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Review of the Year 2009 and Trends Watch—Part 2
Posted On January 7, 2010

The NewsLink Spotlight on Jan. 4 was Part 1 of this year-end wrap-up. See

In Part 2, I cover the trends I'll be watching in 2010 that I expect to have an impact on libraries and the information industry. I also present a wrap-up with links to some of the most interesting coverage from other commentators and analysts. Please let me know if there's something big I've missed or if you would like to comment on something I've included. Add your comments using the link at the end of the article.

For ongoing coverage, my monthly NewsBreak Update column in Information Today provides regular news highlights and analysis of trends. And if you have comments on the news, questions, information to share, or an issue you'd like us to investigate, please drop me a note using the link below.

What's Hot for 2010

Facebook (not MySpace)



Real-time interactive viewing

Mobile computing


Smartphones ("the Swiss Army knife of the digital age," says The New York Times)



Ebook readers (like 'em or hate 'em, sales are growing and new options abound)

Ebook lending by libraries (fast-growing digital collections)

Text analytics-growing demand for integration with search tools

Sentiment analysis

Twitter (especially hot at librarian and tech conferences)

Real-time search engines (OneRiot, Collecta, etc.)

"Now" mindset

Global mindset (how can "we" work together on global issues)


Influence of Millennials (Gen Y, born between 1978 and 2000)-changing expectations of the workplace, a network culture is expected

Adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools


Open Source

Self publishing

Discovery (not search)

Government transparency

Privacy issues (I expect this to be on the list every year.)


Healthcare tools (Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, Keas)

The Wave (Google Wave, that is)-new real-time communication and collaboration tool

The expected Apple Tablet PC, Microsoft tablet, and others

What's Not

(With a Hat Tip to Research From Veronis Suhler Stevenson)

Print newspapers

Consumer magazines

Print Yellow Pages

Broadcast TV


Business-to-business magazines

Home video

Recorded music

Stand-alone GPS devices

Desktop PCs


Fax machines

Landline telephones

Predictions for 2010

Michael Stephens, L.I.S. professor at Dominican University, issued his "Predictions for Social Technologies & Libraries in 2010," (

1. Social media policies will become more prevalent-"I think 2010 will mark the tipping point when more libraries make it official by taking that Flickr account, blog, wiki, or LibraryThing and giving it a guiding plan for development and use."

2. Evaluation will come into its own-"2010 will be the time-in fact, it should be the time-that we take a step back and see what's working and what's not."

3. Libraries will become community leaders in teaching social tools-"[T]he library as trendsetter and educator, demonstrating how constituents can properly incorporate and use these tools."

Expect to see more mergers and acquisitions among internet companies. Analyst Sandeep Aggarwal issued a research note with his pick for top 10 themes for M&A activity (

 1) Cloud computing; 2) Mobile Internet; 3) Social media; 4) Vertical ad networks; 5) Vertical content Sites; 6) eBook reader; 7) International; 8) Web analytics; 9) Interactive agencies including SEM agencies and other marketing servicing companies; and 10) Comparison shopping.

We will probably see more consolidation in the media sector as well, given how troubled it's been. However, also watch for interesting activities around local news. The creators of Politico are planning a local news website for spring launch.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this fall, the consulting firm issued its annual Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010. Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next 3 years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. Here's the announcement with a discussion of each ( and here's the list:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Client Computing
  • IT for Green
  • Reshaping the Data Center
  • Social Computing
  • Security-Activity Monitoring
  • Flash Memory
  • Virtualization for Availability
  • Mobile Applications

Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private equity firm dedicated to the information, education, and media industries, announced the publication of its newest Communications Industry Forecast (CIF) covering the years 2003-2013 ( VSS forecasts that the institutional sectors and various alternative media segments will drive overall communications spending for the next 5 years. More specifically, institutional end-user spending will remain the largest and fastest-growing communications sector, rising by 5.6% annually as a result of strong gains in business information services, particularly in the marketing and financial services subsegments, and the for-profit higher education subsegment of educational and training media and services.

IDC is an excellent source for industry statistics and analysis. It recently released its "IDC Predictions 2010: Recovery and Transformation" (December 2009) and over the next month or so will issue dozens of industry-specific predictions documents (

CMS Watch has issued its predictions for the content technology industry. "After a recessionary period where many content technology investments focused on customer-facing systems, in 2010 we will see a renewed focus on internal applications," said CMS Watch founder, Tony Byrne. This is the one that caught my attention: "Faceted search will pervade enterprise applications." Excellent! Here's a link to the blog post with all 12 predictions:

Outsell, Inc. issued its annual report, "Information Industry Outlook 2010: A New Dawn, New Day, New Decade." According to the report, success for information and publishing companies no longer hinges on just content or technology (I totally concur). The ability to provide unique and exceptional experiences will drive success and growth in the decade ahead. "It's a new day, a new dawn and a new decade. We're entering the age of experience and the world belongs to those who create a great one," says Anthea Stratigos, co-founder and CEO. The report is for sale at for $895.

Check out the Inmagic blog series: "Inmagic Year in Review 2009 and Predictions 2010: What Defined This Year and What Will Shape the Next" (

Here's an interesting (scary?) prediction from Google's CEO Eric Schmidt. The AP reported on his speech at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in October. "A Web where Chinese is the dominant language, and connections are so fast that distinctions between audio, video, and text are blurred is perhaps just 5 years away." Well, if we think we're overwhelmed by information streams now, just imagine!

Here's the full 45-minute video:

Here's a 6-minute version with the most salient points excerpted by ReadWriteWeb:

In the hot ebook market, here are the latest predictions from two Forrester analysts-no real surprises on the list, IMHO. Mobile phones and netbooks will eat into demand for dedicated e-readers. Etextbooks will become more accessible, but sales will be modest. But they do say "2010 will be anything but boring." (

Others say that 2010 will probably be a tipping point for the ebook. While ebook sales are still a small fraction of total publishing sales, it is growing at an explosive rate-from $40.6 million in 2008 to $112.2 million through 3Q 2009 (according to the Association of American Publishers). The upcoming International CES (Consumer Electronics Show; later this week, promises to showcase an amazing array of new ebook reader devices.

And watch for the release of multifunction tablet PCs to challenge the single-function, dedicated ebook readers. Folks are eagerly awaiting the release of an Apple tablet-an announcement is expected during a scheduled press conference on Jan. 26. Keep an eye on Microsoft as well-reports indicate it will release the "Courier" tablet, a two-screen multimedia device.

And the best way I can think of to end this is to send you to download the free ebook, "What Matters Now," an anthology from Seth Godin. It is available at; it's been reposted at many sites around the web-he encourages folks to repost and share. Here's a post from his blog: "Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O'Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here."

So get inspired! Best wishes for the New Year.

Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.

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1/6/2011Review of the Year 2010 and Trends Watch 2011
1/3/2013Review of 2012 and Trends Watch 2013

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