Review of 2006 Predictions

Last year I made several predictions about trends to watch in 2006 (Part I, Part II, and Part III) In an interest of accountability, I thought I would quickly recap them and see how I did. (too many folks making predictions never go back to see how they did…we really have no idea who to […]

Last year I made several predictions about trends to watch in 2006 (Part I, Part II, and Part III)

In an interest of accountability, I thought I would quickly recap them and see how I did. (too many folks making predictions never go back to see how they did…we really have no idea who to listen to as the new wave of predictions hit us…and since I love predictions I’m going to try to change that).

Here are the trends I predicted were worth watching:

  • The Subscription Model
    I predicted that we would continue to follow a subscription model for most of our content discovery, just as we are doing with RSS. Outside of feeds, however, I can’t say that there are many other bloomings of subscriptions…but the huge growth of all sorts of feeds might be enough to say that this was a decent prediction. Or, maybe feeds are the model for subscriptions, and I was right on.
  • Attention and Gestures
    Not sure about this one. Obviously, we all became more aware of attention and gestures, through Steve Gillmor and Co’s evangelism, but there really aren’t any more services out there that explicitly call these out. That’s not to say that these things aren’t becoming more important…they’re just not the leading story.
  • Identity
    Peter Merholz said I was crazy about this one. But what else is MySpace or Facebook but the forging of identity? This one is huge…just read a post by Danah Boyd about designing for life stages, and much of it has to do with identity. I think this will only increase in importance…if you’re not replicating your identity online you soon will be, in some way.
  • Synchronization and Local Store
    The importance of this hasn’t diminished, but we didn’t get all that far here. Several services, such as Zimbra and Socialtext are now supporting local store. But the big guns haven’t yet, which only leads me to think that they’re just taking their time to make it seemless. I would be incredibly surprised if they weren’t working on this…so my prediction was a year early, I think.
  • The Life Portfolio
    Probably a year early on this one, too. This is my domain as identity idea, where you are represented by a domain that is you…that’s where all your services are, from your writing to your contacts to your calendar. With structured data playing an increasingly bigger role, microformats and OpenID taking off, this is becoming reality.
  • Information Visualization
    A couple of folks pointed out that others had this prediction in year’s past. I still don’t think it’s really taken off, so I was early on this one. Even so, the site information aesthetics is one of the best around, and deals exclusively with this topic. My guess is that there will have to be a killer application showing something amazing via information visualization before a wave of support comes.

So, all in all I didn’t do so well because I was too early on most of my predictions, although I don’t think any prediction was a complete bust. I still see identity as a prime area for activity, especially with a backlash of social networks coming. I don’t think that we’ll see an end to social networks, but other apps will absorb some of that social functionality where appropriate.

Published: January 3rd, 2007

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