I’m not saying that web 2.0 sites are going dark in 2008, but that people are going to apply these principles offline as well as online. After all, social networking, word of mouth, customer reviews and communities all existed before the web, and the offline world still exists even if it gets ignored from time to time. Without resorting to meaningless names like web 3.0, I will say that lots of the innovation that has changed the way we interact with the web is headed offline in one way or another. Smart phones are blurring the line between web and other modes of communication, technology-enabled brick and mortar stores are going to blur the line between shopping online and off, and marketers will realize that community-building around their brands is as valuable offline as it is online.
What does this have to do with promotional products? There’s gonna be lots of stuff to give away in the real world: in stores, at events and via direct mail, and smart marketers are going to leverage their online efforts offline and vice versa.