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2011 predictions: data visualizations, location-based networking and Quora

Photo courtesy of kirk kephart via Flickr

It’s the beginning of the year and that means everyone is making resolutions, coming up with predictions and trying to forecast what’s ahead in 2011. While the most exciting news is usually the most unpredictable, there are some things worth looking forward to in 2011. At CisionBlog, we’ve jolted our bloggers out of their holiday stupors and asked them to share their insights about what’s in store for 2011. Over the next week, we’ll include some insight about a particular trend to keep an eye on during 2011. Last week, Heidi predicted hyperlocal, broadcast and digital education would move to the forefront and Jay discussed new platforms and engagement. Earlier this week,  Brandon talked about SMO, videos and mobile, and today Andrea takes a stab at data visualizations, Facebook’s location-based networking efforts and Quora.

Data visualizations
Some people can look at a chunk of numbers and know exactly what they mean and are able to derive meaning from those alone. For others like myself, trends and insights are much easier to understand when they’re packaged into a visual. In 2011, expect to see more and more and more social media data being condensed into imagery that can help determine trends, pinpoint influencers and direct strategy for the coming months. Jeff Cohen at the Social Media B2B blog outlined some examples of how companies are creating images of metrics and you have to admit, they’re pretty cool.

Facebook delving into location-based services
While some might disagree, location-based networking services could emerge as a more viable tool for brands and businesses. Foursquare is the granddaddy of these sorts of networks, but expect Facebook to dive deeper into its location-based initiatives. With $450 million from Goldman Sachs sitting in its back pocket, you have to think Facebook will bolster its location-based offerings to compete with Foursquare and Gowalla.

Quora
OK, I admit it – I wrote this post after the recent Quora explosion. However, in the days since Quora emerged as the hot, new popular girl at school, it’s become clear it could have some staying power past the initial buzz. It’s a place to connect with experts and ask and answer questions answered relevant to your industry. You can both establish yourself as an expert in your field or connect with people who already are. Quora’s website described its goal to “the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.” It will undoubtedly evolve during 2011 but could become another invaluable social media network by the end of the year.

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Cision's research staff makes over 20,000 media updates to Cision's Media Database each day! For more updates and other thought leadership in the industry, follow @Media_Moves.

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