End of Year Wrap Up & 2006 Predictions

December 31st, 2005

I have never done an end of year wrap up post before. You know, summarized my predictions for the year to come, or even analyzed the year that is ending. That being said, I can tell you personally, that I am glad to be seeing the end of 2005 and am welcoming with wide open arms all of the possibilities and goodness to come in 2006. This year has been such a bitter sweet one for me, so good, yet so tough, and just a fine mix of both to make me happy that 2006 is just about here, I am ready for the fresh and new.

Below, I have outlined some of my predictions for the landscape in 2006. When I first started to write these out I didn’t think I would have too much to say, but I guess I did ;-)

Predictions for 2006:

- Video blogs (Vlogs) will take off as quickly as podcasts, and there will be a rapid emergence of vlog talent and shows, a handful of which will rise quickly and become extremely popular. Vlogs will become one of the most popular talent scouting mediums and we will see a few folks get their own deals and go mainstream.

- Comcast, specifically will begin to pick up some of the more popular & promising independent vlog talent to fuel its, right now lacking in content, On Demand system.

- Podcasting will continue to emerge at a rapid rate. Citizen media podcasting will continue to get more and more interesting, and production value will continue to improve. Podcasting will grow by leaps and bounds on the corporate side. Companies will experiment with all types of concepts around podcasting. By the end of 2006, universities and colleges who do not have a fully implemented podcasting system in place for their course lectures, or plans for one, will be seen as “behind the curve.”

- Sirius & XM will continue to fight the content fight, and we will see some key podcasters getting deals for their own shows. Satellite radio will grow leaps and bounds in 2006 and people will adopt “the converted” mentality, wondering why they waited so long.

- Tivo will either do one of two things; build out their own directory of on demand content i.e. the Rocketboom deal, first in an effort to increase its value and provide premium value add services, or be bought by one of the major’s, Google, Microsoft or Yahoo or possibly Comcast, which will do the same. I am out on a leg on that one but I guess thats why we call them predictions.

- Email marketing will continue growing as an effective marketing medium for businesses. The landscape will continue with its deliverability challenges, but some very good progress will take place on a solution. Spam won’t go anywhere and will continue to be a nuisance. The ESP market will continue to consolidate.

- RSS will continue to emerge as a “preferred” channel of communication for consumers and business. The mass population will begin to undergo the shift in using the web differently as their content preferences are “pushed” to them. This will be a 2-3 year cycle and really gain heavy momentum once Windows Vista is released and the “standardization” of RSS is fully adopted.

- There will be the release of a new web based public RSS aggregation tool that will be different from anything we have seen yet to date. It will be feature rich, and will assist with mainstream RSS adoption, and have a strong focus on niche community building. The application will also support podcasts and vlogs.

- Podshow will continue to grow its network and directory of shows. Event sponsorship and strategic placement of their brand will be very visible for all to see. Their value increases as their listenership and circulation numbers begin to be released on a quarterly / semi-annual basis attracting a slew of advertisers and sponsors. Their media kit will be impressive. They will also do some kind of distribution deal with a major player.

- Odeo will begin to come up with some very cool out of the box models for promoting podcasts. They will associate themselves with specific events, companies, and figure heads that somehow brand them as a preferred choice for users. They will also release a toolset that allow podcasters to monetize their podcasts, matching advertisers up with the best shows that fit their brand. Odeo will also have, or be working on support for vlog’s, this will create a one stop shop for the creation, promotion and monetization of their own audio and video shows. Odeo will also come out with some kind of commercial version / solution in the future. A little fuzzy on that one but I see it in the cards. Nothing short of execution.

- Feedburner will continue to grow and add the killer features that anyone burning a feed wants. As a result of kicking ass and executing on the market demands, they will house and distribute the majority of RSS feeds as people continue to fall in love with their services and have no “true” alternative to their feature rich platform. Someone will want to buy Feedburner by the end of 2006, they may hold out to gain more critical mass, or the number will just be such an insane value per user / feed that it will be too good to pass up. If they are sold things will get very interesting pending on who the acquirer is. People take their feed(s) very seriously, and this will grow into 2006.

- There will be the launch of a new music service that will allow people to make the stars. It will be unlike anything we have seen before, fueled by social networks and recommendations. Last FM is the closest I have seen to date, however unless its just me, they seem to be slow in market penetration and or making any real waves. I know they have a TON of users, but c’mon guys lets make some noise! Oh, and MySpace will continue to slow down and will NOT be the musicians choice in the future. It will be considered so last year.

- As previously predicted, the trend will continue and more and more software will become available on a self service subscription model over the web, making it easier for consumer useage, and making life much sweeter for corporate IT departments.

