By: Dominic Wagner on 18-01-2018 in Fun, Future, Music, Politics, SEO, Technology

Once upon a time, 2017 was the clean slate we all needed to recover from the charlie foxtrot of a year that was 2016 (the dawn of the post-Prince era). Unfortunately, that slate was quickly filled with a number of events that ranged from ridiculously bad to numbingly cataclysmic.

Life in 2017 did have its bright spots but overall it was like biting into an overly hot chip — impatience led to brief satisfaction quickly followed by excruciating pain and the need for an immediate exit plan.

Just like hot chips, life is all about timing. For those who have made it through each misstep, blind side and WTF moment of 2017, 2018 is the perfectly warm chip. Yes, it will taste like soggy cardboard eventually but for now, it is still an indulgence full of potential, and wondrous-oily-carbohydrate goodness.

So let’s all take a moment to look back and ketchup on some of the bad and the ugly of 2017 and then rejoice in the current fantasy land of 2018 and all the shiny new objects it has on the horizon, both online and IRL.

Pass the chicken salt please.


2017 countdown: 10

Bad Chip: Fidget Spinners in 2017

Fidget spinners
 

Life is full of glorious mysteries. Since the dawn of time people have looked to the stars and marveled at the vast unknown that permeates their existence. And in the midst of this vast unknowing people started creating things from the elements, descended from those stars, around them.

From Tickle Me Elmos to SPAM, our creations are vast and we don’t always know which of them will catch on and spread virally among legions of consumers. Fidget Spinners are one of those curious inventions that will go down in the history of potentially useless things. Some folks swear by them, some folks swear at them. Either way they have definitely put their spin on 2017.

Good Chip: Holograms in 2018

Holograms are real now
 

This is not a drill. This is a HOLOGRAM. The visual solution British company Kino-mo has developed a product called Hpervsn which is basically a wall full of Fidget Spinners that can generate a Holographic 3-D effect with custom animated displays seemingly floating in midair.

Effect huh? Seemingly huh? When it comes to holograms if your eye balls are telling your brain that Tupac is floating in midair to sell you THUG LIFE cologne, done deal, it’s a legit hologram. Technical innovations can change science fiction into fact in the blink of an eye. 2018 is showing some real promise in forcing instagram to rebrand to keep up with the technology. Help me Obi Wan!


2017 countdown: 9

Bad Chip: Facebook Experiments in 2017

 

When Facebook tinkers with its design people start to hold their breath. Publishers had a huge bite taken out of their organic reach when Facebook created a separate “explore” channel for news publishers who do not pay to reach the larger Facebook audience in the general news feed, which is a mixture of photos and posts from friends family and organisations whose pages people have liked.

While the full range of this experiment was limited to Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia, the idea of paying for all placements was enough to send shudders through the industries where Facebook has become an essential platform for them to do business.

Good Chip: Facebook Experiments with its Properties in 2018

 

Facebook is streamlining its Snapchat-like features by creating tools that allow users (currently just in Brazil) to cross-post their Instagram Stories to WhatsApp’s Status feature. Taking advantage of the increasingly dominant Instagram by adding new features over multiple platforms creates more opportunities for content creators to capture some eyeballs.

If Facebook makes this feature official, users can create one Story on Instagram and then share it on Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Great news if your Snapchat-esque content is drumming up conversions.


2017 countdown: 8

Bad Chip: True Colours of Commerce in 2017

 

The internet was meant to usher in a new age of transparency for pricing. But the reality is, the internet has turned some retailers into super-mutant e-commerce magicians who have the merciless ability to wield the dark arts of illusion and suggestion. Companies have a long list of psychological techniques that they deploy to exploit our hardwired humanity and lead us to buy more than we want for more than we were initially willing to pay. Simply adding the word free to an ad-campaign can lead people to accept a horrible deal.

By directing our attention with simplistic cues, online stores can guide our actions and lead us to purchase their highest-margin products by placing them in locations where we are most likely to look. Aggressive industry leaders can muscle independent bloggers and reviewers into favouring their products over others by offering them a piece of the action or just buying their website outright. 2017 revealed that the shops know more about you than you do.

Good Chip: Fake News in 2018

 

There is a war on the abundance of viral misinformation or “Fake News”, that is placed into the social media mainstream to influence, confuse and distract online communities. Even internet advertising legends like Larry Kim are weighing in with experiments to measure just how easy and effective giving a message an elevated digital platform can be. Engagement with posts featuring fake news stories from fake news websites can rival more established, legitimate news websites posts. Lies and facts have access to the same audience. What’s the real x-factor? The audience.

In 2018, being able to think for yourself and meet the challenge of weighing up all the information (and misinformation) you can is crucial. Being a critical thinker isn’t just the sole benefit of pursuing a liberal arts degree. It’s a matter of survival. Perhaps fake news might go the way of reality television and take its place as a form of mildly entertaining fiction that serves as perfect awkward banter material for filling the worse awkward silences that crop up in conversations with people you would rather not be talking to.

