2009 was the year of the microblog (Twitter, Tumblr, Meme). What does 2010 have in store? Here are my predictions for “now” revolution in the Southeast Asian market for the coming year.
1. Professional content: Expect to see a push to cultivate and support a generation of professional bloggers in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia as the market for paid content connects with a rising class of professional writers. Keep an eye on Indonesia and the Philippines — their strong traditions in journalism will form the pillar for this.
2. Corporate social media: Companies will stumble in trying to find the right mix of resources — PR, editors, product teams — to direct engagement with their customers. The realization will hit home: It’s expensive to build and engage a community. Many will fail with half-baked social media strategies.
3. Innovation: New technologies will pave the way for the creation of independent news startups in the region, following in the footsteps of The Huffington Post and Gawker. Cheap, efficient technologies in content management will help companies get up faster. Massive opportunities here for systems integrators to deliver fast, scaleable backend systems to keep up with the traffic. A key question remains: Will advertisers be ready?
4. Open collaboration: It isn’t over yet. Facebook Connect will help new startups leapfrog the difficulties in building a user base. An “instant” community is coming together, faster.
5. “Mobile-lizing” content: The next ten million internet users will come online for the first time on their mobile phones. Handsets will get cheaper and apps will get more sophisticated. No brainer. The real challenge here is for publishers to start building a compelling experience on mobile phones from the ground up — and not simply dump web content on phones. Does anyone have a good idea of how consumers want to see content displayed on their phones? Not yet.