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Top Posts of 2009

2009 December 27
by Greg Satell

As 2009 is winding down I’d like to thank everybody for all of the fantastic support.  Here is a list of the posts that you read, commented on and tweeted.

3 trends that will Shape the Digital World over the Next Decade

We’re often consumed by what will change over the next few years, but taking a longer view can be more interesting and instructive.  Some of the world’s smartest people are hard at work developing amazing things that will dramatically change the way we interact with technology and each other over the next decade.  Here are a few of them.

The Primal Forces that Drive Social Networks

Social Networks are revolutionizing how we view our world.  People are connecting, businesses are being created or transformed, and the world seems like a smaller place.  As with any transformation on a grand scale, a plethora of consultants, gurus, blogs, and how-to books have risen to meet the demand for information about the social revolution.

However, it is very rare to hear anything about the underlying forces that actually drive the social network phenomenon.

How Ideas Spread

In 1865, Gregor_Mendel published the paper that established him as the father of genetics. However, it went largely unnoticed until it was rediscovered decades later and became widely recognized as one of the great discoveries in the history of science.

Why do some ideas quickly spread far and wide while others go nowhere at all?

The Importance of Branding in the Digital Age

Many believe that brands will become less important as digital technology marches onward.  They will surely be disappointed.

In fact, it is likely that branding will become more important in the digital age.  With more media and more brands, consumers have to more to filter out.  In order to cut through the clutter, marketers will have to work harder to build brands that inspire loyalty.

How to Win the War for Talent

In 1998, McKinsey & Co declared the “War for Talent.” They didn’t do so lightly.  Their study spanned an entire year, involved scores of companies, thousands of people and had a specific conclusion: In the “new economy” the key to success is to attract and retain the best talent.  Their findings were logical, widely accepted and most likely wrong.

The Semantic Web

Today we all use the web, but Tim Berners-Lee drives it.  It’s his vision, uses his protocols and he presides over it at the World Wide Web Consortium.  What was a childhood obsession with connections has become a movement that has transformed the planet.

Surely, Berners-Lee ranks with Gutenberg, Marconi and Alexander Graham Bell as one of the most influential people in the history of communication.  However, his predecessors stopped at one major innovation.  Berners-Lee is going for an encore.

How a Successful Digital Business is Really Built

The digital world is fraught with myth.  A common fable is of a visionary idea executed flawlessly and pursued with certainty by those with superhuman powers of insight.  How things really work is considerably different. It is usually a tale of confusion, doubt and more than a little trial and error.

5 things “New Media” can learn from “Old Media”

TV is dead.  Print is dead.  Radio is dead.  Outdoor is dead.

However, somehow the majority of ad budgets go to those four media.  Moreover, they’ve been around for 70 years or more and client’s processes have been built up around them.  While Digital Media is the future and (increasingly) the present, there is still a lot that “New Media” can learn from “Old Media.”  Here are five examples:

5 Social Media Myths

While the emergence of Social Media has been amazing, much of the talk surrounding Social Media has become divorced from reality. Social Media is, and will most probably continue to be, a small (albeit important) part of the overall marketing picture.

Unfortunately, the way Social Media is being hyped will probably do more harm than good – a backlash is inevitable.

Advertising on the Brain

The concept that advertising affects the brain is almost tautological.  Its very purpose is to influence how we think and feel.  However, in the past the issue has been addressed mostly by way of folk wisdom with very little evidence or real understanding.  Fairly recent developments in neurology are beginning to change that.

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