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Great Moments in Punditry part 2

So a year ago, I wrote “predictions for 2006“. With the year winding down, let’s see how I did.

Prediction #1

Web 2.0 will become officially misunderstood and overused as a term in the marketing community.

Reality
I hear everyone talking about 2.0 as a visual style rather than an underlying pattern. “We want that 2.0 thing, you know like a blog”. Or we hear “Oh it looks so Web 2.0″.

Everyone should read Tim O’Reilly’s definition of Web 2.0 and properly understand it before saying anything 2 dot Oh. And there is no such thing as Web 3.0.

+1 point

Prediction #2

Flash will become an application used primarily for video while Rich Internet Applications will favour Ajax methods for development.

Reality
All the major video sites of note are using a Flash based player. But Flash has not made its way into RIAs like AJAX has. In fact what is the highest trafficed RIA built in Flash? Does it get more traffic then, say, Hotmail (I know technically not AJAX) or Google Maps? $50 donation to charity to whoever can answer this.

Flickr’s Organize application, moved from Flash to AJAX in 2006.

+1 point

Prediction #3

1024—768 designs. 800—600 is dead. Let’s go big.

Reality
The switch has been made. 1024×728 or greater represents well over 70% of the global user base. Every major redesign in 2006 is using 1024 including sites like New York Times , ESPN, CNN, Yahoo have all made the switch.

+1 point

Prediction #4

Big fonts and headlines to go with higher resolutions.

Reality
Check. But I’ll only give myself a half point since this style has not made the mainstream.

+½ point

Prediction #5

As technology continues to commoditize, value moves up the stack away from hardware and software. User experience and presentation become more important than ever.

Reality
Not sure how I prove that I was right but let me put it to you this way, what was the big technology story in 2006? I can’t think of one. Was there a new technology that really changed the game?

Now were there new user experiences that changed the game? I can definately point to YouTube, LinkedIn, Digg.

+1 point

Prediction #6

People have predicted that third screen apps are going to take off for almost 7 years. With no standards and closed systems it still doesn’t seem likely this year we will see huge breakthroughs. More sites will support mobile browsers including devices like PSPs in 2006 but wide spread adoption won’t happen until EVDO and 3G take hold. It is worth noting that Google and Yahoo! have just released some interesting apps.

Reality
How many of you used mobile music stores or complex mobile applications? Google’s Dodgeball (a very cool app) “sounds like it is on deathwatch“.

According to Forrester (November 17, 2006 ‘How US Youth Use Mobile’) what do teenagers do with their cell phones?

1) Send txt msg
2) Take photos
3) Buy ring tones

What was last on their list? “Listen to Streaming Audio”.

+1 point

Prediction #7

Google will release a travel search product and integrate Dodgeball into a good mobile app. But they will also stumble in 2006 releasing some products that make you say, so what, like Google Base and Google Reader.

Reality
I was half right on this. First part, I was wrong, but the second part I was totally right.

Google has stumbled on a few things. They shuttered Google Base and are looking to get rid of some other products. They also ran afoul of the Chinese government and caved to censorship. While their motto may be “Do no evil” they don’t mind helping others do evil.

+½ point

Prediction #8

Apple will release a home media centre. However it will not have any ability to record television like TiVO. You will buy TV and movies from the iTunes Music Store on an àla carte basis. It will be more convenient than cable/satellite but it will be much more expensive.

Reality
Apple’s iTV which was announced in 2006 won’t have cable/satellite integration. Call me the Amazing Kreskin.

Wasn’t released in 2007 and won’t be more convennient out of the gate due to copyright restrictions and US only availability. Call me part right.

+½ point

Prediction #9

In-car systems will become hot towards the end of 2006. Satellite radio and iPod integration will allow for new content and functionality distribution to the car. However, the car industry will drag its feet, so getting factory installed systems will push into, at least, 2007.

Reality
1/2 of all new cars sport iPod integration. Also there has been an explosion of cheap GPS based Nav systgems. Location based services became very hot in 2006 and there are some great products out there.

+1 point

Prediction #10

Online sales will continue to set records but new e-commerce players will not come from large offline retailers but from many small players. While cheap e-commerce enablement has been around for several years, 2006 will see more niche e-commerce sites like Etsy appearing.

Reality
This did not come to fruition. While e-commerce continued to rise, we just didn’t see any serious new e-commerce players. Although on a personal note, if you analysed my e-commerce spending, I am spending less with large players and spreading my dollars over many more smaller e-commerce sites. Definately working the Long Tail in my own spending habits.

0 points

So by my count, I scored an 7.5/10… now let me get the crystal ball out for 2007.

Jon Lax More posts by Jon Lax