Happy New Year
By Charlene Li
Greetings in the new year -- and apologies for my long absence from these pages. Between end of year work and a long, much needed vacation, I haven't been able to post. But I know of a few interesting things brewing, although I don't think it's going to quite at the pace of what we saw in December!
A few things I've been watching over the past few weeks:
- Tsunami blogs. The sheer scale of the tragedy has been numbing, but the stories, photos, and videos on blogs brought it to a personal level.
- Desktop frenzy. Talk about one-upmanship! The only major player that's missing from the game is AOL and I expect them to announce something soon. I'll be posting my take on what's what in this space soon.
- 2004: The Year of Blogs – sort of. Merriam-Webster Online named “blog” the #1 word of the year. And the Pew Internet Life & American Life Project report “The State Of Blogging” said that blog reading had shot up 58% in 2004. But the study also had similar numbers to our numbers , showing that the vast majority of online consumers don’t know what a blog is. So while we can celebrate that blogs have broken through into the mainstream consciousness, it will be in 2005 that blogs can cross over into the whelm of a true media entity when they start to attract mainstream advertisers.
- RSS. The same Pew study had an amazing statistic – 5% or 6 million online consumers currently use RSS. I knew that the number was getting up there, especially with the push from media heavies like Yahoo!, WSJ.com, and nytimes.com, but it’s still amazing that it’s gotten so much traction while being still so kludgy to find and add content.
- The strength of online advertising. Google and Yahoo! will post phenomenal growth this year and 2005 will see more of the same. Not only is search driving much of that growth, but branded advertising from traditional marketers has made head-way. I’ll be looking for more integration between search and branding efforts, as skyrocketing CPC rates force marketers to take branding impact into their search ROI calculations.