There is no better way for me to describe 2008 than with this snapshot from ‘my’ Swirl. Thanks to all who replied on Twitter by the way for the best screengrabbing solution to get this snapshot to begin with :) I used the Screengrab plugin for Firefox which some of you suggested, worked like a charm. Enjoy.
We’re only a few weeks short from the annual predictions that will pop up in the blogosphere. Which will be the key trends for 2009 in technology, advertising, … etc. One prediction that will stand out in many of these overviews relates to online advertising trends for 2009, at least that’s what I believe. It’s not so hard to foresee this happening though as much discussion around the topic is already going on right now.
Gotta love this Careerbuilder ad they used on Silicon Alley Insider btw ;) In another post on Alley Insider they foresee a 10% decline in online advertising next year and slightly more in 2010, comparing today’s situation to the dotcom crash when the market fell up to 25% (see graphs below).
This year is not over yet though and predictions for 2008 are that yet with the slowing economy, the online advertising market is expected to grow 23%. So even if you believe that advertising will take a hit in 2009 (which I think most agree it will), it’ll be interesting to see if it’s just going to slow down growth (like only 14,5% as eMarketer predicts) or whether it will indeed declines as the Alley Insider and others predict. Also interesting to see is which parts of the advertising industry will be most affected by the slowing economy. Television advertising only grew by 8% in 2008 and a lot of people think that mainly traditional advertising will get a hit (where the biggest budgets are still today) and that some of that money will be diverted to online ad spend.
I believe that is what’s going to happen anyway. Online advertising will still grow in 2009, although it will slow down versus the 2008 or 2007, and the slower economy and lowered budgets will force people to rethink their plans in which digital might finally be looked at as good alternatives. There’s something about bad times that make people more open to embraces changes, so online advertising might suffer less than traditional advertising. Last but not least it’s also worth noting that the online advertising industry is much more mature than it was in 2001-2002. Curious to see what predictions will be once they start coming in December.
This last Thursday and Friday I attended and participated in the Euroblog 2008 event in Brussels organized by Euprera – the European PR Education and Research Association. The symposium was very much an academic event with a lot of academic speakers and attendees, and less practioners (at least that’s how I experienced it).
That wasn’t a surprise though, as the event was clearly set up to try and have the academia embrace the need to change. Still, sometimes, I felt like I didn’t belong there. Now I don’t mean anything bad with this, there’s just a very clear gap between the way we all approach things. It made me think of trying/testing out the water in a swimming tool. If you’re a practioner like myself you will get ready for the pool, put your toe in to get an idea of the temperature, probably feel like it’s colder than you would have wanted it to be but you’ll get in the water anyway and start swimming. You’ll talk to other people in the pool, maybe about the water, or maybe about that new glide which you then try out as well. This is the way me (and other people) started their blog, signed up for Twitter, Friendfeed, etc etc. After the presentations from the academia, it became clear that they approach ‘the pool’ in a different way. They talk to people outside and next to the pool about the temperature of the water, use a whole bunch of metric equipment to test the water conditions, relate all that info to ideal human body conditions, etc etc (this still fully dressed of course) to work out a project trajectory to get into the water at some point in time.
And I know this analogy is a bit black&white, but I think you get my point. On Friday I sat on a panel myself that was a mixture between academia and practitioners and there the difference was less visible (on the panel itself). The discussion itself with the panel and audience was pretty interesting to me as well. It highlighted once more some of the fears but also strengthened the idea that there aren’t enough case studies to go by. At one point I feel this is just another ‘reason’ to keep away of change as long as one can. But as you (might) know from an earlier post I do feel we have to reach out more to get more people embrace the need to change so maybe we should just see what we can do about it – there really is more than just Kryptonite you know ;)
Don’t get me wrong, I did like the event. Some discussions where pretty interesting, some presentations like the one’s of David Jennings and Martin Oetting where very enjoyable and it was very good meeting up with the Edelman Digital crew: Steve Rubel, Marshall Manson, Rick Murray, … but also David Weinberger or Neville Hobson, the latter whom I met in person for the first time after being in several online conversations before.