Web Watch

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As another new year rolls around, it's time to pull out the crystal ball and forecast how the Internet will evolve in 2008. Here's how some industry thought leaders responded:

In 2008 and beyond, discrete channels will matter less than the overall brand experiences. Now, audiences expect new kinds of experiences that they can choose on their terms. This is going to force traditional agency models give way to a new, truly integrated model. (Larry Mickelberg, Digitas Health)

The rapid evolution of online video, and increased consumer consumption, will continue to drive investments in sponsored video content and pre-roll ads. Also the demand for health news and health education videos will continue to drive the need for content from domain experts. (Mark Bard, Manhattan Research)

 I've seen a significant movement from traditional media dollars to interactive in the last two quarters of 2007 that suggests a multiplier shift. (Chris Schroeder, The Health Central Network)
How do you succeed when you're losing control? In 2008 I think we'll see new opportunities for those groups who actually allow their target audiences to select and receive information on their terms. (Alex Frost, Sermo)

I think the Internet will continue to evolve as the most efficient way to reach target audiences. The evolution of user-generated content will allow health web providers to infuse the user voice into custom programs, resulting in greater user affinity and a more desired result for marketers. (Marjorie Martin, About.com)

I think we will see podcasted audio programming more widely adopted as more personal devices integrate audio, and as programming continues to advance. (Kent R. Anderson, The New England Journal of Medicine)

Dan McKillen is president of the HealthDay news service

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