Monthly Archives: December 2013

25 Digital Predictions for 2014

Well it’s that time of year again when gurus, thought leaders, know-it-alls, and your Uncle Jerry all make their predictions for 2014.  Never mind the fact that they were completely wrong about their 2013 predictions, this is a new year and a brand new chance to be completely off-base.
Magic ball

So why should I be any different? And unlike Uncle Jerry, I can give you my stone-cold guarantee that my predictions are 100% accurate*:

  1. An area teenager will discover with bewilderment that his mobile device can be used to make phone calls.
  2. Some blogger will do a “Five Things Marketers
    can Learn from 2014 Predictions Lists” post.
  3. CDC scientists will be stumped when a YouTube video on ‘bacterial infection’ goes viral.
  4. Chaos will erupt on Facebook when someone posts the comment “Damn, that’s one ugly baby” to a newborn’s pic.
  5. Marketers will find a way to fuck up Instagram.
  6. Google will offer to buy a new social network for $87B. The 24 y/o founder will reel in disgust at the low-ball offer.
  7. Scooby & the gang will rip the mask off Eric Snowden to reveal its really Mark Zuckerberg in disguise.
  8. Your Internet Explorer browser will crash 47 times.
  9. “That Guy” will carry on a loud 4 hour phone conversation on the red eye flight because the FAA said he could.
  10. The History Channel will launch the reality show “Searching for Blackberry User”.
  11. Blackberry Timeline2014 will be the 13th Anniversary of “This is the Year of Mobile”.
  12. Your wife will erase all the episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’ from your DVR  to make room for the new season of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’.
  13. Based on their surveillance efforts, the NSA will publish a book called “The 100 Most Boring People in America”.  I will be #46.
  14. A Millennial will be in tears when she finds out her great performance review doesn’t come with a trophy.
  15. No worries, her helicopter Mom will buy her one.
  16. Some “Analyst” on CNBC, who’s never even started a lemonade stand, will opine on what Twitter needs to do next to stay relevant.
  17. Someone will actually fall for the ol’ Nigerian Prince email scam.
  18. Teens will flee Snapchat upon seeing their Dads posting selfies on the social network.
  19. Twitter will launch a new platform targeted to politicians that will have a 50,000 character limit.
  20. Someone will say something on Twitter that will offend somebody somewhere.  Society will wring their hands in disgust until 2 days later when someone else says something on Twitter that will offend somebody somewhere else.
  21. My Mom will still think a ‘blog’ is a monster from a 1950’s B-horror movie.
  22. “That douchebag” at the conference will hog all the outlets.
  23. A local Starbucks will face a social media crisis when ‘that weird guy who never buys anything’ complains about the slow Wi-Fi in the store to his 37 followers.
  24. Social Media gurus will blast Starbucks for their response to ‘that weird guy who never buys anything’ and explain how they would have handled it.
  25. The kids in waiting in line to catch the opening of The Hunger Games will mock the kids waiting in line to get the new iPhone.

So there you have it, my digital predictions for 2014.  I hope you all have a predictably prosperous new year!

* 60% of the time

Internet Summit 2013: The Definitive Summary

Internet Summit 2013This week I attended the Internet Summit in Raleigh, a nice little event here in the Triangle that gathers together some of the brightest digital marketing folks in the area…and few stupid ones. Say what you will about New York, Silicon Valley, and Austin, but this little cow-town has some serious stuff going on and this event continues to grow every year. This year’s edition of the Summit brought the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Pollak, Ben Huh, and Coolio. I’m pretty confident you’ve heard of at least one of these people, but if you don’t, well, be assured that they haven’t heard of you either. The agenda was jam packed with keynotes, panel discussions, tech sessions, and rap music you haven’t heard in 20 years, and as the event was a virtual sellout, I know that many of my colleagues were unable to attend. The good news is that I have an awesome set of observations summarizing everything you need to know about this year’s conference. You’re welcome.

Here’s what you missed:

  • The most important thing on the planet that digital marketers need to know is “storytelling”. You can go home now.
  • Apple uses its market position to block innovation and uses “old technology” (note: a panel member who listed himself as a Blackberry consultant said this. Seriously.) RELATED: Is being a ‘Blackberry Consultant’ really something you want people to know about?
  • Gary Vaynerchuk swears a lot and the over/under on when he drops his first f-bomb in a keynote is currently 30 seconds.  Take the under.
  • Interesting subjects can be neutered by poor speakers.
  • Uninteresting subjects can be made to sound glorious by great speakers.
  • “Storytelling” is THE most important thing that digital marketers need to know.
  • Daft Punk + Duck Dynasty > Wearable Technology.
  • You need to understand Millennials. They want meaningful work, rapid advancement, flexible hours, and frequent accolades and rewards. Oddly enough, so do I, so they can just get the fuck in line behind me.
  • There is never enough coffee or power outlets at any conference. It;s the law of the Conference Gods. Get over it
  • It’s either going to be too hot or too cold. Bring a blanket and a tank top to cover your bases
  • Some companies still believe that tchotchkes are a business model. If the tchotchke flashes it indicates that it’s a high-tech business model.
  • All innovation is great until the Marketing Department gets a hold of it. Then it’s fucked.
  • Of all the things that digital marketers need to know “storytelling” is the most important of them all.
  • Coolio is still alive. Double check your Death Pool picks.

  • Whatever boundaries of technology Google Glass is eclipsing, the people who wear them look like attention-hungry douchebags.
  • Curiously, speakers who preach about the importance of building and cultivating relationships are usually bombarded with resume-wielding job-hunters immediately upon leaving the stage.
  • The preferred speaking attire these days is jeans, with an ill-fitting suit coat over a wrinkled button-down shirt that isn’t tucked in. Pros add a pair of shoes that look like they came from a hipster goodwill store.
  • “Storytelling” is very important.
  • The world desperately needs laws governing the use of PowerPoint slides and harsh penalties for those that offer slides that look like this:

Powerpoint slide

  • Social Media is huge!
  • Mobile is even huger!
  • Storytelling is the hugiest!
  • There’s a guy with a dozen bullet points on his slide telling you that you must be more visual.
  • You’re totally not going to get that booth babe’s number no matter how interested you pretend you are in the solution she knows nothing about.
  • It’s still in vogue for presenters to use tired examples of bad social media execution and tell the audience “what they would have done”.
  • The most popular person at the conference is the one who brought the power bar.
  • Once a rare siting, the person with the laptop, iPad and iPhone working concurrently is now sadly commonplace. Because you can never really be too connected.
  • Asking the audience to “Give it up” for the speaker should be illegal.
  • Asking the audience to raise their hands in response to your questions should be illegal.
  • Asking the audience the question, “How many of you are marketers?” followed by “Wrong! You are all marketers!” should be illegal and punishable by a swift kick in the nuts.
  • Box lunches suck, particularly the “sampler” pack of macaroni salad.


  • Sometimes the conversations on Twitter during a presentation are waaaaay more interesting than the presentation itself.
  • Once the conference ends everyone will enthusiastically go back to doing things exactly the way the presenters told them not to do it.
  • Oh. Almost forgot. Storytelling. Critical.

Well there you have it.  I betcha it feels like you sitting right there with me right?  I am sure one of the other attendees will claim that I missed a few things like, you know, key learnings, and new tools and techniques, and evolving digital trends, but I’m pretty damn sure I covered the most important parts. See you next year, when ‘storytelling’ will be soooo 2013 and gurus will laugh at the people who are still doing it.

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