The REport

Happy New Year!  As we begin what the United Nations dubbed the International Year of Forests, it is fun to take a figurative “hike” to reflect on the past year (read: iPad, Facebook) and predict what is to come.  According to those handicapping the annual “glimpse of the future” Consumer Electronics Show this week, it will be the year of the tablets.

Last year, a fixture on many tablets was Facebook, the social media phenomenon that was the top search term in 2010 and the most visited site (beating out Google and Yahoo!).  The company, which just raised $500 million in funding, is looking to be the hands down favorite this year as well.

Speaking of which, what are your hands holding?  According to a recent survey from Staples, it is likely your cell phone and not the hand of your loved one.  Nearly half of small business owners responding said they spend more time at work than with their families.  However, according to a MediaPost story, some credit technology with giving them the freedom to be home more often.  Do smart phones keep you closer to home or work?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.  Many people begin the year resolving to get in shape!  According to a new survey, 72 percent of respondents say they hope to exercise more in 2011, presumably to trim the fat.  If this is you, beware the Internet, as chocolatiers are finding great success luring customers using social media.

If your resolution focuses more on staying in touch and building stronger relationships, Skype may make it easier.  The Internet phone company has added two-way live video calls to iPhone and iPad. Chat on!

Curious if your tweets add any value to your followers?  Participate in the Who Gives A Tweet study which aims to give people feedback on their 140-character posts.  What do you find most valuable? If it is links to articles, one blogger already discovered, context is king.

Stay tuned for my favorite things of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. If you are interested in staying up to date on the new gadgets, stay connected via social media.

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