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2011 predictions: hyperlocal, broadcast & digital education

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. Today we take a look at what to expect from the media and education in the coming year.

Growth of Hyperlocal: The Internet allowed us to communicate globally and now, partially fueled by the growth of geo-based programs like Foursquare, social media is taking some of us in the other direction: hyperlocal. Traditional media has taken notice and launched some of the most popular hyperlocal sites on the web. Check out Patch (from AOL Inc.), TribLocal (from Tribune Company/Chicago Tribune), EveryBlock (from Microsoft Corp. and NBC) and examiner.com to see how some of the most popular hyperlocal sites are growing – and fast (according to Compete.com, Patch alone has grown month-over-month from just over 50,000 unique visitors per month in January 2010 to over 1.2 million in November.)

Broadcast, both Big and Small: Video has become a more important content format for communicators than ever… and we’re in quite the pickle over how to produce our content: While televisions are getting bigger with HD as practically standard, content is being consumed on our smart phones and iPads on small screens with consumers impatient with long download times. We need to produce video that looks great big and can be comprehended small – and downloaded quickly when requested. Not an easy job, but somebody’s got to do it.

You CAN Learn Social Media:  Social media classes and programs are springing up all over universities… from media programs to communications to marketing. Some are incorporating it into current curriculums, others have created entire degreed programs. (UC, Irvine Extension just launched 3 new online courses in social media for professionals, Birmingham City University in the UK offers a Master’s Degree in social media.) More and more students will have the opportunity to enter the workforce with knowledge of Internet marketing, web analytics and social media.

 Stay tuned for more predictions from my fellow Cision bloggers later this week.

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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