2009 Predictions in Black

Wow.  Looks like it’s that time again.  2008 proved to be a great year and we didn’t do too shabby of a job with our list of predictions for 2008. Even though the economy sucks right now I have a feeling we will see many changes in ’09 as well, some good…some bad, but nonetheless moves that will take us all to the next level. Some key things to look out for in the ’09:

Ad money gets old.
While ad based sites will still be a good source of revenue for some many will move away from pure advertising based models.  This is where a lot of innovation will live. We’ll see content sites large and small execute on additional ways to monetize their sites outside of just advertising. This trend will trickle over into the ad network space with businesses who play in that sandbox getting more innovative on how to recruit publishers and more importantly how to keep them and money in their bank accounts. In ’09 this is an opportunity for smaller publishers to get creative on “the ask.”

Sustainability for small fish in a big pond.
We will see a lot of consolidation in the mainstream. There were a whole slew of start-ups in the African-American space this year, varying from good to not so much.  Most bootstrapped without any significant investment funding from VC’s.  While the economy has taken a turn for the worse we won’t necessarily see these start-ups die out in a bust like those of 2001.  Because many were bootstrapping they have been operating on very little funds and have the ability to sustain these hard times if they choose to have that stamina and dedication. However, many small blogs may fade out as unemployment rises and publishers have to get serious about making ends meet. Conversely, we will see some consolidation among many of the larger start-ups launched at the tail end of ’07 and throughout ’08. Acquiring audience will be hard, making money on that audience will be even harder. Companies that are still standing throughout ’09 will be forces to be reckoned with.

Old media and new media play nice.
This is not necessarily a new trend, we’ve seen old media dabble in new media over the past year with many sites relaunching and stepping their social media game up.  What we will see happen in 2009 is old media finally playing nice and not trying to recreate the authenticity new media initiatives allow for. Not saying that all Black media will work together in harmony in 2009 but partnerships between smaller sites and larger ones will be a step in the right direction.

Gaps close between niche social networking and mainstream social networking.
With Facebook and Twitter becoming mainstream and more and more people migrating from MySpace to these platforms we will see niche social networks really spread their wings and open up, literally. The use of Open Social and Facebook Connect among others will allow users of niche social platforms (anywhere from blogs to networking) to truly integrate experiences across platforms in ’09. Social networks won’t operate in silos and will begin to build a truer “web” around the social graph.

On the social media front TrendsSpotting’s predictions from the best of the best influencers in social media is quite interesting and gets into details from people like Charlene Li:

What are your predictions for 2009?



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