There’s a lot of content making predictions about 2010 and the trends that will dominate it. Some are legit, some aren’t. Some cite valid resources and I swear I think a few of these people are making up figures and terms as they go along. We spend regrettably large chunks of our time skimming through all of it and this is what we’ve come up with. It’s by no means the final word, but then again, in the game of predictions, such a thing doesn’t really exist does it?

If you have any articles or opinions you think will add value to this blog, please post them in the comments section below.

1. Social Media as a catch all phrase is so last year.

Just as things start off simple and grow progressively complex, the term social media, which initially applied to anyone, anywhere online, talking with a group of like minded people, now refers to a dynamic so broad as to be almost meaningless. And terms that broad can be dangerous, because more often than not, what we’re talking about when using it isn’t necessarily the same thing you’re thinking about when you hear it. We need 82 words for snow, rather than 1 word for love. Yeah, that old chestnut.

2. Social Marketers need to cash the cheques their mouths are writing.

Return on investment, measurable metrics and quantifiable results are the gatekeepers that will unlock the money everyone craves, even if they tell whoever will listen that digital is all about guerilla tactics on a shoestring budget. It’s not. Well it is, cos without the right attitude and personality you shouldn’t even bother. You can do a lot more with a lot less online than in traditional media creating sustained, engaging activities through digital channels that really count for something requires decent funding 15000 of your 80 million budget won’t get respectable results. And no-one in this day and age parts with significant sums unless you’re doing a good job of conning them or you can quantifiably show them that you can take them from A (Audience) to P (Profits). Make sure you can not only produce the results but prove you produced them.

3. The Bleeding Edge has moved, again.

While it’s imperative that brands are part of the standard media platforms, or risk being left out of the conversation altogether, pitching a Facebook, Youtube, Twitter account and a UGC contest is no longer bleeding edge. Or even edge, for that matter. That stuff is now part of the norm, and expected. on that note, having an account doesn’t make you part of the sphere anymore than owning a throwing star makes you a ninja.

4. Flail and you’re fucked

Inaction is death. Real time means no reporting to a higher authority and waiting for a directive. And real time isn’t just coming. it’s here, already, as we speak. If you’re not on the ball, you’ll miss the bus, to mix metaphors. The upside of this is that when something goes wrong and the air is buzzing with people talking about how utterly demonically evil or moronically incompetent a brand is, every passing second that a brand isn’t out there repairing the damage or at least consoling the bereaved is a second that 10 other people are retweeting, sharing and liking comments. Word spreads exponentially online. Like VD in the ’60s.

5. More than just a phone, really.

Mobile has shown ridiculously fast growth in the last few years, and this is gonna continue. As the technology moves down the economic pipeline and cheaper handsets get ramped up, the software follows suit. IE everyone will shortly have access to everything, all the time. Location based social media is taking off, payment via mobile gets more entrenched every day and everything else follows suit. Basically, online becomes fully entrenched on your phone, and where you are digitally becomes immersed into where you are physically. Digital Natives are taking one step closer to being fully integrated to the web 24/7.

6. Integrate for your own sake and theirs

Integration of platform messages isn’t just about sending out a coherent communication. It’s also about allowing segmented parts of your audience engage with each other as simply as possible. Beyond that, it’s also a time and labour saver. By sending out a request for suggestions for this article on Tweetdeck, one messagewas received by groups on Facebook, multiple twitter accounts and Linkedin in one shot. Imagine the effectiveness of integrating all of the channels you use so comments in one spark debate and conversation on another.

That’s our feeling. Here are a few other articles we think have valid input (there was a lot more but these tend not to overlap).

Online Reputation Management Trends for 2010 by Brandseye. Useful insights into what we’re all going to be doing and or stressing about. Some good insights.

10 trends for a world in flux by Dion Chang. A well respected trend forecaster. Some stuff sounds surprisingly obvious some have a revelatory feel. But it’s always nice thinking you’re keeping up with the big dogs.

2010 Marketing Predictions by Matt Granfield. Never heard of this guy before, but after reading his stuff, his humour, tell it like it is tone and insight make for entertaining and informative reading.

TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Social Media Influencers – Trend Predictions in 140 Characters. A 37 page slideshow on Slideshare with bigwigs making their prediction in 160 characters or less. Perfect for the knowledge skimming culture of today.

10 Web Trends to Watch in 2010. Pete Cashmore, founder of the hella cool site Mashable, makes his predictions.

Trendhunter’s 2010 Trend report. 300 trends predicted for the next 12 months. Download the 22 page sample and if you like it, buy the full size version.