Realtime PR. Piaras cites the rise of "realtime PR." I think it's important to have some sort of brand alert running actively in the background. Real brand damage can rear up and blast you out of the water any time during the day or night. Someone needs to be watching and listening. I trust a series of crawlers and one of them sends me a direct text message that's powerful enough to awaken me.
Lifestreaming. Twitter has reinforced active narcissism in hundreds of people I follow. Others want to entrust machine intelligence (like their shoes, heating oil tanks or weight scales) to share information with the world through specialised networks. Facebook has blown the doors off privacy that those born before broadband used to enjoy as default. Now the default is "sharing-on" and that's creating a whole new dimension of popular culture.
Location-based services. I like Foursquare for the gaming element but find Google Latitude much more useful. It just seems like a more worthwhile thing to develop a profile in Google than to build followers in Foursquare.
Augmented Reality. You don't need an iPhone to see layers of information around your current location but an iPhone's presentation layer is much better than most others I've used. I'm used to controlling screens and that means toggling information I want when it's fit for purpose. However, I've seen some clever augmented reality working well for friends on iPhones so there's obviously a lot of room for multiple kinds of on-screen presentation.
Digital as a segmentation tool. Piaras has a cautionary note. "No matter what a company ends up using--Twitter, blogs, Bebo--it it's not prepared to engage with people on these channels, then nine times out of ten it is doomed to fail." I think that means trusting a spokesperson to engage in the conversation. And that means sorting out time for the task to be a priority as a part of a job description. Getting that kind of awareness in the C-Suite is often one of the most difficult challenges. And because some in management would rather block newly emerging channels of communication (i.e., Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube) instead of leveraging them for better client services, you could say that Ireland is sitting on the banks of a fast-flowing real-time river of information. It will take a few more years for the majority of companies to jump in and swim with the flow.
Catherine O'Mahony -- "Online PR enthusiast predicts the next big thing after Twitter" in the Sunday Business Post, 24 Jan 10. Piaras thinks Foursquare is next in the hype cycle.