Webometric Thoughts

January 4, 2010

Predictions: What are they good for?

Filed under: 2010 Predictions — admin @ 12:07 pm

At this time of year (or rather a few weeks ago if they weren’t drowning under a pile of work) technology bloggers all around the world make predictions about the coming year, and reflect upon the predictions they made the previous year. Looking back on my previous predictions I can’t help but realise how slowly the world of technology moves.

Last year’s predictions
1. N97 takes Nokia back to the top of the pile. Unfortunately I have only come across one person with an N97 in the past year, Apple and its apps continue to beguile everyone in their path.
2. Distributed social networks will shrink Facebook traffic. Unfortunately Google Wave launched too late in the year, and with too many problems, for it to make any real impact. But the notion of a distributed system has been well and truly planted in people’s minds.
3. Project Kangaroo will hit UK desktops.The legal watching of video online is increasing, with new entrants in the market such as Blinkbox, but unfortunately Project Kangaroo fell foul of the Competition Commission.
4. The general public continue to ignore QR codes. Despite my pessimism QR codes have actually started to creep into some unexpected places. For example, the University of Bath in numerous places, including their library catalogue. Whilst they have become more popular than I imagined, they are still ignored by most of the public.
5. No Google alternative will emerge. Yahoo Search closes up shop, Bing has more money than sense, and Google marches on.

This year’s predictions-On a similar theme
1. iPhone + Augmented Reality = Increased Market Share. I hate the iPhone because if you want to install anything on an iPhone you have to check it’s OK with Apple first, for which they will take 30% cut of the price of the app. Unfortunately the centralised app-store is the reason so many people like it. It simplifies the process of downloading new applications, and as we see an increase in glossy augmented reality mobile applications the iPhone will continue to be perceived as the obvious choice.
2. Google Wave takes off. Despite hating Google, I’m backing Google Wave for two reasons: i) We need something better than email, ii) I really want to see an open distributed system. It still has a lot of teething problems, but nothing that can’t be overcome.
3. Project Canvas fails. Project Kangaroo failed because of the complaints of Murdoch, and I’m sure Project Canvas will as well, especially if we see a Tory government after the next election.
4. No change in search. Market share will stay the same and no one will embrace the potential of the wisdom of the crowd. Search strikes me as one of the more antiquated areas of the web, with little real innovation occurring. I think things will start to change in 2011, if the semantic web takes a foothold this year.
5. The year of the Semantic Web. After years of talk, I have the feeling that this could be the one where we start to see the semantic web making an impact both through the opening up of large data sets, and the marking up of web pages with microformats. As someone who is fed up with poking and tweeting, I’m looking to the semantic web to inject a bit of life into the web.

As for Twitter, I don’t really care. I’m bored of it now.

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