Many bloggers do this every fall and so I decided what better way to start posting after a few weeks of downtime than your very own predictions list. Here’s mine:
1) AOL will get stronger. Currently, AOL has the U.S. (living upto its name) but as for the the rest of the world, well, it doesn’t. AOL is growing, certainly a recent 5% acquisition by Google (billion dollar worth), their free Web-TV (in 2006) announcement, acquisition of Weblogs, Inc., Video Search service, online Live 8 videos, were only a few signs of greater development and a wider-audience’ approach. I think 2006 will be a good year for AOL.
2) Podcasting will grow. These days, despite of living in a small country down south who most people know as "the place where that Lord of the Rings guy is from" or where "that Mt. Everest guy comes from," podcasting is becoming known (if not, well known). I’ve been seeing quite a lot of media coverage of it, including magazine articles and late-night TV news reports. This is a sign. I don’t see podcasting as the next blog because it does require a lot of work from the creator’s side, and it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it does a have a place in this market.
3) Web 2.0 startups will reach a verdict. Currently, no one can say if Riya is better than BubbleShare or Odeo is better than Audioblog but as time passes and many of these services come out of their alpha or beta phases become more known-to-man, each will have a verdict or should I say a clearer place in the market. Many will fall, is what I say, but some may grow to become big if not more used. Certainly these companies will need to be watched out for.
4) Podcasting will be a revenue stream. This is an addition to my ‘podcasting will grow’ prediction (genius!) above. Many companies are coming in which are offering to be the publisher and let the podcaster be the podcaster. Even though the original idea of podcasting is that anyone be able to do it, some prefer to put the money side of things (and even more, for some) in others’ hands. It’s no doubt that if the prediction above comes true, this prediction will as well.
5) AOL will acquire Technorati. Ok, now onto more specific predictions, I firmly beleive that AOL will acquire some cool stuff — Technorati being one. You have to ask yourself, whatelse do they have? I beleive Technorati is only one of the few near-successful Web 2.0 companies that exists by itself, at this point in time. Everyone else has been bought (including del.icio.us, most recently). AOL is growing, so an addition to the above prediction: they will acquire Technorati.
6) A major merger will take place. I’m not sure if it’ll be Tivo-NetFlix (as John Battle and others have predicted) or Yahoo-Google (three-quarters-kidding) but I beleive a major merger will take place next year which will cause a few ripples and get people taking if not arguing. One of the things that makes 2006 exciting for me.
7) Web 2.0 startups will decrease. Well, at least I hope so. I’m thinking say if there are 5/per month now they’ll be more like 2 or 3. This of course also relates to the above prediction of Web 2.0 companies reaching a verdict. I simply cannot imagine the startup numbers increasing, as high as they may be now.
8) Apple will come out with new kind of iPods only to be welcomed by a tough new competitor. I don’t know who the competitor may be but I do know that it doesn’t exist right now. There’s a likely hood it’ll be much affordable than the iPod (say in the current Nano price range) but also much more flexible, offering not only music or video but also cell phone, games, Internet, camera, whatever you can integrate into one medium-sized gadget. Oh, this won’t be from a major cell phone manufacturer (e.g. Nokia, Sony Ericsson) either.
9) Getting into this realm will be tougher with established startups. Yes, this relates to all of my Web 2.0 predictions. As this industry will form, new folks with new ideas will find it much harder to come in and establish themselves. Thinking of new ideas won’t be a breeze either. Put simply, the market or the industry will be much more established and focused, many of the average consumer or rather the prosumer needs already fulfilled.
10) A book will influence the path Web 2.0 takes. There are a few books in the works and already out, namely John Battelle’s The Search (which I will be reviewing anytime soon) but I do beleive that one book will be released that will totally give us a new perspective to Web 2.0. Would love to be the author of that one.