Communication 2016: constant, considered

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With 2015 drawing to a close (20 days and counting, *gulp*), it’s time for a little reflection and time to look at the trends that will guide us into the new year. Although the c= calendar year is almost over, the cogs continue to turn.

Like it or not, the way we communicate (especially at work) is changing. Every customer, colleague, collaborator and chum has a mobile phone. With this it makes communication easier, but also constant.

What are the new ways to connect and collaborate and get things done? By no means is this an exhaustive list of the technologies that exist, but it will give you something to consider while picking out the Christmas ham or racing through the store finding that last minute Secret Santa present.

Social media isn’t going anywhere. If your Mother can use Facebook, then it’s pretty much open game – and clearly a great platform for any age group. It has also become an advertiser’s dream.

Several times a day, my phone vibrates (if I’ve remember to silence it) with yet another notification that someone I follow on Twitter has joined Periscope. If 2006 was all about Myspace, 2007 about Facebook, and 2012 about Twitter, then 2016 is going to be about livestreaming apps (checkout Meerkat in the US).

Some people have taken to the live streaming service like a fish to water. Live updates of gigs, weather events, conventions and reporters on the scene of world events – who wouldn’t watch this? It’s reasonably easy to use, your audience is limitless and it’s cheap. Considering we’re all mobile viewers, Periscope and similar streaming services could soon become the “new TV”.  You no longer need a news van, satellite dish, reporter and expensive camera equipment to broadcast an event live. It’s the age of citizen journalism; all you need is your phone and decent content to broadcast and #youhavefollowers.

Has anyone participated in a hack this year? Of course when you hear the word hack, you probably think of breaking into networks or hijacking computers to illegally access files and information. I’m not talking about Sandra Bullock on ‘The Net’, it’s no longer just for the geeks of Silicon Valley. Hacks and Hackathons have entered the corporate mainstream. Hacking is a method of bypassing traditional tasks to obtain a goal. Hackathons are long group sessions with an agreed goal at the end. Fueled by adrenaline, caffeine and excited colleagues to brainstorm new ideas.

Zuckerberg’s tech people invented Facebook’s “like” button during a traditional coding hack session. Big companies in various industries have now adopted the Hackathon and we don’t see these corporate ‘hacks’ going anywhere, anytime soon.

Looking into the c = crystal ball for the future, we also see data everywhere. Or should we say easier data accessibility and the ability to analyse it. Social media platforms are already bringing data into the mainstream with polls. This gives us an overview of what consumers are thinking – and makes things like targeted marketing easier. Having access to data can help reinvent the simple e-newsletter.

We can’t forget about Podcasts, Snapchat, and of course, as the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so how many tweets must an Insta be worth.

And of course, we’ll be watching as Hillary makes her move on the WhiteHouse. What a year ahead!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

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