Hector the Connector's Internet Predictions for the New Year and Beyond

Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures
By Hector Cisneros

For more than seven years now I have written a prediction article based on what I foresee for the new year and beyond. Some of these predictions are based on my research, others are based on trends I’ve perceived (based on my experience and what I know about technology and what people want).  Other predictions come to me in flashes from the great unknown. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I will prognosticate about major changes affecting social media, SEO (aka Search Engine marketing) widespread lawsuits hitting businesses and the internet giants along with predictions about Bitcoin, terrorists, gargantuan internet breaches and much more. So, tighten your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride as we zoom towards the not so distant future and gaze into what could soon become reality.

To date, I have written seven blogs that are full blown prediction articles. I have also written another six that contain predictions, but those articles intent was more than just prognostication.    If you search our blog with the word “prediction, you will find all thirteen articles listed,   including my article called; “Are Hector the Connector Predictions Right 99.9% of The Time? You Bet!”. This article showcased how highly accurate my predictions have been. In fact, all of my predictions, (97 percent of them) have come true within the first two years of my making them. A few of the others came true three or four years later, but nevertheless, they came to pass. Only about one half of a percent are still waiting to happen. I predict this year’s predictions will fall along the same lines. Most will come to pass within 24 months, and the rest will follow suit in time.

Social Networks will Become Downright Unsocial

My first prediction for this year has to do with all the shenanigans going on in social media. When social media first emerged on the scene, it was perceived primarily as a branding tool. In fact, early on it had very little in the way of banner advertising or pay per click capabilities. Today, social media has evolved into a “news media social search engine” replete with lots of marketing tools and elements. However, today most of the social media giants have been caught misusing their responsibility to their subscribers, and because of this, they are making changes that directly affect how businesses can use their platforms. In essence, they are forcing businesses to abandon posting to the timeline and switch to paid advertising if they want to be seen. This will return social media to its branding roots with a heavy dose of pay per click/view on the side. Now companies with small budgets will have to choose to use social media as a branding tool or a paid advertising weapon.
I believe social branding will come back into vogue for social media because eventually, the social media giants will feel the pinch of businesses leaving their platforms in search for other lower cost venues. At the same time, this flight of business users will also be accompanied by an initial increase in pay per click and boosted posts to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Yes, they will see increased revenue from their paid platforms, but businesses will find that some are not cost effective and will hunt for new internet advertising avenues.

If the Suit Fits, Wear it
Courtesy of Pixabay

My second prediction is based on the lawsuits, which raised their ugly heads in 2017 and 2018. We have already seen increases in lawsuits against large corporations, private educational institutions, and large internet and tech companies over the past two years.  This will only increase in 2019 and beyond.  Leading the way will be lawsuits for the lack of ADA and GDPR compliance. We have already seen the increases in ADA lawsuits. Now we are already seeing court actions over the new GDPR law that just went into effect in July of this year. You can see the beginnings of this by reading in the Verge that there are already GDPR lawsuits already filed against Facebook and Google for 8.8 billion dollars. These highly public lawsuits for ADA and GDPR compliance will finally prompt companies to upgrade their websites to take care of these compliance issues, but not before the financial carnage takes its toll on high profile players. The good news is that it will also prompt companies to tighten up their privacy and data security while forcing them to be more user-friendly. The hottest new job at these targeted corporations will be Chief Data Protection Officer.
Fake News – All Day All the Time

The 2016 presidential election ushered in the term “fake news” in a big way. Today's fake news is ramped up on all media venues including the internet where everything goes. I predict a significant backlash against media companies that are caught spreading fake news. I also believe the analog TV industry will also take a significant hit because they keep expanding the length of their commercials and shortening their shows. Also, 5G cell service is on its way that will make smartphone and internet TV viewing and videocasting the norm. These items should be the straws that break the TV networks backs as people begin to exercise their choice towards internet TV. This will be the year where people recognize that the internet is just one giant media distribution hub (a bunch of superstitions) and that all major players are media companies. They will begin to understand that media companies should be subject to the same scrutiny as TV stations once were. These issues along with that of a viable alternative to cable, the desire for convenience and the ability to be in control, will drive people to cut the cable cord in large number so that by 2020 more people will be using internet TV than cable.

The Big Bad Boys
My next prediction has to do with two of the internet giants. It's not based on evidence, just on the reality that they are the biggest targets and that their size makes it easy for them to make mistakes. The next 24 months will see either Facebook and Google (or both) being accused of wrongdoing. Google will be called on the carpet for excessive bot traffic, unfairly manipulating their search engine algorithms and cheating on their paid platforms. Facebook will get in trouble for manipulating the news feed via their algorithm and favoring specific political points of view and will also see scrutiny of their paid platforms. This isn’t something new, just deja vu all over again.

Its Time for more Terror

You haven’t been hearing a lot about terrorists using the internet as much lately since most of ISIS was defeated, but I predict that this is about to change. Fanatics have a way of coming back worse than they were before and these fanatics are tech savvy. Expect them to come up with new ways to use social media, online gaming, and social chat. Not only will they recruit members and spread propaganda, but they will create terror by interfering with internet institutions, like search engines, social media, and by directing attacks on financial institutions.

Breach Births

Every year, for more than a decade, we have seen an increase in the number of data breaches occurring in the US and abroad. The coming year will be no difference except for one thing. Each new breach makes it easier for cybercriminals to better mimic their victims’ profiles, making it harder for you to stop them from impersonating you. You will be able to change your password and add two-step authentication, but that won’t stop them from having enough of your information to allow them to create fake accounts in your name. Stopping and disabling fake accounts will become the new battlefield. Expect to see widespread large data breaches because most companies cannot keep up with ever more sophisticated hack attacks and because most internet users are still not taking the threat very seriously. Those who have heeded my past warnings have beefed up their security be in the safest position. You can click here to see a broad range of my latest blogs on security.

