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Rewind '06, Fast Forward '07 – Bill Sweetman

We’ve got about two weeks here at the One Degree offices (virtual as they may be) before we break for the holidays. To wrap up the year in fine style I’ve asked some of the One Degree Contributors to provide us with a rewind of 2006 and a fast forward to 2007 to give you something substantial to chew on as the days get shorter. Bill Sweetman shares his thoughts on the highs and lows of this year and what we can expect next year…

1. Rewind – What trends in Internet marketing surprised you in 2006? I can’t believe we went through yet another whole year without Yahoo! offering a paid search service that geo-targets Canadians. Year after year, Yahoo! tells the Canadian Internet marketing community that this is “coming soon.” Apparently it’s “coming soon” in Q1 2007. Yeah, sure…

I also noticed there seem to be more mobile marketing service companies offering “the next big thing” than there are probably mobile subscribers in Canada. OK, I’m exaggerating, but I’m starting to wonder whether there should be a ban on starting YAMMC (Yet Another Mobile Marketing Company). At this point, the market (in Canada, anyway) is oversaturated.

2. Rewind – Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? Personally, blogs and social media sites were big for me this year. I also explored Second Life, tinkered with Google Analytics, and kicked the tires of Microsoft AdCenter.

3. Fast Forward – What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? The Internet marketing talent shortage (at the mid-to-senior level) is going to get worse, which will slow the growth of service companies that don’t have their HR act together. So-called “mass media” marketing professionals are going to realize that Google is moving into their turf much faster than they realize … if they even realize this at all. Podcasting will start to emerge from relative obscurity and begin to appear on the corporate radar screens as a potentially viable option.

4. Fast Forward – At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? That’s easy: Web 2.0. When companies start issuing press releases saying they are “Web 2.0-enabled” solely in the hope of increasing their stock market value, you know the end is near. Go away. Now.

5. Fast Forward – Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? We’re going to see a lot of movement in the podcasting space. I expect several large media companies will try to acquire the leading independent podcast directories (like Podcast Pickle), and if I were a large software company based in Redmond, Washington I would be seriously considering buying one of the more popular podcast creation software programs (and/or the company that created it).