 


2017 countdown: 7

Bad Chip: Natural Disasters in 2017

Natural disasters 2017
 

2017 was brutalised by Mother Nature in a year that felt the full impact of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and landslides. From the Caribbean to Texas, Bangladesh to Mexico, every corner of the globe left last year with some deep scars, many lost lives and the difficult road to recovery ahead.

Good Chip: Supernatural Disasters in 2018

Stranger Things

“You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather” -Andre 3000

Humans developed storytelling as a way to cope with aspects of the world that are beyond our control. The forces of nature in all their beauty and violence became the gods that inhabit mythological tales and folklore.

No matter how much we advance as a species, the act of developing stories to confront and process the terror of being a fragile living wad of flesh scrambling across a temperamental blue orb floating in hostile space, will always be part of our programming.

Netflix is the modern day campfire, hopefully it stays commercial free.


2017 countdown: 6

Bad Chip: That Great Gig in the Sky Got a Whole Lot Greater

The great gig in the sky
 

RIP Charles Bradley/ Tom Petty/ Malcolm Young/ Black Sabbath (Alive but no longer LIVE)/ Lil Peep/ Fats Domino/ Chester Bennington/ Fresh Kid Ice/ Prodigy/ Greg Allman/ Chris Cornell/ Chuck Berry/ Joni Sledge/ Al Jarreau

Good Chip: SoundCloud Lives in 2018

Soundcloud: not floating up to heaven yet
 

Perhaps only Soundcloud’s founder Alex Ljung and possible saviour Chance the Rapper know the real truth behind why the ailing music platform is still around in 2018. Regardless of what the story is, one of independent music’s greatest digital resources has lived to fight another day.

SoundCloud’s survival means more working artists outside of the mainstream get more opportunities to be discovered and fill in the massive gaps left by some of the legends who didn’t make it with us into 2018.


2017 countdown: 5

Bad Chip: Cryptocurrency in 2017

Bitcoin in 2017
 

“Hulk no understand new techno-coins. Techno-babble and hype-cycle hurt Hulk head. Hulk smash!”

Good Chip: Cryptocurrency in 2018

Bitcoin in 2018
 

“Internet 3.0 Hulk friend. Blockchain and machine learning development promises more decentralised economic future. Hulk maybe not smash in 2018.”


2017 countdown: 4

Bad Chip: 2 x The Character Count on Twitter in 2017

 

Twitter expanded its character count from 140 to 280 to increase user numbers. Bad writers prove that you can kill one bird with many stones.

Good Chip: Google expands the length of meta description tags in 2018 | I Love 320

 

2018 will be the first year of working with Google’s much-expanded 320 character limit for meta descriptions in search results. The change allows businesses to use additional text to promote their brands and provide potential customers with more useful information and avoid deadly ellipses – search’s version of the wrap it up award ceremony applause effect.


2017 countdown: 3

Bad Chip: Static Content in 2017

 

Hi {your first name here}

Did that piece of static content get your attention? Maybe. But unless you’re a 9-month old baby it didn’t engage you. The future might be all about mastering automation but 2017 revealed how annoying it is when a robot learns your email address and your first name and doesn’t try to get to know you any better than that. (nice try spicymeatballsub@tastysubs.com aka Bartholomew)

Good Chip – Dynamic Content in 2018

 

2018 will prove itself as a year that good marketing practices will deliver the best results to engage an audience and in time multiply conversions. Brands know that to compete in a content-saturated market they need to stand out and deliver a more personalised, tailor-made experience for their customers. Today it’s not a surprise for a customer to be catered to at the top of the funnel. With the abundance of data out there, it’s now an expectation. With the giants of e-commerce like Netflix and Amazon leading the way by abandoning generic content for extremely targeted suggestions based on user data the move for all digital marketing to move toward a “Minority Report”-esque shopping experience is the next logical step.


2017 countdown: 2

Bad Chip: Equality in 2017

Time's Up, 2017
 

In 2017 far too many industries proved themselves environments that were unsupportive of women’s basic human rights. It’s a problem that came to a head with many men being implicated – or at the very least, credibly accused – for abusing their positions of power and creating hostile, dangerous work environments unfit for anyone to have to endure silently for the sake of job security. Your time’s up 2017.

Good Chip: Equality in 2018

Australia said yes
 

About damn time.


2017 countdown: 1

Bad Chip: Intelligence in 2017

 

 

Good Chip: Artificial Intelligence in 2018

AI in 2018
 

The future is upon us. The influence of pop culture and science fiction make it difficult not to suspend our fears about the implications of A.I. as it continues to improve and evolve.
Are the all the robot apocalypse movies filled with conflict sheerly for the entertainment value of witnessing ourselves being challenged by our own creativity run wild?

Ultimately humanity’s evolution is the real question at hand. As we implement new possibilities in our lives that have the potential to reshape our world, what lessons will we carry over from the age of the great apes to ensure our survival?

It would appear that A.I. is destined to be a part of that evolution at some stage. Let’s hope 2018 keeps the bots on our side. One day they could be president.


What are you looking forward to in 2018? What are you glad to say good riddance to from 2017? Let us know in the comments below.