Five Online Predictions for 2007 (or, everyone is is writing theirs so why can’t I!)

Well it’s the new year and my blog has certainly suffered from a considerable amount of neglect in the last few months. This in part is because my blogging efforts (not to mention real life efforts) have been swallowed up by this. However, I thought it would be fun to start the year by first, actually writing a new post, and secondly writing the post of the moment which everyone seems to be doing, so without further ado here are my online predictions for 2007:

1. Foldera will launch and so steady but not monumental growth towards the year end.

After months of ever diminishing public opinion in Foldera (in the last 9 months it has gone from the next-big-thing to the-latest-vaporware), the product will launch publicly in Q1 2007. The product will be flooded with new interest and service will suffer due to the demand. After a few hiccups, the service will see steady but not monumental growth towards year end with 2008 looking potentially very exciting.

2. OpenID will see widespread adoption across the internet except with the big players

OpenID will be widely adopted in the blogging / community-driven / open source web sites and services but the Googles / Yahoos / Microsofts of this world will still stick with their own legacy systems.

3. Plaxo will reach Tipping Point

Plaxo will reach the tipping point in 2007 where the benefits of being a member will outway the annoyances of not being one! Through the use of their Open API widget, localisation in Plaxo 3.0 and the soon-to-launch AJAX calendar they will see growth in 2007 reach 30 million users and the natural courting of the big players for a buy out will duly follow.

4. The Big Players will augment their search results with social data

This year we will see the big players (read Google, Yahoo & Microsoft) begin to augment their search results with human-tagged results, the first step in a gradual move away from depending wholely on algorithmic search. Yahoo, especially, is in an excellent position to begin doing this with its database. I already find myself turning to for certain types of search knowing that the results will be better. If you use firefox and don’t use then I strongly receommend the search plugin available here. The reason for the change will be the realisation that the new search players who are already in this field are producing more accurate and useful results for their users.

5. The iPhone will be runaway success

Despite the fact that Apples new iPhone device will have plenty of things for end users to grumble about, it will be far and away the slickest, easiest to use, braggable, got-to-have gadgets of 2007. Sure it may be pricey, but people who have been waiting to get a new portable media player and a new phone this way may be able to kill two birds with one stone with this one. For gadget nuts, road warriors, early adopters and appleoholics this will be too much to resist.

Also, on a side note, there has been a lot of speculation since its announcement on the device being closed platform, but I have come to the conclusion that this will not affect its appeal as much as people might think. It will be crazy for Apple not to distribute software apps for the phone through iTunes. If it is truly closed off for external developers then Apple will need to work hard internally to satisfy its users – which I’m sure they will. However, the smart move would be for Apple to let 3rd party developers build for the platform and then distribute them only through iTunes with Apple taking its cut on the sale price (and also have approval on quality to keep the unit running bug free)….

Well that’s five. Not a huge number but I will come back to them in a years time and see how I did….