If nothing else, this past year has been a year where buzzwords evolved faster than Cro-Magnons in a Geiko commercial.
In the beginning of 2007, the buzzword was: viral, "Web 2.0"
By the end of 2007, it was replaced by: social media
Why? Because marketers began to understand that in the maturing new media landscape, there's more value in creating and sustaining relationships and conversations than in getting a video of your slightly dorky executive playing guitar maximum traction on YouTube.
In the beginning of 2007, the buzzword was: mobile marketing OR online video OR widgets
By the end of 2007, it was replaced by: cross-platform, integrated campaigns
Why? Because once we got over the cool factor of these shiny new channel toys, we realized that for now, they're pretty much only ready to augment existing channels, rather than replace them.
In the beginning of 2007, the buzzword was: Digg
By the end of 2007, it was replaced by: StumbleUpon
Why? Digg started out the year strong, but towards the end of 2007, scandals regarding Digg's treatment of their most valuable asset--the community of power users--had seriously tarnished the social media site's reputation. Meanwhile, StumbleUpon brought back a sense of wonder, exploration and surprise to jaded web surfers.
In the beginning of 2007, the buzzword was: Myspace
By the end of 2007, it was replaced by: Facebook
Why? Mike thinks it was Virginia Tech. I think it was massive eyestrain from annoying banner ads and exceptionally poor user experience. Either way, while Myspace still has the numbers, by the end of the year, Facebook owned the buzz. Even their missteps (**cough**Beacon**cough**) were more newsworthy than what Myspace was finally getting right.
In the beginning of 2007, the buzzword was: Second Life
By the end of 2007, it was replaced by: MyBlogLog / Twitter
Why? Hmmm... spend hours and cash creating an animated virtual self, and hope you run into someone you'd want to network with while running around Second Life, or spend a half hour creating a profile and start building avatar recognition where the best and brightest minds in the blogosphere are converging and conversing? What sounds like a worthwhile use of your time, in retrospect?
So that's our recap of how the biggest buzzwords of 2007 evolved over the course of the year. What's the big picture in all this? That marketers are beginning to both adopt the new tools that the web (and Web 2.0) offer and understand how they fit in a long-term, sustainable interactive marketing and digital advertising plan.
That's a huge jump to make in only a year, and obviously, not everyone has made it. However, overall these trends are great news for those who work in marketing and advertising on the web, and the brands and companies they represent.
The more we all get on the same page in terms of strategy, goals and value, the better we can all be in effectively contributing our part of the effort.