Zeitlisting: Listing the Year-End Lists

Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein

I love lists, especially end-of-the-year lists, which obviously lean in one of two directions — looking forward or looking back. The best backward-looking lists capture the zeitgeist of the year and bundle everything I summarily ignored at the time into a neat little heap that I can rummage through while I wait out the end of the year. I am assured by the content generators that I can make up for a ton of inattention and neglect over the last twelve months in a single fell swoop, and proudly carry a dab of cultural momentum into the new year. I’m skeptical of the hindsight of others, experience is too subjective, knowledge contained in lists is too localized to carry through.

Predicting the future takes a great deal more imagination, and is somehow less objectionable and self-serving. It’s more work to extrapolate, for sure, but it carries far fewer risks than a pithy summary of things we’ve already experienced. We all overvalue our own opinions too much to let other people decide what past pith is perfectly indicative of the year. The future? Well that’s just speculation. What do we care. Have at it.

I acknowledge that most of these year-end list are basically self-promotional, or an equal measure of wishful thinking and educated shot in the dark. I thought I would work toward the mean and create a matrix of the best thirty five articles available, extracting out the individual keywords, and tracking the number of mentions. I was curious if a consensus could mitigate some of the blather a little bit. I think it did, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the five ideas that made the most 2014 lists this year:

The Internet of Things: Wearable Computers, Google Glass, Smart Watches, Sensors on Everything

I think in 2013 Edward Snowden revealed a lot about what happens to our online activities as their remnants pass through the ether. If we can track even more about ourselves, to the nanosecond and to the millimeter, and every single device we touch reports back to the host(s), then any pause we have been given by the abuse of our current data ought to transform into a progressive full-stop.

Big Data: Predictive/Visualized/Simplified/Actionable Big Data

The flip side of trend number one, is that the owners (or viewers) of all of that data place a tremendous amount of value on the results therein. The conclusions and resultant actions will feedback an equal and opposite reaction to each and every one of our actions, and it’s going to get awfully pingy up in here.

Cloud: A $100B Cloud for Everything/Personal Cloud Services

Everything, everywhere should be centralized and stored, always on, always addressable, and omnipresent. That is assumedly easier for everyone—all of tracked and all of the trackers. And let’s just hope that we all have electricity forever and forever, or else the sum of all knowledge, and a full record of our culture, will come with a kill switch.

3D Printing

And here, finally, we find evidence that the real world is still affected by the digital age in a way that’s not purely reactionary. Yes, Virgina, there can be output from the online world that finds it’s way back into our offline lives (and landfills).

Raging Against the Machine: Turning off/Tuning Out/Better Work/Life Balance

And here we end. With the most revolutionary idea of them all: turning off, tuning out, and just be-ing. As someone conceived in the Summer of Love it seems only fitting that this trend enter the charts at the grassroots, and sit poised to transform into a movement away from the echo chamber of digital hype cycles—which is what all of these lists really are all about. Going offline is only measurable if there was a line to be on in the first place. If you haven’t done it lately, it’s worth asking Siri again to define “alone” and “quiet.” You probably haven’t logged into either of those accounts in quite a while.

30+ Digital Trends Reports for 2014

Last updated: December 10, 2013.

Here is my annual digital trends roundup of over 35 articles predicting the hot topics for 2014. Over the past few weeks I have set my Google Alerts and Twitter searches to try and pick up any and all trend reports from around the web, and I’ve itemized all the subject nominations into a large, curated Google Doc: The 2014 Trend Matrix.

Digital Marketing is my primary professional interest, but I have also included relevant Cultural, Consumer, Advertising, IT, and Social Media trend reports as well. I have weighted the trends to favor the major research organizations (Forrester, Gartner, Landor, IDC, eMarketer and Jupiter) because I assume they pay a lot of people to stay on top of such things – so they should have some extra super powers the rest of us don’t have. But I did try to add a number of other sources to confirm or augment the list.

I’ll add more links to the comments as the appear. Please post additional links or thoughts in the comments if they come to you while you review the below. Follow the links below for more information.

And the winners for 2014 are…

The Top 5 for 2014

  1. The Internet of Things: Wearable Computers, Google Glass, Smart Watches, Sensors
  2. Big Data: Predictive/Visualized/Simplifed/Actionable Big Data
  3. Cloud: $100B Cloud/Client Cloud/Personal Cloud Services
  4. 3D Printing/Smart 3D with Sensors
  5. Raging Against the Machine: Turning off/Tuning Out/Better Work/Life Balance & Automated/Trigger Messaging (TIE)

Major Research Organizations




50+ Digital Trends Lists for 2013: Data, Marketing, Social Media, Tech and Design

<UPDATED, January 3, 2013. * Marks new links.>

This is a list of many of the 2013 prediction lists, trend reports, and forecasts that I have collected since the beginning of December. It is not comprehensive, obviously, but I found something interesting in everything below. This collection is intended to be digital at it’s heart, including industry predictions about the future of big data, digital marketing, social media, emerging technology and digital design. If you have additional links, I would love to add them. I will update this list up until the end of the year.

