Monday, December 24, 2007

The return of league play and other stuff.


One of my former colleagues from long ago, Cammie Dunaway, recently moved from the CMO slot at Yahoo! to take over the similar post at Nintendo. As she put it, she was about to become "the coolest Mom on earth." She's also going to be part of one of the most interesting and unexpected social phenoms in a long while, the return of league play via social gaming on the Wii. It's already made the news in small pockets, but this looks like a trend that could really take off for a while. Time to order up some bowling shirts.

Other trend-watching/prediction stuff that comes to mind, or that's been rattling around in my head a while:

Video on the web ramps up even faster due to the explosion of web-based entrepreneurial production companies born as a result of the melt-down of the Hollywood system in '08. New, independent digital entertainment channels crop up fueled by advertisers' need to get commercials in play. Implications for bandwidth, networking, fiber, processors, virtualization, as well as production equipment and software -- Canon and Adobe and VMW for instance.

R/GA's Bob Greenberg, fearing that his interactive communications company might be maturing into the leader of a mainstream category, will once again reinvent the beast into something nobody else can identify or figure out, and by so doing will once again light the way to what the rest of mystified industry will aspire to become in 5 years' time.

Rupert Murdoch will launch a paradigm busting web-based advertising vehicle mashing up the WSJ brand with Fox-like guerrilla programming tactics and a dose of tabloid snarkiness, all built on top of the MySpace+LinkedIn social networking infrastructure. It will signal the end of newspapers as we know them and the realization of the internet's potential as a polymedia/lifestyle ad vehicle. Big fun for content providers and advertisers who like to segment.

Wayne Dyer will launch a new line of spiritual clothing called LaoTzuYou. No shoes.

Starbucks goes Starbust. Nobody can really figure out why. It just lost it's mojo and kept slowly slipping and sliding and eroding while management stayed the course and waited for things to turn around.

In his post here today, Om Malik points to location based services as a big growth area for '08. Pair that up with the mobile herding/nomad trends and what we may need most next year is traffic control. And larger bumpers on our cars.

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