Bloggers Flash Back to 2006 and Flash Forward to 2009

01/01/2009

2009

As December 2005 drew to a close, I asked a few bloggers what their wish list was for the new year .. 2006. I thought it would be fun to ask those same people to update their wishes for 2009.

Several 2006 wishes came true. Turning to thoughts for 2009 a few people felt that the blogs/social media has lost its focus of customer first content to becoming ego vehicles while others are looking for advances in technology. Twitter found its way into the 2009 blogger wishes as did more ways to collaborate.

What makes this list interesting is that all of the bloggers have been around in the social media space from at least 2005 which provides some additional perspective. I hope you enjoy the 2006 - 2009 comparisons.

Elana Centor, Funny Business

2006
If I am going to be completely honest and self-absorbed, the thing that I would like it see more of in 2006 is more traffic at Funny Business. My second wish for 2006 is that I would like to see "professional journalists" get over themselves in their attitude to those of us who choose to blog.

2009
Well, I’m nothing if not consistent. Still wishing for more traffic for Funny Business but this year I actually am putting together an action plan to make that happen.  I do think my second wish has come true since many professional journalists are now blogging. So a 50% wish accomplished rate is pretty good.  My second wish for 2009 is to find a software that not only provides

Donna Lyons-Miller, GourmetStation

2006
I wish blog people would chill & be more open minded to innovation without
damning those that try new things. I guess it's another version of Peace On Earth Goodwill to Men.

2009
This is what comes to mind: Now that blogs are mainstream there is an over saturation of
content. Too many musings out there. But more importantly I think many people are blogging for the benefit of their own ego instead of what their readers might want to read. Some blogs are more of a "performance stage" than a platform for exchange.

Twitter is another example. Seems the game is to see how many followers one can attract vs gathering a few quality followers where ideas may be shared. In summary: I wish that all bloggers would remember to write for their readers not themselves; and don't worry if there are only a few readers or Twitter followers...the idea is exchange of ideas with like minded people...not a high school popularity contest.

Yvonne DiVita, Lip-sticking

2006
MORE Smart Women Bloggers. There are dozens now, but I want more. I want women to stand up and be counted, because blogging is word of mouth marketing at its best, and that's a task we are designed by nature to dominate.

2009
For 2009 I'd like to see collaboration and cooperation between social media consultants. Many of us do this or that (strategy planning, education, design) and others do the marketing or networking building. In a world where the focus is on our customer, as it always should be, I'd like to see us form relationships with each other - to give our clients the best there is in social media consulting. Sharing is caring and, again, women are the leaders in this area. I hope you and I can work on some projects in the New Year, Toby. Along with a number of other great experts I have on my list.

Arieanna (Foley) Schweber, //blogaholics

2006
More niche blogging. Blogging is powerful because it is the power of niche communities. We all talk about it.

2009
I'd love to see companies, PR professionals, governments and more continue to embrace new media and to reach out to, rather than be afraid of, the blogging community.

Tim Jackson, MASIGuy

2006
More people blogging. Yeah I know, everybody and his grandmother is already starting a blog, but there are many more people out there who should be lending their voices to the chorus who should be blogging too. Plus many more companies need to start blogging. Like Dana mentions, the person to person interactivity of blogging is still deeply under utilized. I know that from my own brand's experiences, blogging has been a very successful tool in getting consumers to reconnect to the bikes I sell. More creativity in the kinds of blogging going on. More humor. I think too many bloggers take themselves far too seriously. A little humility and a sense of humor goes a long way.

2009
Now that Social Media has become less of a four-letter word (like "blog"), I would really love to see more companies involved with Social Media evolve past the first timid stages of effort and move forward to more earnest and thoughtful approaches. We've seen too many companies enter the SM world looking for immediate ways to monetize those efforts. In a down economy, you can expect that to get even worse. But the real value comes in the form of strong communities built around relationships.