OK thats all for now, I will probably have at it again when I have more thoughts, but I have to go hit the “Honey Do” list now. New Years Eve is going to be a festivus maximus in the kitchen tonight! Feel free to tear it up in the comments, and Happy New Year everyone!

Tags: 2006 predictions, tivo, rocketboom, vlogs, on demand, sirius, xm, feedburner, podshow, comcast, RSS, odeo, myspace, last.fm

Feed Management & Bloglines Support

December 30th, 2005

I was doing some basic housecleaning on the blog this week, and noticed that if you tried to subscribe to my weblog’s feed using Bloglines, you were faced with the option of subscribing to 4 different RSS feeds. To be clear from the start, the only feed you need for my weblog is the following: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheTrendJunkie . I thought that was the case, however, what I found when I tried to subscribe to my weblog, was that first there was the Feedburner feed, accompanied by the standard Wordpress RSS 2.0 feed, which followed with a feed for the comments and then a feed for my OLD Blogger account! Gee, you think that could be a little confusing for a novice RSS user? Good luck trying to figure that one out unless you are a member of the blogorati, and have been tinkering with aggregators for the past year!

After several attempts, from both myself and my good friend flipthedolphin, on trying to remove all of the old feeds from my headers and auto-discovery, the fact remained that when you tried to subscribe to my blog using Bloglines you kept getting the four options I mentioned above. Very frustrating! Finally, I submitted to contacting Blogline’s for some suggestions or assistance, not knowing what the problem could be. I am happy to report that Bloglines responded to my request in just about 24 hours, with a complete resolution and explaination:

We have indexed the correct URL for your blog at http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheTrendJunkie. It may take some time for the correct number of subscribers to show up on your blog. Please note that all who were subscribed to your previous feed URLs (now removed from our system) have automatically been redirected to your main, active feed. This requires no effort on their part; the old feed is simply replaced with the new, valid feed in their Bloglines account.

We have tested this repeatedly, so we know you haven’t lost any subscribers. We are currently working on the issue that is preventing the automatic correct subscription number from taking effect immediately. We do regret any confusion.

Indeed, when I logged back into my Bloglines account for the first time since the support email, all of my other feed subscriptions were removed, and the only feed that remained for my blog was the Feedburner one. Mission accompolished! Nice work Bloglines.

UPDATE: After another 24 hours, I noticed my Bloglines subscriptions went up to 27 from 22, I was worried there were a few other folks out there subscribed to one of the other feeds. Thanks again Bloglines.

Tags: bloglines, feed management, RSS, feedburner, the trend junkie

CES & Verizon Wireless Podcasts

December 29th, 2005

Its now official, I am booked for CES in Las Vegas next week. Verizon Wireless will be making some very big announcements surrounding new products and services for 2006 at a press event being held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino the morning of the 5th. We will be there to cover the excitement for the next VZW podcasts. In early to mid January there will be two additional podcasts released on the Verizon Wireless Podcast page. I am very excited to see that VZW received such positive feedback on the first podcast, that they have asked me to come back again. Aside from the great folks at Verizon Wireless, I am also working with the Web Relations team at Weber Shandwick Worldwide, a very forward thinking and cutting edge group of individuals. Its great to see a PR agency bringing these types of opportunities to their clients.

If you are interested in picking up the podcasts as they become available, there is an official VZW Podcast RSS feed available. The feed is http://news.vzw.com/rss/podcast.xml

I am really looking forward to this project, and it will be my very first time at CES. Andy, my main man, and audio engineer extrordinaire will be on deck with me to help capture the most amount of content we possibly can. We will be covering a lot of ground, and this time we’re going to bring our video cameras. So look out for some interesting podcasts, and maybe some extras.

Tags: verizon wireless podcast, vzw, CES, podcasting, las vegas,

Video Get Up: Samsung + Apple = Vlog Ready

December 27th, 2005

I have been itching to play around with one of the new video iPods, in fact I was planning on picking one up this week. Needless to say I was blown away when I received one as a Christmas gift this past weekend. I am psyched, and can’t wait to break it out and start downloading some vlog action. Better yet, I can’t wait to play around and actually create some video content. Thats right, I think its time to play around a bit and explore the video side of things . I am ready to roll as well, just before our last trip to Europe, I picked up a Samsung SC-X105L , based on the recommendation of a friend. This nifty palm size video cam shoots some serious footage - no messing around. I captured some incredible footage of our 3 city European tour. The camera also comes with an external lens that you can wear on your head or arm, since its technically a sports cam. This should prove to be an interesting feature, I already have some visions of some interesting “man on the street” footage, ideas :-) In fact, I have some pretty interesting news coming up soon that will be a great opportunity to capture some good video content. More later.

