One of my predictions for 2008 and beyond is that our online brands will transition from email to blog and become portable. Not only that but they will be fully mobile and viewable by anyone at anytime. Again, those who don’t build a thorough and Google’able presence online will suffer from reach, but gain from privacy. Either way, if you don’t define your brand online, other’s have the ability by either purchasing yourname.com or blogging about you. Just about everything will be electronic in the future, so the need to brand yourself online will always grow.
Enter the Apple iPhone and Amazon Kindle. When your online, you can be searchable through Google and when there are mobile devices that have browser capabilities, your brand can be found just about anywhere. You can be in a car, on a plane, in an exotic location, in the bathroom, maybe even the shower at some point (waterproof iPhone?) and find just about anyone who has a Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Twitter or blog profiles. I wouldn’t be surprised if hiring managers use their phone’s to do a background check on candidates before, after and even during interviews at some point. The Amazon Kindle is Amazon’s attempt to digitize all things print, including books, magazine and newspapers. Due to the decline of advertising in print, radio and broadcast, many companies, such as Amazon are forced to provide for more flexibility and innovation in their offerings. It is possible that a decade from now, print may be dead altogether. There was even an open debate about it in Fast Company Magazine.
Here are some statistics that may shine some light on that theory:
- 14% of respondents called the newspaper their “most important” source of news.
- 31% of young adults called TV newscasts the most important source for news(Carnegic Corp Research).
- Newspaper ad sales continue their long, sad decline, down 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2007.
- The Australian version of the well regarded print magazine PC World is to cease publication in an offline form as off January.
Surgeon General’s Warning
All media is going portable rather quickly, which should be a quick alert for you. In 2008, please work harder on brand maintenance and reputation management, so that you are better prepared for this massive transformation. With camera phones, digital camera’s, web camera’s, your brand can easily be exposed and there are so many different outlet’s where it can be submitted now, including Seesmic (video Twitter), YouTube, embedded on blogs and within social networks such as Facebook. After submission, it can be read on the Kindle or seen on an iPhone.
What are your thoughts readers?