2008: The Year of Micro

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Micro Earth

This was an exciting year in online technology. If you look at it from a 10,000 foot view, humans are really still blazing a trail on how to utilize this relatively new medium, the Internet. Perhaps it's obvious but I believe 2008 is really the year that applications and strategies go Micro.

The evolution of the social web (Web 2.0) is now moving rapidly into new, targeted territory. The massive, one-fits-all solution will be evolving to provide you with the right connections to the right people and the right content… at the right time.

  1. Email has transcended the typical use for eNewsletters and is gaining momentum in the transactional world. Rather than providing it's own ‘event' the email send is now triggered as part of an overall marketing strategy to retain users and keep them connected to their retail outlet, their social network, the blogs they read, etc.

    Email is also evolving, despite the limitations of mainstream email clients. Email is going micro… more timely messaging, more control, and more event driven.

  2. Blogging has gone Micro with Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce. Quick snippets that create virtual conversations from one to many.

    Companies are already starting to employ Microblogging, but we'll see the retail use of Microblogging in 2008. We'll also see groups better leveraged in Micro-blogging… much like chat rooms evolved in public chat applications a decade ago.

  3. Social Networks are moving away from the monolithic strategies of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Plaxo… and move to the micro social networks of Ning (note: SmallerIndiana, NavyVets, Sports Marketing 2.0, IndyLance are a few I've started or am involved in!).
  4. Bookmarking sites such as Digg are being abandoned for sites like Mixx – where you can set up Micro Groups to join. I'd encourage everyone who reads my blog to contact me for an invite to Online Marketing Group so we can share links. Other applications like Truemors will continue to pop up with refined targeting capabilities rather than preselected categories.
  5. Geographic Information Systems online are being leveraged more and more to go micro. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft continue to enhance regional data for improved Geographic searches. Google is even supporting KML in sitemaps, to geographically identify and index your websites!
  6. Video is going Micro (post updated with recommendation from Nil's comment at Scobleizer). Utterz, Seesmic and QIK. Video and mobile phone technologies are converging, enabling people to record and upload video much easier with better quality!
  7. Software as a Service Applications will continue to be pressured to be flexible enough for branding and integration into other applications or other brands. No more is the ‘canned' application good enough for us to buy and put up, we must leverage CSS technologies to transform our applications to any environment. We must build applications that are capable of being modified to the smallest (micro) detail.

There you have it, my prediction for 2008 – the year of the micro strategy and micro business application. The ability to create like groups, geographically centric applications, micro-branded SaaS, or simple social groupings will be fully leveraged in 2008. Those who won't adapt will be forgotten.


  1. 1

    Your Mixx group is not open to your subscribers. I clicked on your link to join and got this message:

    “Whoops! Something is amiss.

    Pssst: You haven’t been invited to this group yet, so no, you can’t do that. But ask nicely and maybe they’ll let you in. Or just start your own group!”

    • 2

      Unfortunately, Mixx doesn’t offer ‘open groups’ (as far as I can tell!). If you’d like, use my contact form and send me your email address and I’ll throw you an invite!


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    If everything does indeed go micro, and I have to agree that what you say is true then as individuals we will be part of smaller conversations, like if you are at a big party and are talking to 5 or 10 people all night.

    Eventually we will really need a great way to find out about these parties just like everyone somehow found out about Facebook this year.

    One of the real problems that I have seen and tried to keep up with this year has been the immense changes and how hard it has been to keep up. I have found that I learn about the new technology from people like Scoble by reading RSS feeds in my Google reader but it is so easy for great technology to be missed unless someone besides Arrington helps us keep up with what to watch.

  4. 5

    Hey, thanks man for the mention. In no way did I want to lessen the value of your post you know. You’re right on the money as far as I’m concerned. Maybe the polite thing would have been to comment here first, although that would have been “barging in” too perhaps. I was happy to read your post though. Cheers.

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    One of the things that has always appealed to me in technology and new media is the ability to mash things up and create new, interesting stuff (Sorry, can’t think of a better word than that right now.) but a lot of this stuff becomes ad hoc to the point that only an enlightened few even know about its existence. I’m particularly thinking about things like hashtags on Twitter. In order for all of this going micro to really make an impact, there needs to be some sort of phone tree type thing for propagating the news to the laity because – let’s face it – very few people even know what RSS is, let alone subscribe to all the important feeds and sift through it all.

    Finally, my contention is that a lot of the marketing opportunities that people see in microblogging and mobile media and all the rest of it are exactly the kinds of things that people like me will be clamoring to get away from. I’m not opposed to the idea per se but there must – and it is an imperative – be clear, simple ways to manage and control what that experience is like for me. I think project like OAuth and OpenID go a long way toward facilitating this kind of thing but I think there is still a lot of work to be done to protect people. As the world goes micro, the space that marketers are invading is increasingly personal. And I don’t take terribly kindly to having my personal space invaded. If I invite you in, fine. But then if I ask you to leave, get out or I’ll get you out.

    That’s just my $.02.

    • 8

      That’s at least a nickel’s worth, Jamie 😉

      I think you nailed two things… first that technology is evolving and evolution is a good thing. The second point you make is exactly why we need more finely tuned mediums. If I’ve got a product or service that you’d be interested in, you would appreciate finding out about it (in your words) as you invited me in.

      Finding technology that brings the product or service to the prospect who is looking for or needs that product or service is what we’re after. The last thing I want to do is a) waste my money on advertising that doesn’t reach the right person and b) anger folks like you by putting it in your face when you didn’t ask for it.

      I’m excited about the evolution in technologies that will continue to bring the marketplace together! Hopefully we don’t anger folks like you while we figure it out. 🙂

  6. 9

    With all the information that is available on the web, we will have to filter to be able to make sense of it. One of the best ways to filter is to niche or in other words to form a micro community or version of the information. I totally agree with your predictions.

  7. 10

    Thanks for this post. I agree that Micro has the power. Why? Because it’s easy to do. People don’t expect you to write a top story with a nice beginning, middle and an end. And it’s easier to consume, better: ‘browse’. Cheers.

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