Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Top 5 books for 2012


I’m not going to add to the plethora of ‘Predictions for 2013′ posts (FWIW I’d say: sexting apps, streaming video apps, more social local mobile), instead I’m going old school with a list of my favourite 5 books from 2012.  Yes actual printed books, not even Kindle versions. A caveat that they’re not necessarily books that came out in 2012, although 4 of them are, but books I read in 2012.

  1. We Learn Nothing by Tim Krieider.  Certainly one of the finest non-fiction writers alive today.  He gives new perspectives and insight into every day situations.  If you’ve never read any of his articles, start with The Busy Trap, one of the New York Times, most shared articles this year.  Perfect writing.
  2. The New Kings of Non-Fiction, edited by Ira Glass. If you like stories about life and people, you’ll love this collection of essays.  Similar to the kind of stories you’ll find on This American Life, or used to find on John Peel’s Home Truths.
  3. How to tell if your cat is trying to kill you, The Oatmeal. One of the most popular living cartoonists, he’s pretty much taken over the internet.  If he’s new to you, take a look at Making Things for the Web.  You’ll be hooked.
  4. Born to run by Christopher Mcdougall.  Whether you’re a runner or not you can’t help but be drawn into this incredible story about Mcdougall’s search for a better understanding about the impac of running on the body, the multi-billion dollar trainer industry and a tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world.
  5. The Intention Economy by Doc Searls. The only business book in the list, this is a fascinating view into the “customer driven economy” of the future.  When social media becomes social business but with the depth of insight that you’d expect from the co-author of the seminal Cluetrain Manifesto.

I’ve just started Nate Silver’s, The Signal and the Noise about how to use data and trend information to make accurate predications. It’s proving to be a fascinating read.  In a recent interview he mentioned that he may give up political forecasting and look at economics.  If he does, make no mistake, he’ll be one to listen to.  The man is a genius, well either that or a witch

What have been your favourite books of 2012?


Social Media & Digital Predictions for 2012

Tech and media bloggers fall over each other to herald in the new year with predictions that 2012 will be the ‘Year of….’
I’m adding my voice to that cacophony but with the proviso that I will come back in December, revisit them and we can decide whether I was completely off the mark, somewhere near or, in fact, the leading new oracle.

So my 5 predictions for 2012:

1. From real-time to slowing down. Heard a lot of talk about this at sxsw in 2011 but seeing an increasing number of blog posts about it from tech early adopters and certainly feeling it myself. Have we all gorged ourselves on ‘real-time’ instant communications to such an extent that we are feeling the need for abstinence? Inevitably when these new technologies were created, we all crammed ourselves with them in a feeding frenzy. But frequently now I want to shout “SLOW DOWN”, it’s not a race. Faster isn’t always better.

2. The rise and rise of the storyteller. It’s arguable that storytelling is already the comic sans of the digital world, so much is the term being banded about but there are two sides to this that I want to flag up. Firstly, this is the year that I think more and more organisations will come to understand the importance of storytelling when developing their content for social media content and secondly, the rise of live storytelling in the UK (see The Moth for an idea if you’ve never been to a live storytelling event). The first London Storytelling Festival took place in October 2011 and other small events are popping up all over the UK, like Tales of Whatever, in Manchester. This can only be a good thing. There is nothing and I repeat, nothing that warms the heart as much as a good story.

3. Listening as much as reading. Audio is on the up. Audio stories (see no 2 above and please, if you’ve never done so, go to This American Life this instant and listen to one of the podcasts) and audio for reporting. I know this isn’t new but I think 2012 will be the year that audio in social really explodes.

4. A return to long form. Five years ago, Twitter turned the heads of bloggers and they skipped off into the sunset holding hands, leaving behind a trail of broken and abandoned blogs. This was desperately sad as many brilliant writers went from posting 3 or 4 times a week to once a month if we were lucky. It’s great that so many are returning to those blogs, dusting them off and reacquainting themselves. Yes I know that blogging generally has continued to grow in the last 5 years but I’m talking about the really good, thought-provoking bloggers that you can’t wait to read. There aren’t many of those.

5. The year social media stopped being talked about as a separate ‘thing’. Will 2012 be the year that the overall knowledge level as risen to such an extent that we can stop the echo chamber discussions about whether social media ‘matters’ or how to measure engagement. Personally I’m hoping on this one but realise it’s a long shot.

So they are my wise {sic} predictions. Let’s see how we get on…

*Image: J W Waterhouse’s The Crystal Ball, courtesy oubliette (reproduced under Creative Commons license)