My secondary wish is to find the time to explore more avenues/ channels for discussions. I really want to get my brand involved more with video, but first have to have the time to pull it off. My head is so crammed with ideas… I just need the time to get them out. And… for the 3rd year in a row, I hope to finally find the time to write that book (on blogging/ Social Media for business) I've been mumbling about for so long.

Sybil Stershic, Quality Service Marketing

2006
To find more time to read other blogs on a regular basis!

2009
Here’s my blog wish for 2009 – to stay connected with the many wonderful bloggers I’ve met in the past four years.

Sally Falkow, Expansion internet marketing pr

2006
Communication is the universal solvent. It never hurt to communicate more. Blogging is the way to reach out and communicate with people.  Making yourself and your company real to your audience is a good thing. Learn to let go of the ‘message’ and really communicate with your public.

2009
Start a dialogue online. In a recession it’s vital to tell your story and to listen to your stakeholders’ feedback.  A  recent study showed that although price and quality can be purchase influencers in this economy, ultimately it’s the company values that hold sway. And they found that  almost 60% of Americans say they can judge the company’s values from their online presence. Use interactive video to tell your story and allow your audience to give feedback. 

Scott Burkett, Pothole on the Infobahn

2006
I would like to see the people who will never make any money from their blogs remove the third party advertisements from said blogs.
I would like to see more business bloggers ... fewer pictures of people's dogs and more thought leadership.
I would like to see better ways of finding business bloggers.

2009
I pretty much got everything I wished for … the only thing I wish for now is “more time to blog!”  I have hundreds of drafts …

Alex Geana
, Alex Geana

2006
To make more than 10 cents from my blog.

2009
for Better know a Book! - To make reading hot again.
and for Alex Geana - Two more consulting clients!
Both would be amazing.

Holly Buchanan
, Marketing To Women Online

2006
I'd like to see more use of Trackbacks. What I love most about the blogosphere is the ability to find new and fresh voices - wonderful talented people from around the world you'd never know existed if it wasn't for their blogs. Interconnecting is what blogs do best. Let's do more of it.

2009
How funny to look back to 2005. While I think Trackbacks aren't that important anymore, I do thing that "interconnecting" is still the power of blogs and all social media.  

I think for 2009, my wish would be for better searching and filtering tools for social media. Right now there is such a proliferation of blogs, Linked In, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter.....you can spend 24 hours a day with this stuff. I see more of a need to find the people and information that are most relevant to you - we need search tools and filtering devices that let us find and focus in on what's truly relevant versus what's more background noise.  

It's kind of like the ipod - it was so cool that you could instantly access all this music, and you downloaded your favorites. It was just so amazing that all that music was out there and available at your fingertips. But now music lovers are looking for better ways to find new music, and sort through all the new releases to find songs that they really like. I think the same thing can be said for social media as it continues to mature.

So - here's to the continuation of the interconnectivity that blogs and social media present. But let's also toast new and better ways to sort through the proliferation of information to easily find that which will be most relevant to us and our lives.

Wayne Hurlbert
, Blog Business World

2006
I would like to see some technical improvements appearing in both individual blogs and in blogging software platforms. Improvements in how blogs speak to one another via trackbacks would assist bloggers in referencing one another. Perhaps an automated system that included all blogging software platforms would work well in this regard. Improved and simplified RSS feeds would help more novice RSS users add blog feeds to their subscription lists. With greater east of RSS use, and better cross interfaces, more bloggers could reach wider audiences. Better technical blogging systems would not only help individual bloggers and readers, but the blogging industry as a whole.

2009
Since that time, the advances in blogging and social media software have been tremendous. In 2005, before blogs became mainstream, the tecnology available precluded cross platform references and RSS feeds were not commonplace. Today, most of those technological limitations have been addressed, while adding additional capability for audio and video blog posts. Those advances in technology enhanced blogging and developed the blogging industry into a mainstream communications resource. Blogs can now interface readily with other blogging platform hosted blogs, and with other social media hosts as well. The blogging and social media challenges of sufficient and adaptible software are being met and expanded upon more every day. This trend will only continue to expand as more people and businesses add blogging and social media components to their lives and company strategies.