How Intelligent is Artificial Intelligence?

Courtesy of Max Pixel
My next prediction has to do with Artificial Intelligence. I believe AI will take a giant leap forward by 2020. You will begin to see AI control more and more of our everyday lives as we relinquish repetitive work to AI. This includes automation in marketing, home appliances, distribution, vehicle controls, and military usage. Expect to see autonomous robots that can do a lot more than just hold a conversation.  In fact, I foresee AI and robotics (especially drones) merging in a big way this year. Businesses will also begin to extensively use AI to run their businesses. This will include using AI to create strategies, make buying and hiring decisions and more. The medical industry will begin widespread use of AI for predicting illnesses and prescribing medications.

Show Me the Money

Blockchain cryptocurrencies will come of age in the next 24 months as banks, governments, and other institutions begin widespread adoption of this technology. This trend will continue as people discover that they like the ability to more privately transact business (without being tracked) and the fact that this technology is in an arena that is filled with opportunities (and perils). Also, expect to see blockchain credit card companies come into being with leaders like Bitcoin and others plowing the way within the next 24 months.

Black Friday for Days on End
Courtesy of Max Pixel

In 2018, online Black Friday sales blew past brick and mortar Black Friday sales in a big way. Holiday eCommerce sales will continue to dwarf brick and mortar sales over the next 24 months, but don’t expect to see online sales outpace brick and mortar sales anytime soon. In fact, I foresee online sales helping to increase brick and mortar sales as the mega-retailers find ways to make eCommerce more local. Expect to see more online ordering, including local pickup because it will save retailers and consumers lots of money on shipping. Local retail and eCommerce sales grow with the economy.  So, as long as the economy is humming, so will sales. However, I do see more and more people taking advantage of the global access to products where they buy more directly from the source verse buying from a broker/distributor. E-commerce is making this possible. As more and more people will buy online, we will see Black Friday and Cyber Monday morph into a month-long online event with the sales released in phases. This will help online retailers deal with the logistics of distribution and delivery while allowing them to keep sales churning longer by smoothing out the buying season.

Tech Tock

5G cell service will finally become available and will become the new standard within the next 24 months. Its capabilities and advantages include faster data speeds and lower latency. Expect to eventually see download speed in the gigabit range and latency’s of less than five milliseconds (compared to megabits and 50+ milliseconds. This new standard will be what drives the IoT market (internet of things) and will usher in the Smartphone TV generation. 5G will be the nail in the coffin for the old analog TV networks and could even spell the beginning of a curtain call for the radio networks as well. Expect to see Mobile carriers and smartphone manufacturers touting 5g compatible smartphones way before the 5G networks are up and running.  This new standard will take a few years to be implemented and the new standard finalized.

Dick Tracy comes of Age
Courtesy of Flickr

Smart watches have been around for more than a decade (way before the Apple iWatch) and are becoming a mainstay of the tech-savvy public; Health trackers also have been around for even longer starting with mechanical devices and evolving into heart rate monitors and then to multi-feature health trackers. Not long ago I predicted that their prices would drop, they would gain lots of new features, and their battery life would improve. This has come to pass for the most part. Battery life has not increased much, because as you add features you use more power, and those two things seem to cancel each other out. Having said that, I believe that all standard smartwatches of the future will include health tracker features. The control chips will have health tracker features built-in and watches will eventually become smartphones on your wrist (like in the Dick Tracy cartoons). With the health trend that is emerging, more and more people will be paying attention to their health. Smartwatches with health tracker features will become the defacto watches for the tech-savvy and health conscience Babe Boomers and Gen Xer’s.

Free Working the Web eBooks

My last prognostication is more of an announcement than a prediction. Working the Web to Win will produce a series of free e-books for our readers to enjoy and share. These eBooks will include titles like “How to protect your Digital Domain,” Blogging for Business and Personal Success,” “The Principles of Successful Social Media Marketing,” “Understanding the Evolution of SEO”, “Content Marketing Tactics and Strategies” and ‘Using Pay Per Click for Lead Generation success.” We are producing these eBooks as a way of giving back to our readers and as a way of thanking them for making our blog a success. Keep an eye out for additional announcement dates and make sure you share them with friends.   

I have a blessed life. I get to help people succeed with their internet marketing while I get to learn and explore the internet, which is mankind’s greatest invention to date. My annual prediction articles are meant to help our readers think about the opportunities and dangers that our modern world provides. My purpose with these articles is to expound the fact that we live in a world of constant and rapid change — a world that is full of new wonders, new frontiers, perils, and excitement. I want to thank all of our readers and the companies we ghostwrite for, for giving us the opportunity to educate and entertain you. Our success would not have occurred without you. Thank you, and God bless all in our audience. May you have a Great Holiday season, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, this and every year to come.  

That's my opinion and wish; I look forward to reading yours.

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This article provides my predictions for 2019 and beyond, including my prognostication about
changes in social media, SEO, Pay per Click, internet compliance lawsuits, terrorist attacks, Internet breaches, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Black Friday Cyber Monday sales, 5G cellular, blockchain, cryptocurrency credit, Smartwatches and more. Lastly, this article also provides links to many other blog posts, including my previous prediction articles and links to the accompanying BlogTalkRadio show.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”

1 comment:

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