference between joining the fun and being insensitive. Sometimes trying to join a meme only results in making you a meme.
Celebrating The Content And The Creators
In the Digital world, social is pretty much a give-in now. We are in the world of content creators and open-market platforms! It’s like 2006 with the “UGC” buzz all over again, except no one has noticed. YouTubers, Viners, Instagrammers: society recognizes their worth. Who would have ever thought that 6 second videos could be so popular and engaging? Or that YouTube channel subscriptions could be so high? Platforms are fighting for your interesting, unique, expressive content, and from the channel success I see, and the consistency from the community, people are up to the challenge.
The World Needs More Heroes
And by heroes, I mean mods – the night watch and the day watch, the community-policing, privacy-protecting, customer supporting, issue-troubleshooting, troll-hunting, near-omniscient mods. There’s a line, folks, and too often people cross it. Just because it’s legal to say certain things in a public forum doesn’t mean it’s appropriate, or welcomed by ruling forces who operate that public forum. Companies and platforms needs to embrace and employ mods on a regular basis.
It’s All About Anywhere & Anytime
Ok, so yeah, the first rendition of Google Glass may have shattered (China may not love the puns, but I do!), but that has not stopped wearable tech. Gadgets are going to be so much more fashionable and streamlined. The smart watch has been building in strength for a while, and personal tracking tools, like the FitBit, are all the rage (for now… as I foresee the AppleWatch being quite the all-in-one contender). Today I saw an article about Apple’s Stylus that will allow you to write on any surface, and it will auto-populate your tablet. That’s like Harry Potter’s magic wand to a writer.
My 2015 Prediction: Year of the Gif
I have to say, 2014 was the year of the emoji. Emoji have been embraced by many of us for a few years now (I remember when I had to hack/unlock the functionality). But it seems this year emoji have transcended, and have been embraced by the world. There are emoji pillows and emoji wood blocks and emoji prints. There was even a petition for emoji bacon (which was genius, well done, Oscar Meyer). Next year, though? I’m banking on the year of the Gif. It’s a pretty popular and useful tool. I had a few Gif apps on my phone, but the mass public had not quite caught on… but the campaign is brewing! Comedy shows are starting to do “Gif of the Week” segments, and Twitter legitimized them in their feeds.
I have a lot invested in this concept. I spent a good amount of time over the years building my epic “Liz Lemon” 30 Rock catalogue of gifs, complete with anecdotes on when to appropriately use them.
I hope your 2015 is more epic, more memorable, more endearing, and more successful then any year before! If you have thoughts to share on 2014, or fun predictions for 2015 SHARE IN THE COMMENTS! It will be fun to look back next December and see which were true, and which were lovely pipe dreams.
Director of Engagement & Strategy