Revisiting Top 10 Web Predictions of 2006

As 2006 began I made a set of predictions for what I thought would happen related to web applications, comipanies, and “Web 2.0″.

We’re two-thirds through 2006, so I figured it was a good time to revisit how many of them have come true, and if any are still likely to occur in the rest of 2006.

1. RSS will become two-way with the help of Simple Sharing Extensions.

Hmm, well, this is slowly improving, but I don’t think I really nailed this one. Hopefully we’ll see more of this in the future but the buzz around it seems to have died down or just moved behind the scenes.

2. Social news site Digg will expand into other content areas and media types and then will be acquired.

I was half right on this one. Digg did indeed expand into other content areas and media types, but no acquisition has occurred. Will that still happen? There hasn’t been any buzz around it lately, and Digg has gone through some recent problems as bloggers have noticed that Digg might not be as democratic as we thought, and they’ve lost some top users to Netscape’s offer to pay top social news finders.

Digg also faces competition from other social news services like Reddit, Newsvine, and Netscape, and while none of them has gotten to Digg’s level, it’s still early in the social news race. There are also numerous sites launching all the time which work just like Digg but are focused on specific verticals. It may be that what they’re doing isn’t unique enough now to really warrant someone wanting to acquire them that badly.

3. Web 2.0 will be looked down upon as a buzzword, and it’s usage will drop off dramatically.

This has definitely occurred, and more people seem to be moving past the term into just accepting things as new web applications. We’re also hearing “social web” or “social media” for a lot of Web 2.0 applications.

4. Face-recognition photo application Riya will be acquired by a major player.

Oops, didn’t happen yet either. Riya switched up their model a bit and are taking on an even bigger challenge of web image search with their facial recognition technology being a big part of that mix. I’d say at this point an acquisition in 2006 is unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the long term.

5. Some ecommerce shopping applications using the more recent advancements in social web technologies will be developed and will succeed.

Web shopping seems to move a little slower than other applications, but we have seen some cool new shopping applications. Jellyfish probably has made the most noise this year with their Value Per Action advertising model, but taking a look at this Alexa graph it doesn’t look they’ve had much traffic uptake from consumers. Of course, don’t always trust Alexa, I think Jellyfish is compelling although not revolutionary, but has a long way to go before it’s a major player. jellyfishgraph.png

6. Google Analytics will again drop the hammer on the web analytics industry.

Another one I missed, there hasn’t been much out of Google Analytics besides finally opening up to the public. Google may be spread too thin in this case, or maybe they have no new analytics ideas, but they haven’t done anything special with it since launching it.

7. A forward thinking company will build technology to support transparency, efficiency, and relationships in the online advertising business.

Hey, what do you know, Right Media is doing this. Okay, I’ll admit this was a loaded prediction when I knew it was happening. Still, I think we’ve made great progress in 2006 thus far, and the rest of the year and 2007 could be really special.

8. Microsoft will launch a contextual advertising network that will either be huge, or fail miserably.

They have started issuing beta invites for advertisers to particiate in their content ad network. So we don’t really know yet if it will be a success or not. There hasn’t even been much detail yet on what the service will consist of, but if Adcenter is any indication it could have some interesting features, but be very IE-specific and bug heavy.

9. Two to three new startups will be so cool and successful they will make the heroes of 2005 like Flickr and del.icio.us seem small and insignificant.

I think YouTube makes a strong case for this being a correct prediction, and Digg has also been pretty cool and successful, although neither of them have been acquired like Flickr or Delicious. Of course, let’s recall that those two were not acquired for huge amounts of money though.

10. The venture capital investments and acquisition bubble will heat up even more, then deflate in the 2nd half of 2006 after a number of companies fail..

It seems as if things have cooled a bit in the 2nd half of 2006. Rojo was recently acquired by Six Apart, and there have been some recent venture capital investments but nothing too crazy.

Overall

Not bad, but I think I can do better with future predictions. I think I’m just early on a few of them, and maybe flat out wrong on one or two.

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