‘Tis the season for indulging that all-too-human need to parse the past and predict the future. In 2012, we kept an eye on six important trends that helped round out our bevy of localization services. As the year draws to a close and 2013 looms, we decided to revisit those trends and see just where we’re headed.
1. Gaming: In 2012, we stressed the importance of smart game localization. Good thing we did because, in 2013, the market for games seems destined to grow and the growth potential will probably come from developing nations.
2. eCommerce: In 2012, we published articles on eCommerce, an increasingly important revenue source for business, in both our blog and our newsletter. In 2013, eCommerce will continue to grow. Like games, initiatives to enter new markets will fuel that growth. According to Forrester, the focus on BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will shift as eMarketers explore the potential of countries like Bangladesh, Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia.
3. Search Engine Optimization and Marketing SEO and SEM, increasingly the core of effective marketing strategies, drive consumer traffic to web sites. The primary objective: Keeping consumers engaged through savvy relationship-based exchanges that go well beyond a simple transaction. Businesses are just beginning to master the ABCs of social media. In 2013, one lesson will be key: both your SEO/SEM strategy and design should be multilingual.
4. eLearning and Training: IT innovation to improve the “container” and innovations in quality “content” have driven the demand for eLearning and training solutions for global businesses. Clearly, for these businesses, meeting localization challenges is a critical element of the eLearning and training programs. In 2013, content developers will need to get on board with HTML5 as training migrates from PCs to tablet, pad and mobile devices. As for content, the Tin Can API, a new eLearning standard, is the talk of eTown. According to eLearning guru Craig Weiss: “TinCan will be huge. How big? I’m talking seven alarm fire which cannot be extinguished.”
5. Applications: For the past few years including 2012, the biggest news in apps was probably accessibility via the cloud. As ubiquitous as the computing cloud is, some significant differences emerge when you take a bird’s eye view of the global IT nebula.
6. Multimedia: In 2012, we’ve devoted bandwidth and resources to the vast subject of multimedia. A peek at the upcoming IEEE Computer Society suggests that “Multimedia for Humanity” might trend in 2013.
Trends come and go, but taking the time to reflect on the past and imagine the future reveals the deep and dynamic interconnectivity between technological innovation and purely human aspirations.
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