Tags: vlogs, video ipod, video podcasting, samsung x105c, video cameras

Boston Globe: Corporate Podcasting

December 27th, 2005

Jan Norman’s article on corporate podcasting appeared in this past Sunday’s Boston Globe. I am quoted along with Michael Geoghegan from Reel Reviews Radio and Mike Spataro from Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Good stuff, check it out.

Tags: podcasting, GM, disney podcasts, weber shandwick, reel reviews radio

Fully Integrated RSS

December 26th, 2005

Steve Rubel on the growing trend of RSS consumption:

“The reality is that millions of online users are already reading feeds. They’re just not aware of it. This is because RSS has been seamlessly embedded into the core “foods” we consume every day as part of a healthy online diet. It’s like our juice was spiked with RSS.”

“RSS Inside” is to 2006 what “Intel Inside” was to 1996 and that’s why it will be an important trend to watch next year.

Check out the full post.

Tags: RSS, steve rubel, rss integration, consumer adoption

Christmas in Atlantic City

December 24th, 2005

I am pretty well settled into holiday mode at this point. It’s 8:30am on December 24th, and I am enjoying an egg nog and some hand made biscotti’s while we prepare to hit the road jack. This year we will continue our traditional family get together as we do every year, however, in a completely non-traditional location. In about an hour or two we will be heading out Atlantic City, NJ. My family decided that we all needed a Christmas that was pretty laid back and stress free for everyone. Its been one hell of a year for our family. For some of you who remember, earlier this year, my parents house burned to the ground and they lost everything. That turned out to be only the beginning of our woe’s for the year, we also just lost our Grandmother last month and will miss her dearly this Christmas. Their house though, was the keeper of the holiday season for all of us for the past 20 plus years. In the meantime as they prepare to move into their new home, Christmas is here.

So, this year instead of hanging out and lounging around the house eating, drinking, chilling, etc we are all headed to AC and staying at The Borgata. AC’s newest hotel and casino. I myself haven’t been to AC in a LONG time, and I’m definitely not a gambler, but I do enjoy a good time, and everyone who I talk to about the Borgata tells me that it rocks. So, it appears this year Christmas will be spent eating, drinking, getting massages and other spa treatments, gambling and enjoying the other attractions in AC. Definitely different.
More later. Happy Holidays!

Tags: christmas, atlantic city, holiday, borgata,

Sirius Satellite Rocks

December 23rd, 2005

I wanted to throw a shout out in regards to Sirius Satellite Radio. I hooked up my receiver last week for both my home and vehicle, and paid for a one year subscription in advance. After one week of daily useage I can tell you that it absolutely ROCKS. A friend of mine said, “once you start using it, you can never go back to regular radio.” I think he is right. They pretty much have the core programming I am into, channels like the Vault, Buzzsaw, and JamOn are my fav’s, and I am just now getting into the Raw Dog comedy :-) This makes for a great last minute holiday gift, if I didn’t win my Sirius at a silent auction I would have been stoked to receive it. I have only begun to listen, there is still Howard to come, lots of sports, and talk. I am pumped about it, maybe its time for me to pick up a little stock as well. Sorry to say, but so long traditional radio for me. Happy Friday :-)

Tags: sirius satellite, radio,

2005 First Round Chocolate Chips

December 21st, 2005

2005 First Round Chocolate Chips

Originally uploaded by trendjunkie.

Tonight starts the 2005 traditional opening of the Cangialosi Cookie Kitchen. We bake our heads off for two nights, filling the kitchen with trays and trays of cookies. So far the chocolate chips are ROCKIN. Here is a shot of the first batch.

Good stuff!

University of Peace

December 20th, 2005

I never realized that there was a University of Peace. The university is based in Costa Rica and has been around (or at least the charter has been) since 1980, and is directly affiliated with the United Nations. Right now they state that there are 102 students from 38 countries enrolled in seven Masters’ Programs. Maybe my head has been in the sand, but I thought it was pretty cool that there was an institution educating people on these issues, check out some of these degree programs:

* International Law and Settlement of Disputes
* International Law and Human Rights
* Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
* Gender and Peace Building
* International Peace Studies
* Environmental Security and Peace
* Peace Education
* Media, Conflict and Peace Studies

I hope that its doing the world some good. The student population though looks to be a little light. They have to kick their admissions up another notch or 5! We need more peace makers!

I honestly forgot who’s blog I read about this on, so my apologies to whoever it may be. :-)

Tags: peace, resolution, united nations, cant we all just get along