Wetpaint Announces Top 2008 Trends and Topics in Social Publishing and Predictions for 2009

Here you will find awards for the most popular topics and personalities online for 2008 and predictions for the emerging trends of 2009. From Miley to the L Word and True Blood to Little Big Planet, this is your online trend watch.

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with fansites for shows like the new 90210 and the coming revival of 21 Jumpstreet.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) January 5, 2009

Voter suppression, True Blood, Join the Impact, Miley Cyrus and Dude Boobs rank among the most topics driving interest and activism online in 2008, according to Wetpaint, which hosts more than 1.2 million socially published websites. Wetpaint today announced the 2008 Top Trends and Topics in Social Publishing, as represented by the millions of contributions made by everyday Internet users on the Wetpaint network. The year's social publishing zeitgeist reveals a cultural canvas that is hot for television, games, smartphones, social causes, and education, as well as, shall we say, some unusual interests.

"I am always fascinated by the topics that rocket to popularity in any given year," said Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint. "When people create, collect, and organize content together about something they're really into, the results are always amazing - and certainly never predictable."

Based on traffic and contribution to Wetpaint sites, the top content categories in 2008 on the Wetpaint network were:
1.    TV Fansites
2.    Social Activism
3.    Gaming
4.    Smartphones
5.    Education

Even though the economy is in the doldrums, there seems to be little that stifles television fans' enthusiasm for their favorite show and actors. Wetpaint users dedicated more time to creating, collecting, and organizing television content than any other subject matter. The top television fansites were:

Top TV Fansites:
1.    True Blood
2.    Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
3.    The L Word
4.    As the World Turns
5.    CSI
6.    The Deadliest Catch
7.    Hannah Montana
8.    Dexter
9.    High School Musical
10.    House

"2008 was the year of the vampire! Because of the pop culture phenomena like True Blood and Twilight, we saw the popularity of zombies and the supernatural skyrocketed among Wetpaint users this year," said Michael Bolognino, community manager for Wetpaint. "Cultural rewind will reign supreme in 2009. We're already seeing a lot of interest in "back to the future" with fansites for shows like the new 90210 and the coming revival of 21 Jumpstreet."

Top Causes Galvanizing Social Activism:
1.    Join the Impact
2.    Voter Suppression
3.    Obama Delegates
4.    Obamapedia
5.    Save Darfur

"Its no surprise that Obama dominated the online political mindshare, but what was surprising was the surge in so-called 'flash activism,'" continued Bolognino. "2009 will see an explosion of people using the Web to organize social movements. Everyone saw what Obama did and will try to replicate it for their own cause."

This year's the best example of that trend was Join the Impact. In about a week's time, 300 simultaneous protests attracting a quarter million participants around the world were organized using Wetpaint.

Top Gaming Sites:
1.    Last Chaos
2.    Free Rider
3.    Sword of the New World
4.    Little Big Planet
5.    Fracture

"Community-based gaming was one of the hottest trends of the year," said Bolognino. "Fans were so eager to make their mark on titles like Little Big Planet and Spore that they created and contributed to Wetpaint sites months before the games even hit the shelves. And we can't forget about the MMORPGs--gamers flocked to the network to build virtual libraries of tips, tricks, and strategies for multi-player online games like Last Chaos and Sword of the New World."

Top Smartphones:
1.    T-Mobile Dash
2.    AT&T Tilt
3.    T-Mobile G1
4.    Sprint Touch
5.    HTC Mogul

While the iPhone might dominate the headlines, Smartphones continue to generate significant online chatter as Smartphone owners seek new ways to get the most from their handheld gadget.

Bolognino continued, "The Smartphone community is amazing - Smartphone users ask and answer more questions than any other community. The sites are an amazing resource. 2009 will bring even more interest to the category as the Google phone gains traction and other models make their debut at the Consumer Electronics Show."

Education
From the University of Washington School of Law to Canberra Grammar School, professors and teachers are becoming by necessity very Web 2.0-savvy. Faced with evaporating budgets, thousands of teachers extended their classroom curriculum online via free Wetpaint communities created for and with their students. They are using Wetpaint to keep students engaged and interacting with the subject matter beyond the classroom. 2009 promises more of the same as more and more professors, teachers, and students grow increasingly comfortable leveraging technology to extend their classroom interaction and learning.

The WWW: Weird, Wild, and Wonderful:
1.    Warrior Cats
2.    LOLSpeak Dictionary
3.    Dude Boobs
4.    Chuck Norris Jokes
5.    Zombie Survival & Defense

"Not a day goes by that I'm not surprised, confused, shocked, or LoLing at a new Wetpaint site," said Bolognino. "From male mammaries to Chuck Norris to Zombie survival tips, I can't even begin to imagine what 2009 will bring in terms of the weird, wild, and wonderful. The one thing I'm sure of - next year's list will be even weirder."

About Wetpaint:
Wetpaint is the leader in social publishing. With the world's largest network of over one million social sites and partnerships with major brands such as Dell, The Discovery Channel, Fox, HP, HTC, New York Giants, Showtime, and T-Mobile. Wetpaint offers the industry's most proven social publishing platform for mainstream users and businesses alike. Wetpaint is backed by Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures, and Trinity Ventures. For company information, visit wetpaint.com.

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