What’s to come in 2010

Some thoughts and predictions for 2010:

Computers/OS:

Google’s OS and Google’s Browser Chrome will further erode Microsoft’s OS dominance.

Phones:

Google’s Nexus One is not an iPhone killer but what would be much more powerful and meaningful would be for Google to offer a ‘subsidized’ cell phone service through a carrier in exchange for watching ads – no more cell bills. That MIGHT make me give-up my iPhone habit.

TV/Cable:

TV Everywhere will dominate as cable subscribers will WANT to get what they see at home on their PC’s, phones, etc. They will want this because its only a matter of time before Hulu (and other online content aggregators) lose their premium content or require a subscription fee. (Smell Comcast here?). Boxee, Roku, Sezmi and Zillion TV will have tough sledding IF Apple TV hopefully syncs a (rumored) TV subscription service with their upcoming iTablet/iSlate.  Apple MIGHT offer consumers an a-la-carte menu of the best of cable and network TV on their televisions through the AppleTV box, iphones and the iTablet  (along with several newspaper/magazine subscriptions) for a single monthly fee. Their version of  a cable ‘triple-play’ subscription. Do you remember when cable TV was “sold” as a way to escape the ads on free, OTA broadcast TV? Those were the days…

Movies/Music/Web:

iTunes will announce an iTunes web service, thanks to the Lala acquisition. Disney will move forward with their Keychest initiative and so will the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE. However, only one system will survive this year to avoid consumer confusion.

‘Live’ streaming video and UGV will replace the jpg /gif as the dominant content format of visual sharing online.

Facebook, Hulu, YouTube , Twitter, and other ‘weapons of mass distraction’ these days will be increasingly ‘filtered’ out from the workplace due to too much time by employees during work hours spent on ‘social media’ causing a huge traffic shift in several social networks most notably, Facebook.

Facebook will go public and the IPO will be a huge financial success until Facebook becomes the Borg unless it allows data portability. Its number of users will continue to climb until the network is as large as Google and people will confuse Facebook with “the Internet” like days of old when the internet was ‘AOL’ to many people.

And then one day…

A new social network will rise to join the big ones. It may offer the privacy that Facebook is moving away from; it may be mobile and location-centric; it may focus on personal content recommendations, but it will come and the minnows will swim like fishes to the next ‘big’ new network to be seen and heard on.

We are all ‘Paparazzi’s’ and ‘Jimmy Olsen’s’ now…with the Advent of ‘live’ broadcasting apps on the iphone and android makes paparazzi’s and Jimmy Olsen’s (instant news ‘scoops’) out of us all further diluting the worth of major news org’s that can’t be expected to be everywhere at all times.

Cloud computing heats up. AWS, Google, Microsoft and others begin price wars to compete for customers.

MySpace will try to become as important to online viewers as MTV was to cable subscribers in the 80’s.

MOG and Spotify will invade the US and give iTunes(lala) and MySpace a run for their money.

And hopefully:

Data portability will become more real, standard, expected and viable. Why isnt’ there a way for me to make 1 Avatar, use 1 password and login to store all this info in a central location that my ‘social networks’ and other internet related service use and fetch each time I access these services?  Here is where I’d place all my photos and videos and then simply choose which services get access to which photos and videos. So, when I leave a social network, my ID and photos and videos LEAVE too.  Go ahead and just try moving or populating another social network again with all of your pictures, comments and videos that you’ve uploaded at one time or another. Hard to do and time consuming beyond belief. It would be nice to able to take MY STUFF (and data preferences) with ME with 1 click.

Comments welcome.

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Email is the ultimate ‘beacon’ for FaceBook and all the other soc-nets too!

 

When eBay shelled out $4.1 billion for Skype, it paid about $52 per user. In July 2005, News Corp. purchased the parent of MySpace for $580 million. At the time, MySpace had about 21 million users, costing $27.62 per user. Bebo sold to AOL for $850 million and has about 40 million users, costing $21.25 per user. It is entirely conceivable that social networking, like web-mail, will never make tons of money. Because lofty valuations require each site maximizing its page views, they are focused on getting users to keep coming back to the site. They are all closed, walled-in gardens.

AOL tried this, but it didn’t work. So did Compuserve and Prodigy. It didn’t work for them either. And despite some of the sites pleas for outside developers to make fun software for their sites, (like Facebook, MyspaceTV, Googles Open Social and Friendster), each site still requires us to come back. And that begins to become a bore. Its been argued that the ultimate ‘social’ network is email. Why? Because with email, you have your address book, photo’s are mailed, dates are made and placed in a calendar indicating certain personal social ‘activities’. In other words, your email knows more about what you do than ANY social network can.

“We will look back to 2008 and think it archaic and quaint that we had to go to a destination like Facebook or LinkedIn to be social,” says Charlene Li at Forrester Research, a consultancy. Future social networks, she thinks, “will be like air. They will be anywhere and everywhere we need and want them to be.” No more logging on to Facebook just to see the “news feed” of updates from your friends; instead it will come straight to your e-mail inbox, RSS reader or instant messenger. No need to upload photos to Facebook to show them to friends, since those with privacy permissions in your electronic address book can automatically get them. Personal referrals and word-of-mouth still and will always be more effective than advertising. This ‘essence’ of personal suggestions from friends permeates every single email we get in our inbox. In theory, email knows everything about us. And email is decades old. There maybe more money in knowing what we like to do, than in delivering banner ads on a web page. That is, more money can be made by simply knowing my habits, spending and otherwise and then interacting and crossing those habits with services I use on the internet. Its not the ads I see but ultimately, but what I end up doing that results in my purchasing of a service (buying movie tickets online) or renting a car on weekends if I live in a big city where transportation (NYC) isn’t an issue (for example, renting a car to get away to the Hamptons in the summer). When I plan a weekend away in the Hamptons with my friends, I’ll need to rent a car. With one email to my friends about this, I’m a potential car rental customer. And my email knew it before anyone else did. email.jpg