I’ll post a summary of what I think are the biggest themes in a future post, but for now please take a look and see what you think stands out to you. Let me know in the comments which lists you think best capture what you see coming in digital in 2013.

Happy New Year! See you in 2013.

Major Research Organizations

Mary Meeker Internet Trends Year-End Update

Meeker is the Queen of the digital future. The primary point she made in 2012 is that there is massive disruption across multiple industry and verticals, and it continues to expand. If your industry or business model has not been disrupted by digital recently, then it will be soon.

Pew Internet Year in Review, The Year in Data

This is more general than just digital but there are a couple of crucial themes that carry into our world, firstly that 39% of voters under 40 viewed the election through multiple screens, and secondly, 45% of US adults own a smartphone.

eMarketer Trends for 2013

Gartner Technology Research, Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013

Webtrends9 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year

MIT Media Lab: Joi Ito’s Trends to Watch in 2013

Blogs and Publications

Mashable, 11 Big Tech Trends You’ll See in 2013 and 4 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2013. Also, check out Mashable’s Pete Cashmore discuss his Rules For Media 2013 (Audio).

FastCompany, The Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends For 2013 with guest Ryan Homes, CEO of Hootsuite, and 5 Trends That Will Shape Digital Services in 2013.

Forbes.com, Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013.

YPulse, A Look Into The Crystal Ball: Top Trends for 2013.

TrendWatching, 10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2013. Choose between the full deck version and the condensed infographic version.

O’Reilly Radar, Big, Open and More Networked Than Ever: 10 Trends from 2012 and 14 Big Trends to Watch in 2013.

Harvard Business Review, Four Innovation Trends to Watch in 2013.

ReadWrite, Six Tech Trends That Will Rock Enterprise IT in 2013 and 6 Trends Startups Must Cope With in 2013.

MarketWatch, Top 10 Tech Trends to Watch in 2013.

*AllTwitter.com, Four Twitter Predictions for 2013.

Inc. Magazine, 7 Things You Need to Know About 2013.

The Economist, Global Trends for 2013.

The Independent, The World in 2013: the people, themes, trends and problems that will define our global economy.

The Futurist Magazine, Top 10 Forecasts for 2013 and Byond.

iMedia Connection, 6 Trends That Will Shape Digital in 2013 and 7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2013.

Venture Beat, The Top 10 Rends in Enterprise Cloud for 2013.

Lists from Agencies

Edelmann’s David Armano, Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013.

Ogilvy.com, Three Social Business Mega-trends for Brand Marketers in 2013

JWT Intelligence, Our 10 trends for 2013 in 2 minutes (video) or you can read the executive summary, 10 Trends That Will Shape Consumer Mindset and Behavior in 2013.

SilverPop, Key Marketing Trends 2013 for Success in the Year of the Customer.

Sparks & Honey, 54 Trends for 2013: Now, Next & Future (Snapshot) (Slideshare).

The Richards’ Group, 2013 Ten Digital Trends.

WebbMedia Group, 2013 Tech Trends.

Digital Services and Sites

LinkedIn, The Biggest Ideas of 2013.

Hootsuite, The 5 biggest social media trends of 2013.

Smart Insights, Digital Marketing Trends 2013.

PointBurst, Staying Ahead of the Curve: Social Media in 2013.

ExactTarget, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013 (SlideShare).

HubSpot, 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond

KISSmetrics, 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013.

SEOptimise, 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013.

Design Mind, 20 Tech Trends for 2013.

DigiDay, Trends Publishers Will Pass Up in 2013.

Branding Strategy Insider, Digital and Media Marketing Trends for 2013.

Search Engine Journal, 2013 Marketing Moves ON.

Social Media Today, How to Spot a Trend: 7 Social Media Trends that Matter in 2013, the follow up SlideShare of 15 Marketing & Business Trends in 2013 That Will Change Your Business and Predictions for 2013 Emerging Marketing Trends.

Lists from Brands

Broadcom‘s Top Trend Predictions for CES 2013

Ford‘s Inaugural Trend Report 2013 (Summary) or you can download the full report (PDF).

Lists About Design

CreativeBloq.com, Design Trend Predictions for 2013

SmashingHub.com, Web Design Trends in 2013.

Galaxy Unite, Top Design Trends and Best Practices 2013.

Random Bonus Lists

Scholastic Editors Forecast Top 10 Trends in Children’s Books for 2013.

Edudemic, 5 Big Education Technology Trends of 2013.

CIO.com, 5 Cloud Computing Trends That Will Be Big in 2013.

Dynamit, Must Know Digital Trends 2013

CommPro, 2013 Digital Media Relations Trends.

Dream Grow, Social Media and Content Marketing Trends 2013

Harvard Business Journal, Top Ten Sales Trends for 2013.

Entrepreneur Magazine, The Biggest Trends in Business for 2013.

Global Trends, 10 Key Trends in 2013

TheRanconteur.com, 2013 Mobile Business Predictions (Infographic).

The Fiscal Times, 10 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2013.

Colloquy.com, Under The Radar: Ten Trends Loyalty Marketers Might Not See Coming in 2013.

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