January 3, 2011

Twenty Eleven

The onset of the new year has always been a trigger for hundreds, even thousands of predictions.

We are all excited and look forward to the potential of the new year and try our best, based on how the previous year ended, to predict what new occurrences will take place in the year to come.

Rather than try to predict what will happen I will make it more personal and list what I hope will happen.

2011 will be the year the web truly goes mobile.

The browser will once again be the main gateway to the mobile web. Apps, as cool as they may seem, will become relegated to games, soundboards and photo manipulation.

The allure of the browser and its instant access to a plethora of information will continue to guide users through the mobile web.

Look out for some major breakthroughs in mobile commerce.

2011 will usher in a new breed of mCommerce sites that will be specifically designed for making purchases on the go. Mobile commerce will allow merchants to use tools like geo-location, social media and hyper-personalization to sell their wares. Interfaces will become much more simplified and check out will take place through a centralized payment method associated and secured by the device.

The Social Web will start to splinter out and become more topical.

We will see a set of new players who will attract some of Facebook's minions who have grown tired of the piles and piles of general information that has grown boring and useless.

We will see players like Quora, Instagram, GroupMe, Hashable and others who will offer up robust alternative social experiences rather than relying on FB's very general town square approach.

Now that Facebook has become a strand in the fabric of our lives we will start to see some of the more darker angles of the social network. Users who will have grown bored of old high school friends will start to create multiple personalities that will allow them to play out the fragments of their personalities as they relate to different aspects of their lives. Could get really interesting.

The deal is the new ad.

Ads will no longer be one sided communications. They will have to hold the promise of a deal, if you want a deal you will have to interact with the brand in some way. Ads will now try and lure audiences with tangible promises that will get them to engage.

YouTube will go on a spending spree buying up (web) video production companies en route to becoming the first "Studio" born from the web. We will see higher production value and more in depth content flanked by babies making funny faces, teenage girls lip syncing and a new massive network with tons of great content surrounded by all of our silly videos. It's a beautiful combination.

Tablets will rule.

HTML5 will do what Flash did but better.

Twitter will become a full fledged human alert service where we turn first for breaking news as well as whimsical thoughts. We the people surrounding the content that is useful to us with our own ramblings and witty repartee.

Privacy dies. We elect to share everything we do online, the new definition for antisocial will be someone who can't or won't share online, those folks miss out on all the fun and eventually start a new society in caves.

The TV becomes a major portal to web content. We will see a huge shift where millions will access specific large screen web content and apps directly from their TV. The big screen gets a curtain call.

Apple will no longer only appeal to the "Crazy Ones".

Inspired by the Apple of earlier years we will see a new slew of obsessive compulsive, design oriented, sexy companies all playing hard to get.

Apple will now be forced to join the ranks of the IBMs and the Microsofts of the world and seen as a Big Brother type company. Google is not far behind.

Form and function will finally be completely integrated. Design heavy websites will become a thing of the past. We will encounter much cleaner and easier to use designs that will eliminate the clutter and allow us to do what we need to do without distraction.

Content becomes truly personalized. More and more web services will be using Facebook and Twitter as sign in methods and our social content and connections will be there to greet us in almost everything we do. Sharing will no longer be the holy grail as we will be conducting our lives on the web in real time for all to see.

Billion dollar valuations. Companies making zero or very little money but that service millions of users will continue to get billion dollar valuations all based on the rabid use of its audience. 2011 will not be the year we finally see pay walls and other monetization methodologies take hold but it will surely set these companies up for big pay days once they do figure out how to make money.

This is just a glimpse of what I hope will transpire in 2011.

Its been a wild ride so far and it only gets more and more interesting each and every day.

Happy New Year!!!