Social is and will remain an important topic in tech and tech M&A. We covered it briefly in our January webinar, and an overview of that information is below. Keep an eye out for a complete spotlight report coming from us soon, where we really drill down into social, its impact, and its significance. In the meantime, let me highlight a couple of important things from my January presentation on social.

Madison Avenue figured out how to seduce customers into buying cigarettes, clothing, and whiskey through magazine ads. But what happens when the magazines are all gone? Can major brands market effectively through the current social networking channels? How do we extract the viable business models from the current buzzword arms race? I think we can all agree that breakthrough hasnt been made yet.

Personally, I believe that the next wave of the internet will focus on interests, rather than connections. This simple idea, combined with real-time location data, will drive a revolution in consumer behavior.

Marketers will need to understand sentiment. already bought Radian6 to help solve this problem, but there is more work ahead.

Marketers will be able to automate their campaigns. Oracle bought Eloqua, but there is more work here as well.

Marketers will engage customers by reaching out in the context of real, current interests. This is the next frontier, the area where we will see the most interesting developments in social in 2013.

Just in passing, I recently returned from Europe. I visited five European cities in five days, and I encountered an innovative social marketing firm in every single one. That's exciting. The world is definitely flat in this area, so stay tuned.