I asked a few of my blogging cohorts if they were interested in doing a combined prediction post. Through email, a bunch of us compiled our predictions and put them together. Some demurred and wrote their own with good advice that I should probably heed. A few didn't meet the deadline. I figured that we'd be able to feed off of each other's creativity a bit, and do some cross posting of the list on each of our blogs. I got a little carried away with mine. Here goes a sarcastic start to 2006.....
Pete Caputa (Me):
(I hope everyone takes these in jest. If not, if I may recommend a 2006 resolution: Have a beer. Relax. Send me the bill.)
Nick Denton's perverse empire of blog porn and sarcasm is outdone by someone snarkier.
Jason Calacanis is officially named top traffic cop of the blogosphere. Buys uniform. Is knighted for redirecting AOL's traffic to blogs, some of which they don't even own. His flags wave more traffic than Digg redirects. Jason Calacanis realizes he is not that omniscient. John Battelle is --- mostly because he hears about everything before the rest of us do. John signs my copy of his new book that I just bought today. John Battelles' FM publishing will
grow too slowly. Will be profitable quickly. But, will not reach
critical mass. Will require significant additional funding to compete
with other advertising networks for sales. Or will re-sell its
inventory to larger, more automated advertising network. Realizes
phpadsnew doesn't scale. John becomes head arbitregeur of the
blogosphere. Sells firm to AOL. Round II goes to Jason Calacanis for engineering the deal. Wired blows more smoke up his ass.
Corante continues to find ways to get even cheaper content under its "expert" umbrella. Bloggers continue to write for corante in exchange for "honor" of being called an expert.
Seth Godin's squidoo will reach critical mass after it shares revenue back with lens' creators. Lens creators make more than corante's experts. Seth donates company to Catholic church. Crowned patron Saint of Marketing while still alive. Goes back to writing books with other people's contributions. Royalties this time, for contributors. Redeemable in Heaven.
Creative-Weblogging and b5media merge. The Germans take over blog publishing, like they took over the print business a few decades earlier.
Susan Mernit becomes unofficial spokesperson to the male blog world for female bloghers. (She's the only woman most of us ever read.) Susan also shows mainstream media how to generate income WITH bloggers. Jeff Jarvis just continues to talk about it.
Blogads and/or adbrite will be purchased by a social networking or consumer generated content company. Will scale self service ad buying on consumer generated content. Will share profits with millions of members. Yes. I am talking about myspace. Myspace will create several millionaire members in a matter of months. Creates reality show in partnership with Fox, called "Myspace Celebrealities". Blogosphere will dismiss it, as teenagers continue to flock to facebook, xanga, myspace, sconex and a few other sites, for the possibility of being famous. Overall membership of these sites makes "other" blogosphere look like the U.S. Green Party. Typepad and wordpress user's self importance wanes.
Greg Gershman recruits CEO for blogdigger with business experience. VCs realize he has most scalable web search platform. Invest modest sums of money. Devises new way to present blog content to consumers and brings it to mass adoption before another blog search provider can steal this one. Is cash flow positive by year end. Icerocket will be the first to copy. Mark Cuban will lambast anyone that says they copied it.
Feedster and technorati will continue to chase every possible revenue stream imaginable for blog search. Still don't find any that work better than being an adsense/ypn affiliate. Feedster won't rearchitect their system again this year. Instead, hires a graphic designer. This designer opens their eyes to colors beyond blue and green.
Bloggers will finally realize that Technorati doesn't care about
giving them exposure when they tag their posts, it's just a way for
them to get Google Juice. They still do it, though. Some neo-natal instinct kicks in.
Brian Dear admits he stole idea for evdb/eventful from Andy Baio at upcoming.org. Stops pouting. Reveals business model as ppc ads and affiliate cash from secondary ticket market. Realizes that he took too much money for potential revenue from those revenue sources. Has to start paying staff with Esther Dyson autographed Release 1.0 papers. Papers have no tangible value on open market. Company gets purchased by google.
Ethan Stock admits he stole idea for zvents from Brian Dear at evdb/eventful. Lightens up about people mispelling it as zevents. Ethan reveals business model. Brian Dear copies it. Fatlens, oodle and trumba individually become much bigger event plays than zvent and eventful combined. Zvent sells to newspaper conglomerate(s).
Noone other than web geeks continue to use upcoming.org. Majority of events entered into upcoming.org are from API through third party "COMMERCIAL" event services. Yahoo realizes they paid too much for an API that is repository for mostly Britney Spears and Rolling Stones scalper tickets. Yahoo buys Fatlens as defensive move to generate revenue from scalpers. Bans scalpers from using upcoming.org API.
Ticketmaster still pretends it is 1998. Doesn't change business model at all.
Other event startups get to present at popular west coast conferences, as Startup A's friends/investors get called out for cock blocking "so-called competitor's" presentations. The whole space gets more paranoid, though, as some become successful financially....
An online event startup will actually discover that the source of most event information is local media outlets. Will serve this constituent and be the first company to amass local event listings on a national scale. It won't be WhizSpark.
Someone in the event business will launch a web 2.0 style event application that actually changes the event business. Will disrupt the industry and signficantly reduce market share of an incumbent monopoly. Makes event promotion a primary revenue stream for online affiliate marketers. More important than adsense revenue for small publishers. It might be WhizSpark. It might be syncpeople.
