OpsanBlog Internet Predictions for 2009

So much to consider! ball-crystal303

This list is mostly about online advertising and social sites / media:

  • Online advertising will see a bottoming in cost-per-pageview pricing. This is dragged down by and will hit social networks and "social portals" the hardest. However, it was their "just look at the number of eyeballs we reach" attitude that drove prices up in the first place.
  • Companies placing online advertising buys who have realized that people come to social sites to socialize and not necessarily to buy things will put even more pressure on online advertising pricing.
  • Users of social sites will reduce the number of social sites they try to maintain, simply placing links on tertiary sites to their chosen sites. Social sites will start to grep for these links and send lots of email to the offenders.
  • Users of social sites will seek social network aggregators to place content on multiple sites, with the above desire of maintaining fewer social networks. As many social sites want to avoid losing direct access to their sites (to which they can serve ads), aggregation will be slow going. Eventually, the market will win out and aggregation will open, but we may not see this until mid-2010.
  • Social sites will share just enough access to your data with various aggregation services to be seen as helpful, but not enough to truly release their users to a single- (or even, multiple-) source aggregator. Social sites will continue try to become the aggregator of their customer data, as this is happening with Facebook already (see "Is Social Portability Getting Closer? Is this a good thing?"). These companies will reposition themselves as "Social Portals".
  • User privacy will rise to the fore (again). Either through some massive and widely-publicized breach, or some horrifying event happening to "someone on the web", people will become more cautious about the bits they share online. This includes articles containing their children’s names and photos, their location, the kinds of cars they drive and problems at work / school. Social sites will respond with more protections by emphasizing "friending" and group creation, before exposing more data.
  • The need for a common identity platform will also rise to the fore. Too many sites, too many passwords.
  • The combination of users wanting fewer social sites to maintain and privacy risks (resulting in ‘friending’) will curtail social openness, as to view a friend on a network, you must also belong to the same network. This will likely inhibit critical mass of active users on an individual’s tertiary network .. if you have to be a member of a site to enjoy another’s content, you will soon weary of getting invites from them, or you will simply stub a site (i.e., minimal maintenance) on their social network. This will eventually result in many individuals stubbing sites on lot of social networks.
  • The number of Web .Next companies providing behind-the-firewall social functions will agree to agree, and then merge, or find themselves shut. Survivors in this space will include companies who provide SharePoint add-ins / services.
  • Green tech will be big (duh). It will take many forms, not all of the forms being good for the environment (double-duh). Low-hanging fruit, that one.
  • Underlying motivation for investors and VCs will change. Instead of "build", "gain share" and "get bought" with little (or no) business planning, VCs will drive these companies to "build", "grow organically", "sell (a lot of) something" and then exit via acquisition or public offering. We won’t see the latter part of this until the mid-10s, however.

I grabbed a quick collection from the web after writing the above (links to defunct sites removed):

It’s only the 27th .. you’ll see lots more of these in the ‘sphere in the next few days.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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