7 E Innovations 2008
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  • 1. 7 e Innovations 2008 By Vikram Bhat [email_address]
  • 2. Obama: Digital Change Agent
    • Barack Obama this year became true Digital Change Agent.
    • Raising a healthy chunk of his nearly $1 billion in campaign contributions online.
    • Obama attracted more than 1.7 million contributors, with 93 percent of $2.9 million in online donations coming in by way of increments of less than $100.
    • Social-networking technology in particular -- played a critical role in marshalling support for Obama's historic election.
    • Millions of cell phone numbers were send targeted notices of personal appearances and to organize networks of volunteers.
    • "My BO" became a robust social network that helped supporters to self-organize. Even on Twitter.
    • While marketers have struggled to fully harness Web 2.0 technology, Obama continues to prove its power.
  • 3. Hulu Holds Ground
    • Hulu, the joint video-streaming venture of NBC and Fox, is one of the great innovations of 2008.
    • The groundbreaking online video model succeeded in Ad-supported streaming television shows and movies delivering popular programming.
    • As Web video content flourishes, consumers continue to be drawn to Hulu's professional content (including not only repurposed TV shows but feature films) and top-quality video, which also is distributed via partner sites like Yahoo and MSN.
    • Google's YouTube, with its much greater audience, remains pretty much the domain player.
  • 4. iPhone Redefines Mobile
    • 2008, the iPhone phenomenon did create a shift in the mindset of the Consumer -- from "Why would I want to surf the Web on my crappy phone?" to "I can do that? I want one now!"
    • Now touch screen has become the default design choice among models ranging from Google's G1 and Samsung's Instinct to the BlackBerry Storm.
    • Then there are the many iPhone games and applications that have launched everything from a New York Times app to the Social Gaming Network's iBowl.
    • It's now clear that the mobile medium is going to get there, and that advertisers are going to have a real canvas to play on in the near future.
  • 5. HuffPo: The Political News Site
    • The 2008 presidential campaign delivered a bonanza for digital purveyors of news.
    • The three-year-old newspaper/blog hybrid into the mainstream, forcing every media player to rethink its business model while making celebrity soap boxing cool.
    • As the race for the White House sizzled, HuffPo's traffic soared by a mind-blowing 474 percent versus a year earlier, to 4.5 million unique users, per comScore. The best news of all for the site: It is terrifically positioned to thrive post-election, having expanded its purview beyond its core political bent.
    • The Huffington Post has launched sports and green content as well as a local Chicago edition.
    • Its innovative Big News Pages feature -- whereby editors instantly create news sections around the hot topic of the moment -- runs the gamut, from channels.
  • 6. Zuckerberg: The Popular Boy
    • CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s ad strategy has changed the face of media,
    • Its move in May of last year to open the social-networking service to outside developers proved remarkably farsighted and influential.
    • It spread like a virus in 2008, as MySpace quarreled with widget makers about building business off its audience, Facebook embraced the outside help.
    • The rationale was simple but revolutionary: The surest way to build out services is to have an outside army of developers do it.
    • To date, 400,000 developers have introduced some 52,000 apps-and Facebook, not coincidentally, has exploded, expanding its user base to 130 million worldwide.
    • That not only led MySpace to embrace outside developers but also paved the way for Apple to open the iPhone platform.
  • 7. Twitter- What are you doing
    • Short-messaging service's simple concept, “what you're doing right now” has become synonymous with common talk of the GenNext.
    • Common-talk bulletins are broadcast daily by the six million registered users of the two-and-a-half-year-old service.
    • A single update does not in itself mean much but taken with hundreds, even thousands of them, those little messages can come together to paint a rich portrait.
    • Twitter nailed something that's fundamental to the Web: Keep it simple. Twitter's simple "What are you doing?" query and 140-character message limit are arguably its strengths.
    • Twitter also proved that the most successful Web applications are flexible and open. Twitter's designers never envisioned that consumers would use the service to communicate with one another, but users refashioned it as such, employing the prefix "@+user name" to direct replies.
    • Twitter while letting outside developers build apps, further bolstering Twitter's popularity. "Tweeting" may not be for everyone, but it's clearly onto something: The 25-person company recently turned down a $500 million acquisition offer from Facebook
  • 8. Wal-Mart: In Store Digital Network
    • Wal-Mart this year rollout of its in-store digital network, the Wal-Mart Smart Network. Powered by Internet Protocol Television, content, ads and merchandising can be monitored and controlled down to a single screen.
    • It represented a new paradigm, offering a level of precision targeting never before seen.
    • The Wal-Mart net creates a dynamic, interactive dialogue between marketer and consumer. The network also is a real throwback in terms of customer service, taking shoppers back to a time when the store clerk knew every item and could help the customer make informed decisions on the spot.
    • The network is the result of two years and $10 million in research aimed at the optimal content and placement of screens for engaging consumers at the point-of-purchase.