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We’ve read a lot of 2011 end-of-year lists and quite a few more predictions to kick off the new year. To keep things simple, we decided to boil it all down to 3 Big Trends that you need to stay on top of in 2012:
1. Leverage syndication to get content in more places across more platforms and devices.
Without a doubt, 2012 will be the year that digital news publishers finally start taking syndication seriously. Not only do publishers need a smart, efficient way to filter, organize and manage all the content they create each day, but they also need a way to meticulously and securely track who has access (and licenses) to their content, when and where. A deep-dive analysis – understanding how people are consuming, sharing and distributing your content – is hugely valuable in understanding your consumers and finding new ways to monetize content.
As ReadWriteWeb noted in a recent article, Mashable is already starting to do this. NewsRight, a news registry launched just a few days ago, is also approaching licensing and policing content seriously. And at NewsCred (yes, us!) – clients such as Forbes, ABC Radio (and soon Conde Nast) are already successfully using our API to manage their entire syndication processes.
2. Re-imagine the possibilities of the digital news experience – no matter what the platform.
The opportunities for digital news on mobile devices and tablets exploded this year with apps like Flipboard and Pulse. Yes, we agree that new devices offer new opportunities. But from our perspective, the opportunity really lies in curating and delivering amazing news experiences – no matter what the platform or device. Whether it’s mobile, tablet or TV (keep tabs on Apple moving into this area in 2012), quality content is key. And by quality, we mean both the quality of the journalism and the design/delivery of the story itself.
When we think of platforms, we’re not just thinking of hardware or devices. Advertising as a platform has a huge potential for innovation particularly when it comes to creatively integrating social media, content and e-commerce. In 2012, advertising will become more content-driven, contextualized, customized and interactive (check out Flite for a great example).
3. Build credibility and trust by using social data to support stories and create conversations.
Alfred Hermida of the Neiman Lab is right:social media is boring. It’s not a buzzword anymore, it’s a given. In 2012, social media will stop being a layer “on top” of content and will become more and more seamless, integrated and instant (like Washington Post’s partnerships with Facebook).
Social media will BE the story, shape the development of the story and help create/connect new ones. “By the people, for the people” takes on real meaning with tools such as Storify and @MentionMachine. There’s no doubt that the use ofsocial datato analyze how people are responding to and sharing news will explode with the2012 election coverage. For example,Buzzfeedis redefining the very notion of what an “article” actually is by varying content lengths and using social messages as the main content message:
"Content comes in three sizes: short (Twitter), medium, long (traditional pieces). That middle ground, the brief updates mentioned above – there’s a lot that can be done in that space. It includes video snippets; it includes Matt Stopera‘s brilliant and evocative photo collections; it includes Buzzfeed’s trademark image / quote pairings. It’s the space, in other words, that allows for flexibility, innovation, and the embrace of completely non-traditional – but completely accessible – vectors for relaying information. It’s the space from which coverage is most likely to go viral. Any one of the bite-sized vignettes created by the team – any Lego piece – could take off."