As we approach the end of the year, all the news shows and media resources love to look back at the current year trends/themes. So, in keeping with media tradition, it is time to look back and think forward. Here are three things I that believe impacted content management in 2010 and three predictions for 2011.

When I first sat down to write this, I wondered if I could write something from the perspective of a somewhat cynical elder statesman like Andy Rooney of 60 minutes. I also thought about a Letterman style top 10. On Monday night while watching the Patriots run a football clinic against the Jets, I even thought about an NFL style version that would show the picks of CMS contributors for the season and keep score.  

However, in the technology world, it seems “events” are what people remember as product releases or acquisitions or mass adoption numbers that seem to indicate something significant. And when it comes to content management technology I like to keep it simple and think about 3 areas of focus: 

  1. Sourcing of Good Content 
  2. Having a place to publish & manage it
  3. Delivery/Consumption

Looking Back at 2010

So keeping with the law of 3s, the events from the past year that impacted the content management industry are:

1. Launch of the iPad

This has truly been a game changer for delivery of content and the way consumers and business’ think about consuming and interacting with content. There’s only 1 word to describe the impact of the iPad in 2010 -- and that’s WOW!

It's impact is felt beyond the Apple store and consumer to the enterprise and web design. Only if Steve Jobs could clone himself and revolutionize the auto industry, energy or political problems in the world just as he has done for movies, music, computing and mobile technology.  

2. Mainstream Hype of Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn….crowd sourcing and social sharing… it’s all been around a few years, but in 2010 we really saw the mainstream explosion of social media. Whether you talk about sourcing content, publishing it or delivery, it better be social and somehow be tied to Facebook.

I also think we witnessed the beginning of Facebook’s ultimate world domination surpassing 500 million users and becoming a dominant platform for commerce and advertising (as opposed to just another channel).

3. Release of Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010

This product release has had so much buzz and has gotten everyone’s attention in the enterprise, media and service industries. Organizations are finally thinking about upgrading their desktops and servers or moving to the cloud all together. SharePoint 2010 has been so hyped this year that many online media sources and consulting organizations have dedicated focuses on Microsoft SharePoint because of the upgrade cycle and continued rapid adoption.  

This product release is also important because of the social capabilities that will force large enterprises to leverage social technology on a mass scale in the corporate environment.

Predicting 2011

Now 3 predictions for 2011 aside from Facebook’s continued world dominance:

1. Release of Office 365

This evolution of Microsoft’s current BPOS offering will signify the resurgence of Microsoft’s dominance.   Yes, I said it. Microsoft who has been the sleeping giant of the past decade will finally wake up as more and more enterprises shift their collaboration, messaging and knowledge workers desktops to the cloud.

And that new Microsoft’s Kinect gaming system with no controllers is definitely game changing as well.   The only thing Microsoft won’t continue to dominate is the mobile handset market. 

2. Acquisition of Foursquare by Google

This event will focus everyone’s attention on location based services. While 2010 saw social media become a wide spread term and Facebook’s dominance (and release of Facebook Places), 2011 will see Foursquare being acquired by Google. And we will witness the mass adoption of location based services and advertising unlike anything we’ve ever seen.  

Every content related technology inside and outside the corporate world will have location based services baked in. Walk into the mall -- and someone will be tracking you, your shopping habits, offering you deals and more.    

It’s already happening, but Google really needs Foursquare if they want to compete with Facebook. This of course will see every major news outlet spread fear and panic of individual personal privacy. 

3. Rise of the CDN

The growing amount of digital information (from pictures, streaming video, moving to the cloud, etc… ) will focus our attention to the world of content delivery networks. This is my dark horse for 2011 as I rarely read anything on CDNs. The fact is that many companies cannot conduct online commerce at scale without a content delivery network like Akamai or Limelight.

While no one is talking about content delivery now, in 2011 CDN growth will explode beyond anyone’s predictions as internet and smart phones grow exponentially. Perhaps one of these major vendors will be acquired which will also turn the media’s attention back towards the growth of information, the congestion of the internet, and the importance of CDNs to the internet as a whole.

So there you have it. Now I’m going to Vegas and placing my bets!  Happy holidays and happy new year to all!