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Predictions: 2006

December 23, 2005

'Tis the season for list frenzy. So here are my five predictions for the coming year.

1. A free online game, supported by advertising and product placement, becomes widely popular, threatening the traditional business model of the gaming industry.

2. The culture wars slam into the internet, as a group of influential evangelicals launch a boycott of Google, demanding that it "stop distributing pornography" through its search engine.

3. Disney announces it will begin selling classic animated movies as $5.99 downloads through Apple's iTunes Store. The must-have gift for Christmas 2006 is Apple's Special Disney Edition iPod, which comes preloaded with exclusive versions of Snow White, Fantasia and the Lion King.

4. Amateur podcasting is revealed to be a fad, as audience interest evaporates.

5. Hitachi, Fujitsu or Lenovo buys Sun Microsystems.

If I get one right, I'll consider myself a seer.

By the way, Rough Type is going to go into suspended animation for a spell after today, as I have to deal with some old-fashioned, mainstream deadlines. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.


Nick, from a former Gartner analyst this is how market predictions are really done,,,


Happy holidays!

Posted by: Vinnie Mirchandani at December 23, 2005 09:37 AM

Happy Christmas Nick! (Prediction #4 is a dead cert).

Posted by: S at December 24, 2005 06:37 PM

Actually, depending on how you define "game," Neopets has already accomplished prediction #1. I'm always surprised by how few adults seem to be aware of it and its enormous following.

See this recent Wired News article for some details.

Posted by: Liz Lawley at December 27, 2005 02:40 PM

Oh...and I desperately hope that #4 turns out to be your on-the-money prediction.

Posted by: Liz Lawley at December 27, 2005 02:41 PM

"4. Amateur podcasting is revealed to be a fad, as audience interest evaporates."

Is this the result of a fading fad or the fact that it is easier to just read a blog while at work than it is to put on the headphones and listen to a podcast?

It's possible though that the further integration of mp3 players with stock car audio systems could revive this media. For the record too, I have never listened to a podcast, just passing on some thoughts that jumped out at me as I read that prediction.

Posted by: earle at December 27, 2005 03:03 PM

Probably the sanest set of predictions I have seen! Well done.

On #2, I think the issue is likely to be broader than distributing pornography. The biggest issue is the funding of sites promoting issues that people might disagree with. Google not only provides easy access to pornography, it actually provides a mechanism for funding it (AdSense).

I've been trying to track the trend on my blog HatingHate, although I have been caught up in work and not dedicated enough time to it.

Amazon, for example, sells books on a web page that calls for and justifies suicide bombings in Israel. Paypal provides funding mechanisms for a site that attacks Islam as an evil cult. And there are hundreds of more examples.

Perhaps most dangerous is the attitude of the companies themselves to this. Despite having policies against all of this, they rarely take action. It is only a matter of time before the entire Affiliate business model is called into question as a result.

Posted by: Rick S at January 3, 2006 11:13 AM

But they won't be Snow White, Fantasia and Lion King. They'll be Toy Story 1 and 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. (the Pixar-Disney properties, and movies you see playing on the screens of every minivan here in northern California).

There'll also be a Disney Princess version, with Cinderella, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast-- and well, maybe Snow White.

Posted by: Alex Soojung-Kim Pang at January 12, 2006 04:58 PM

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