Jan 132013

Image courtesy of santacruz.hubpages.com

Last week John Battelle published his 2013 predictions in technology. He’s been doing it for a decade, and even when he’s off the mark the predictions are thought-provoking.

Plus he’s honest in grading himself. In 2012 he claims a score of 7 right, 5 wrong with two pushes.  This year is another great crop, looking at Google vs. Apple, Facebook becoming more open, Twitter recommitting to developers and a lot more. It’s good stuff, check it out.

If I had to choose the one prediction that would change the consumer Internet the most, it would be this one:

– The Internet enables frictionless (but accountable) payments, enabling all manner of business models that previously have been unnaturally retarded. Closest to my heart is payment for content, of course, but beyond media, 2013 will be seen as the year a number of forces converged to push paid services to its rightful place next to advertising as a core driver of the Internet economy.

Why? Because if consumers paid for more services online, it would clarify the relationship online between services and revenue. I’ve written previously about the current quid pro quo relationship online, in which consumers surrender information about themselves that is used to target advertising.

It would be healthy for consumers to choose what services are worth paying for, and for online companies to diversify their revenue model beyond advertising. If micropayments become truly simple, it could also be a huge shot in the arm for publishers. For big ones like the New York Times and the Washington Post, and for little ones like Work, Wine and Wheels.

My personal prediction is that 2013 is the year more of my clients fully integrate their sales automation packages into the content marketing and social media campaigns we manage for them. I hope to be able to share some information on that front throughout the year.

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