Pubsub and technorati will launch event search engines on top of structuredblogging.org. Be the first event search that doesn't rely on hosting event information in their own database. Realizes they won't reach critical mass of events to create worthwhile search engine for consumers. Same issue as upcoming.org. Too many geeks. Not enough strip club events for average consumer.
Feedburner becomes centralized repository for 70% of active RSS feeds. Creates centralized repostory for syndicatable internet. Big media finally understands how they can control RSS by funneling it through one company's servers. Feedburner sells to News Corporation. George W. Bush propoganda is inserted into every feed as ads. Dave Winer makes assasination attempt on Dick Costolo. Adam Curry takes credit. He was behind the bushes with podcast recording device to prove it. Podcast sets listener records. Story is covered by veejays on MTV news. Noone watches. 1 point for podcasting. Adam Curry "totally redeems himself". Someone else links to podcast at wikipedia.
Marc Canter will 'complete' 2 projects that have commercial impact. People will realize he isn't that crazy, communist or high as he comes off on his blog. Also, major companies will realize that open source development requires consulting companies to manage implementation, like Marc's Broadband Mechanics. Yahoo, especially, will realize that open source development will be viable alternative to paying Millions of dollars for overvalued open source-ish engineers. Marc will secure funding, but not cede any control. Marc hires 1/4 of India's programmers. Vermont Teddy Bear Factory creates a Teddy Bear in his likeness. Big hit in India.
Lead generation will continue to be booming business that old media and traditional retail want a piece of. They will pay hefty prices for lead companies. A few IPOs will occurr by lead generation companies. MSN and/or AOL will buy lead generation companies and enter market in major way. Google will call it evil. Yahoo won't understand unless there are APIs and tags involved. Lead generation revenue will rival ppc ad revenue, as ad networks manage online media buying risks for advertisers through lead generation more successfully than advertisers can manage it themselves through ppc.
Root.net will succeed at creating a marketplace for your attention and a succesful lead marketplace for advertisers and publishers. Investors will flood money into this new financial market. A few large investors will make a few million dollars in a few months as value of aggregated attention data goes from zero past google's market valuation. Or it won't work at all. If the latter, Paul Montgomery says, "I told you so."
Invenio group will become a national model for how universities worldwide should foster entrepreneurship AND create real companies out of their overpriced labs and MBA programs.
Blogosphere becomes less obsessed with google. Blogosphere Google bombs google with google jerk. Owner of google jerk retires from adsense revenue. Buys 500 shirts with "Irony" printed on them from SoloTees. Wears two new ones every day. Buys a laundromat to wash them all at once.
All relationships will be initiated by scientific questionnaires and computer compatibility algorithms. eHarmony has more pageviews than friendster and xanga combined. Noone is webholio enough to match with Craig Newmark, though. Craig launches Russian craigslist to find mate the "old fashioned" way: Digital classifieds. Single Russian women flock to Russian craigslist to vie as suitors for Craig. Destroys Russian bride matchmaking industry margins overnight. Covered widely by print press. NYTCO headline: "Who's business will Craig inadvertently destroy next?"
Match.com introduces social networking functionality. 21 year old males create female porn star profiles to uncover potential female bisexual partners and generate affiliate revenue by promoting corresponding porn star website subscriptions.
Technorati's/Flickr's/Del.icio.us's definition of tag will supersede the school yard's definition of tag. Millions of children will grow up without the school yard game of "tag, you're it" being referred-to as tag. The game will be referred-to by the much more more specific word, "it". Tagging will become sexy to the general internet populace. People will begin tagging people. "I tagged her" will mean something entirely different.
Noah Kagan's Predictions:
A new term will become very popular and then be abused and finally show up in Time magazine.
Some company will create a cool idea that will NOT be about: calendar, rss, wiki or tagging.
People will realize predictions are overrated and start enjoying each day:)
Gregory Narain's Predictions:
The Web 2.0 argument will finally be settled as the mainstream media seeks out its follow up pieces on blogging, podcasting, and vlogging and wiki and paint it as a wave that has moved from the end user to the business builder.
Savvy entrepreneurs will develop a league of payment models that reward the long tail for their contributions along the lines of co-ops like Squidoo and shared revenue systems like Good Storm and Gravee.
Despite the constant battle to win attention from the masses, the Attention XML "movement" still won't find its sweet spot this year but its value will become more evident.
Yahoo! will become the new darling of the web world as its outward actions grow increasingly softer and more approachable; Google Juice will finally start to wear off and the CareBears will all take a long needed nap.
The online event business will finally obtain its rightful place in the holy trinity of top uses for the Net.
The Autobots will finally defeat the Decepticons.
I will finally Mark As Read all my Unread messages.
At BloggerCon IV, during the "Can't We All Just Get Along" session, moderator Mena Trott devours, regurgitates and then devours again anyone in the audience chatting on IRC.
TechCrunch will launch a company by posting about it on TechCrunch.
After some obscure blogger comes up with a new slogan for applications built by web developers without business models, Richard MacManus will declare himself the herald of the coming revolution, only to back off as soon as someone starts saying he is stupid.
Jeremy Zawodny will be promoted to Chief Yahoo Web Strategist. Yahoo will buy 3 small companies that have no business model, but make them look "cool"
with the geek crowd. Zawodny will post on his blog about how awesome it is that we acquired these developers, even though he hasn't met them.
Google will continue to rake in mountains of cash, and will release 24 new applications in some form of beta stage.
That's all folks. Happy New Year!