Dave Taylor, The Business Blog at Intuitive.com

2006
More civility and professionalism. The level of aggressive interchange in the blogosphere doesn't make "the conversation" more genuine, it makes it more juvenile and makes it harder for Corporate America to truly grasp the business case for blogging.

2009
I'll stick with my old wish, but add that I would also like to see us work as a community to both welcome newcomers and remember the difference between criticizing an idea and criticizing the person who shares it. Our communities *must* be supportive of different viewpoints for us to not be viewed as crackpots.

Lee Odden, Online Marketing Blog

2006
What I'd like to see more of is the availability of basic ecommerce functions as plug 'n play options with major blog software packages. Blogs are good for business, big and small and I think there's a lot of opportunity for business and value for consumers with ecommerce blogs.

2009
Wow, 2005 seems so long ago. I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for a hybrid web and blog analytics solution that is married to social media monitoring service to supercharge blogger’s ability to measure and monitor effectiveness. We need a better blog search engine too. I’d also love to see more of what Google is doing with open social, making it easy for blogs or even non-blogs to add social networking features. I still think there’s opportunity for ecommerce blogs per my 2005 blog wish.

Peter Flaschner, The Blog Studio

2006
I'd like to see more new bloggers joining in the fun. I've walked a couple of techno-phobic friends through getting started recently, and it has been such a pleasure to watch them "get it".
I'd like to see more people using their own domain names - this is going to be a huge issue as blogs develop and grow.
I'd like to see more originality and care in blog design.-
I'd like to see more thought put into blog archives. -
I'd like technorati (or equivalent) to work as advertised.
I'd really, really, really like to see the word 'blog' disappear. Blogs are websites. Let's just call them that.
I'd like to continue to meet amazing people through my blogging adventures.

2009
Here goes:
I'd like to see the WordPress premium theme business go open source, in accordance with the WordPress license.
I'd like to see fewer blog posts starting with a number, like "38 ways to annoy your readers"
I'd like to see better integration of off-site activity like Twitter, Facebook, etc, integrated into a blog's design, when appropriate.
I'd like to see the spirit of open access and and an acknowledgement of our shared human experience continue to thrive

Susan Getgood, Marketing Roadmaps

2006
With the corollary that I’d like to see more awareness by folks that they are responsible for their own success (or lack thereof). …..You want to succeed at something, take charge of it – make it happen, don’t keep listing all the outside forces that prevented you from succeeding. You won’t win all the time, but you, and no one else, owns your success.

2009
Let’s take world peace and an improvement in the economy as a given. After that, my greatest wish is for tolerance and respect. I’d like to see a bit more of both. Tolerance and respect for other people, for their opinions and even their positions. People are so quick to judge, so slow to empathize. Slow down, walk a few steps in the other’s shoes. It’s okay to criticize and analyze – even judge --  but wouldn’t it be nice if more people the world over tried to understand the other’s position first? You know. given that most of us live in some form of glass house.

Elisa Camahort, BlogHer

2006
Research: if you're gonna say it, cite it. Cite something. I don't even know you, don't ask me to just believe you!
Useful and user-friendly tools. That work (and I mean with full functionality) on Macs!!!!!
'Live and let live' attitudes from bloggers of one type toward bloggers of another. If you don't like it you don't have to read it, and you don't have to write one like it.
That being said, my personal preference is: more context and commentary

2009
I have to say that all still applies! Although the introduction of the iPhone has certainly driven a lot of corresponding development of tools that are Mac-friendly.

I would add this, though: 2009 may indeed be a volatile, rough year for a lot of us, due to the economic crisis and efforts to recover from it. But I don't understand the need to make things worse than they are or use it as an excuse to speculate wildly and craft worst-case scenarios for us all to freak out about. This goes for you too, mainstream media!!

