The best reads about 2013

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If you weren’t at work last week, don’t worry – not much happened. Most people were still on holiday and those that weren’t were grateful for the peace and quiet, getting down to planning and thinking time.

What there was no shortage of, of course, was trends and predictions for digital and marketing in 2013. Sifting through the piles of “5 things that will turn your industry upside down this year” can feel a little tedious and same-y: yes mobile will be big this year, of course content and inbound will figure large in digital marketing.

We won’t add to the noise, just point you to the (ahem) brilliant bits – here’s our choice tracks from the futurist playlist this year and why they are worth a read… 

Neil Perkin: Digital Content Trends 2013 

What: Thoughtful trends and insights from one of the leading thinkers in digital planning, Neil Perkin. Prepared for the Content Marketing Association in December last year.

Why read: Nails the key strategic trends for marketers regarding content and the switch from paid media to earned/inbound marketing.

Brilliant bit: Neil keeps our feet on the ground from the start by following the meta-trend (content will be huge in 2013) with a capitalised, big red “BUT”… NewImage

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O’Reilly Media: 14 big trends to watch in 2013

What is it?: O’Reily Media’s Government 2.0 Washington Correspondent gives us a very techie set of trends to watch in 2013.

Why read it: Strong, interesting themes that you may not hear about in marketing focused trends round ups. They have a government/society focus – relevant for everyone and every organisation, ultimately, if only as strategic context.

Brilliant bit: 

Sharing economy

Whether it’s co-working, bike sharing, exchanging books and videos, or cohabiting hackerspaces and community garden spaces, there are green shoots throughout the economy that suggest the way we work, play and learn is changing due to the impact of connection technologies and the Great Recession. One of the most dynamic sectors of the sharing economy is the trend toward more collaborative consumption — and the entrepreneurs have followed, from Airbnb to Getable to Freecycle. The private sector and public sector are saving real money through collaborative consumption. Given support from across the ideological spectrum, expect more adoption in 2013.


Frog Design: 20 Tech Trends That Will Define 2013, Selected By Frog

What: Twenty of Frog Design’s people give their view of what will be important this year. As much a collection of provocations, inspiration and insights as a trends list.

Why read?: The strength of this list is its variety – each trend is comes from one specialist at Frog with a different perspective. It’s a lot of trends for one list, but they are pithy and there’s some real gems here.

Brilliant bit:

Smart phone accessories become smarter
By Assistant Vice President, Strategy Timothy Morey, San Francisco

I recently interviewed a doctor who had used AliveCor’s iPhone ECG on a flight to diagnose a fellow traveler with a heart attack. The device is an iPhone cover with sensors, and the doctor’s diagnosis led to an emergency landing to get the passenger to hospital. (Yes, he lived.) The iPhone ECG is a dramatic example of a plethora of devices I expect to see come to market through 2013—smart accessories for smart phones. Smart phones have always had a thriving accessory market, from covers to keyboards, but smart accessories are more than just accessories with sensors. They herald the establishment of smart phones as the primary computing and connectivity hub linking people to the network. Beyond 2013, our phones will be the center of a sensor network around our bodies, offices, homes, and cars, and eventually the very cities and spaces we live in. But in 2013, we will take the first step in this journey with smart accessories


State of the World 2013: Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky

What: About as far from bland lists of trends as you can get, this is a conversation between science fiction author Bruce Sterling and online community pioneer Jon Lebowsky, with other members of the WELL community joining in… Taking a look at the world in 2013, they variously examine technologies (3D printing), countries (Turkey and Qatar) and, er, everything…

Why read?: Perspective. Get some intellectual roughage in your screen diet to leaven out all that marketing and techie stodge.

Brilliant bits: 

Lebowsky on information overload and critical filtering:

I devour more new facts in a day than my ancestors ate in a lifetime. There’s a real richness to it, but there’s also powerful existential indigestion. And when you swallow the world’s information, there are inevitable toxins, so many raw, wild, and often conflicting chunks… I find myself questioning everything I read, hear – even what I see with my own eyeballs…

Sterling on 3D printers:

I rather expect to get one of these devices some day soon. Here in Belgrade, I just wrapped up and shelved a perfectly functional desktop computer — just because it was old, and I don’t need it. With desktop computers so clunky and obsolete, I’ve got room for a 3d printer now. “I got rid of a computer for Xmas” is the new “I got a computer for Xmas.” “I got a 3dprinter” is the new hipster desk-ornamenting knick-knack.