Thursday, December 27, 2007

What will happen next: Rounding up the 30 best predictions for New Media 2008

These are 30 of the best predictions about the internet business in 2008 that I have had the opportunity to read this week. As I mentioned in January 2007, a phase of consolidation is on in the web 2.0 field, this BBC story makes some interesting points about it, and I see no reasons to think otherwise.

I only wish that more people get a chance to make a better living through online publishing.
So far the internet is dominated by a few of the so-called Plantations (thank you Nick Carr).

1. Giant Blog Publishing House Takes Birth: TechCrunch + GigaOm + VentureBeat + Read/Write Web

2. Cash Rich Media buys more into successful blogs.

3. Clicks & Bricks back in vogue, in true web 2.0 style, of course.

4. Books are very much in ( self publishing, print on, small magazines, rss subscriptions, and Kindle?).

As Bill Murray once said about computers, "we are reading more on the screen", or something to that effect.

5. "Friendiligence" will be hot: we will conduct due diligence on friend requests on Facebook, Myspace and all other me-too social networks.

6. "MicroTubing" zindabaad: More and more small publishers (mostly single person startups) using innovative video content to prosper.

7. Google Buys an Ad Agency: WPP?

8. The Wall Street Journal will follow NYT and go free online.

10. Large magazines, part of large publishing conglomerates will fold at a higher rate than 2007 and Niche, targeted titles will flourish.

11. Internationalized Domains Names become more and more popular (as sensible .com names become more scarce, expensive and crazy)

12. Someone from among the troika of News Corp, Microsoft or EBay buys Yahoo.

13. Another Twitter-like success, coded by a 20-year genius kid (no hope for us 30-somethings) will rule users' hearts, with a similarly simple interface (and hopefully better productivity and healthy monetization prospects)

14. Ajax will get serious or people will dismiss it for a time-waster.

15. Social Networking (along with gaming environment and virtual worlds) will cause serious security incidents as Malware gets another mode of distribution - "social networks +social engineering"

16. One of the trio among probable Google killers, Mobile search will finally take off by the end of 2008 (other hyped Google killers include Classifieds and Local)

17. A massive datacenter meltdown will happen when one of these energy guzzlers finally gives in to the constant barrage of worm infections.

18. Users of web 2.0 sites will revolt, demanding a better privacy deal and moving on if things don't change.

19. More Blog-led publishing media startups (including Blog Networks) take root and flourish (with hopefully less rewriting and spam)

20. Big Brands get into Web 2.0 in a big way, opting to create their own content.

21. Search Engines use more user data (user preferences, search history, etc) and customized search results become common.

22. Casual games will be the social networking of 2008.

23. "WEB TO WEDDING" will gather force. Did you know that almost 3 million adults have converted online dates into a long-term relationship including marriage?

24. In this age of blogs, twitters, Forums, Facebook, and Youtube Videos, companies become more careful with Online Branding, and hope that they are well equipped to deal with irate citizen journalists (read: customers, competitors) of the world.

25. Crowdsourcing, aka Crowdmining will continue to prosper and will have more innovative uses from some of the best companies in the world.

26. Demographical targeting becomes more difficult as age, gender, marital status are but only a few things that determine consumer behavior in the internet age.

27. While Group Lending got a leg up in 2007 via sites like, Group Buying will be hot in 2008.

28. The Internet will slow down considerably as data centers and service providers reel under the increasing demand for multimedia content.

29. Some Asian startups get a hold in the tough U.S. market, despite the inward-looking, arrogant Silicon Valley types.

30. No one (except perhaps the Blackberry and the Google Phone/Android when it is a reality) will challenge the iPhone in 2008.

31. The opening up of the U.S. cell phone setup will create an exciting variety of new applications and cheaper service offerings, more in line with that in Asia, the leader in cellphones.

32. Google gets into the Cable Operators' Set Top Box business.

More Google predictions, all the usual ones are here.

While we are with predictions, indulge me for some predictions from the offline world:

Green IT takes a big foot forward in 2007

China and India will finally begin to emerge as strong domestic markets for solar.

Reverse knowledge migration will gather force: bright and well-educated workers (not exclusively returning prodigal sons will move from developed countries to developing courtiers creating a new class of "cyber-gypsies".

The Rich will get richer and lead more outlandish lifestyles.

The Fed will continue to cut rates and the U.S. economy will begin to pick up steam in the later half of the year.

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