Cases in point:
I wish not to read another schadenfreude-laden blog post about whether Steve Jobs is near-death or just slowly dying. It's ghoulish, invasive, appalling.
I wish not to read another panicky blog post that takes business practices that have been common for years (like holiday shut-downs at big companies) as signs of the apocalypse.
I wish not to read another wildly speculative blog post...or hateful anonymous comment...that uses something truly horrifying, like the Siport shootings here in Silicon Valley, as an excuse to slam any executive, company or culture. We are all people, folks, and I hope cruelty goes out of fashion in 2009.

And in the not-quite-so-ghoulish department:
I really, really wish not to read another snarky blog post whose author or commenters can't let commentary on any woman's business endeavors go by without commenting on whether they'd "hit that". In almost all cases I'm sure the question is moot, so why bother? :)

Marianne Richmond, Resonance Partnership

2006
In keeping with the season, less fruitcake blogs; Johnnie Carson said there was only one fruit cake in the world and everyone just kept sending it to each other. If just passing along information read on someone else's blog, please at least add an adjective or a reason why it is being passed along, in a conversational tone... More tech support for the non-intuitive.

2009
The first thing that came to mind in re-reading my wish for 2006 regarding blog posts that simply passed along the highlights of someone else's blog post without adding additional  insight or substance was a trend that seems to be escalating on Twitter recently, the "re-tweet". A tweet obviously does not have the life of a blog post and all of us do not have the same list of followers,  so an occasional "re-tweet" can be of value. There just seems to be an awful lot of them lately.

Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

2006
1. Ditto re civil behavior/common courtesy. That said, we should use the blogosphere (depending on the blog subject matter & purpose) to raise awareness of shoddy business practices, scams, government wrongdoings  and such. I do make it a practice to never say anything I wouldn't say to somebody's face (and usually have) but then I'm pretty blunt when I'm unhappy about something (principle is the thing.)

2. Ditto re getting more people involved. The more interaction we have, the better chance we'll avoid problems (versus having solved them). Example: If the GOP and Demos had really talked to each other (instead of AT each other) and focused on the issues (versus dong mass mediocrity sound bites) - we'd be in much better shape.

2009
I still have the same wishes - particularly after suffering through the presidential campaign. Reading some of the comments made me want to bath in bleach. ("These are Palin's supporters???" Way past criticism...far past disrespect...to downright disgusting!)

This year I'd add that people learn to use the power of the Web to participate in our government. The Obama campaign and administration grok it and are encouraging people to get involved. Its as easy as typing, you don't even have to get dressed. It is, after all, "We, the people" not "him, the president."

Pink boa Toss of the first 2009 boa to these smart divas and divos for again sharing their thoughts!

Before 2009 ticks one more second heartfelt thanks for your friendship and support .. the laughter, the sparring, the learning. Wishes for a joy filled 2009 with more laughter than sadness .. more smiles than tears and more cheesecake than brussel sprouts (unless you of course like brussel sprouts!).!

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Comments

well, i do like brussel sprouts (and it would also be good if i wished to eat more brussel sprouts than cheesecake in '09) but the spirit of your wishes right back at you!

and thanks for pulling this together...fascinating! And how time flies.

Marianne

Posted by: marianne richmond on Jan 1, 2009 1:26:27 PM

Toby,

This is one of the best New Year's posts I've ever read. Seriously, it's: Creative. Fun. Introspective. Real. Thank you!

Here’s a peek at my wishes:

2006 Wish - Personal: That I'd start a blog. (I did.)

2006 Wish - Blogosphere: That popular blogs (blogger mentors) would offer better functionality and usability (ie search engines, improved usability/Nav), so newbies could get around quicker and easier on their blogs and find valuable content that the blogger may have considered "Old" but was really still very relevant. :)

2009 Wish - Personal: Graduate my blog from platform to a community. This is HUGE! And make sure I practice what I wished for Blogosphere in 2006, too!

