This post was originally included as part of an ebook that I published alongside the launch of my book, Tradestream, entitled “Tradestreaming and the Future of Investing”. The content was so good I wanted everyone to have access to it. This one's from Darrell Heaps, co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Q4 Web Systems, a leading-edge provider of online investor relations solutions. ************ The social web now offers companies and individuals unprecedented capabilities to access information, research and collaboration on a global scale. As we move forward, I believe we will continue to see adoption across companies, investors and traders of all shapes and sizes. Here are my top 5 predictions for the future. 1. The future is open, privacy is being redefined and the social graph of the web is going to continue to grow. This won’t be in a straight line as there will be push back, however over time the world is becoming more and more open. 2. Shareholders will use the social web to influence proxy votes. Moxyvote.com is just the start at enabling the retail shareholder vote. Companies will need to use the same channels and tools to influence their shareholders to vote how they want. Obama’s use of social media in the 2008 US election is the model that all politicians must follow now - this same model is coming to proxy votes in the near future. 3. Traders and Investors will create and use social networks for real-time research and investing. These trading/investing networks will become a key element that drives the market. Companies that accept this trend and work to become influencers inside of these channels will benefit the most. 4. Companies will use the social web to influence the perception of their company in the market. Early adopters are proving this theory today and their peers are beginning to follow. Companies will be required to use these channels in order to remain relevant and to effectively compete for capital. 5. Real-time investor sentiment will replace traditional investor perception studies. We can see this trend in non-financial markets now with online surveys and how sentiment is measured across social media. As the majority of investors move online, companies will embrace that it is more efficient and meaningful to measure perceptions (aka investor sentiment) through social media channels rather than traditional methods. *—> Like what you see? Hey! Don’t forget to subscribe to the free Tradestreaming newsletter for updates, tips, and special offers An experienced entrepreneur with a history of successfully starting, building and selling communication based companies, Darrell Heaps is a co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Q4 Web Systems.