2009 Wish – Blogosphere -- Same as my 2006 wish! Makes it easier for folks to "listen" too :) And also that the blogosphere collectively has a larger role in advancing more healing and collaboration around the globe…or at least positively impacting unproductive stalemates due to unhealthy polarization of thoughts, ideas, and ways. (Yes, that AND World Peace, too)

Cheers and thanks to all of you for your guidance and inspiration these last few years! If I had a boa, I’d toss it right *now.*

Posted by: Jaculynn Peterson on Jan 1, 2009 2:46:54 PM

Make sure that your goals are measurable. We don't see that a lot anymore and it's an extremely important factor in ensuring your success.

Posted by: Aleksandar M. Velkoski on Jan 1, 2009 2:58:33 PM

thanks for your kind words!

@marianne - from '05 to '09 in social media years must be at least a decade!

@jaculynn - for me one of great joys of being involved in social media is that we learn from each other. the teacher is always the student and the student always the teacher. good luck on developing your community.

@Aleksandar - great point to keep top of mind. also social media metrics may be different than traditional.. but that does not make them any less valuable.

Posted by: Toby on Jan 1, 2009 3:50:39 PM

Ah, Toby, you get to interview the best people. I'm so delighted I can participate in these thought-provoking posts.

In the end, if you read each post carefully, we all want much the same: a voice in how the world runs, connections to each other, respect and consideration, and a way to follow each other on the path to real success.

I'm glad my path intersects with yours - may it ever be so.

Posted by: Yvonne DiVita on Jan 1, 2009 3:59:57 PM

So much great information here - learned a lot and this is one of those posts that I plan to bookmark and keep coming back because there is so much rich information to reflect on.

A very Happy 2009 to everyone.

Posted by: Elana Centor on Jan 1, 2009 5:34:10 PM

Toby, thanks for again including me in this group of blogging pros; I'm truly humbled.

I look forward to continuing our "virtual happy hour" sessions in 2009!


Posted by: Sybil on Jan 2, 2009 9:33:39 AM

Wow, what interesting insight. What a great idea, Toby!

as many of the commenters pointed out - it's interesting to see the consistent themes.

Seems we all need to feel connected, respected, and have a voice that impacts the world.

I'll toast to that.

Posted by: Holly Buchanan on Jan 2, 2009 10:11:04 AM

Thank you again Toby for asking me to be a part of this- I am as flattered now as I was then.

Your friendship, support and encouragement have meant more to me than I can tell you in a simple comment post. So we'll have to save it for drinks again one day- here again or some time in Atlanta.

The list is a great one to read and I certainly hope the wish list gets answered for everybody.

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Jan 4, 2009 1:28:33 AM

I have read this post. This is very much true. I run a part time internet marketing business
I have been collecting many material on internet marketing and checking out Jeff Paul's
internet marketing tactics. I hope that we can keep each other's contacts so I can
discuss my problems Even I own a blog account. I will mention your post in my blog.

Posted by: jeff paul internet millions on Jan 5, 2009 1:33:23 AM

Toby,

What a great way to see how perceptions and usage of blogging and social media have evolved. Blogging is quickly becoming a mainstream form of constituent communication as marketers become more sophisticated in their understanding of its applications. This is primarily due to trailblazers like you, Geoff Livingston and many other blogging influencers. Thanks Toby!

Posted by: Brendan Hurley on Jan 5, 2009 11:31:17 AM

I wonder how many of the 2006 so-called A-lister's have disappeared? The HP lot come to mind...

Posted by: Edw3rd on Jan 6, 2009 4:14:04 PM

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan


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Posted by: Susan on Jan 16, 2009 1:31:46 AM

I like to see more use of Trackbacks. What I love most about the blogosphere is the ability to find new and fresh voices - wonderful talented people from around the world you'd never know existed if it wasn't for their blogs. Interconnecting is what blogs do best. Let's do more of it.


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