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It's December, so you know what that means. Digital predictions.

There are too many of 'em, too often, but this set compiled by Vint Cerf and published in The Guardian is pretty good. Since I'm feeling particularly snarky today, I'm going to make some Copredictions right along side of the "real ones" below.

Tell me the future

The Guardian, Monday December 3 2007
When we asked Vint Cerf, chief evangelist at Google, to guest edit MediaGuardian, we expected him to bring us some luminaries of the web who we don't often get to hear from. His choices transform an often-asked question ("what's the future?"), into an insight into the thinking of innovators and pioneers. It's no coincidence that three of them are founders of some of the biggest web names.
Cerf must be so proud to have invented the internet with Al Gore. If anything, it gives him access to everyone.

Chris De Wolfe: Social networking
CEO, co-founder MySpace
First, as we expand these social destinations to all corners of the world, we must always think in terms of the individual. With millions of people using social websites, there's an increasing demand to make everyone's web experience personal.
His first prediction is global personalization. Write me when that's live, ok?
In the same way a home or office is your physical address, we expect your personal, online social profile to become your internet address. When I give out to friends and colleagues, everyone knows where to find me online.
i-boy Copredicton #1: An increasingly smaller number of people will be giving out their myspace page address to friends and colleagues in the future.
We expect aspects of all socially-based sites to become increasingly portable. In terms of mobile, we expect to have relationships with every carrier and device-maker in the world and we expect that half of our future traffic will come from non-PC users.
i-boy Copredicton #2: Whatever MySpace manages to do on mobile will not make enough money to break even for at least the next 5 years, if ever. Bonus: The "50 percent of traffic from mobile" estimate is absurd in the short to medium term.

Moving right along ...

Chad Hurley: Video
CEO, co-founder YouTube

I agree with every prediction Chad makes ... They're not daring by any means, but they'll all come true.
In five years, video broadcasting will be the most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication. The tools for video recording will continue to become smaller and more affordable. Personal media devices will be universal and interconnected. People will have the opportunity to record and share video with a small group of friends or everyone around the world.

Today, eight hours of new video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. This will grow exponentially over the next five years. This new video content will be available on any screen.

In the next five years, users will be at the centre of their video experience, you will have more access to more information, and the world will be a smaller place.
Next up, let's see what one of the titans of the ad biz has to say.

Maurice Lévy: Advertising
Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe
Virtually all media will be digital, and digital will enable almost all kinds of advertising.
Ok, I'm down with that, Mau.
Online advertising will depend more than ever on the one element which has always been at the heart of impactful advertising, both analogue and digital: creativity.
I love how big bosses think their agencies are the guardians of creativity. The best part is that the press eats this up.
The explosion of media channels means this is a glorious time to think and act creatively. In art history terms, we are at the dawn of the Renaissance after the Dark Ages.
i-boy Copredicton #3: Well, the funny thing for Publicis is that there really aren't that many truly creative French Renaissance artists. Faites-vous attention Monsieur Maurice, c'est un météore qui approach!!! Non, non, du calme mon ami le dinosaur. Je ne fais qu'une blague. C'est seulement l'arrivée de l'integrated marketing from smaller more focused and determined agencies. Et ca, c'est pire!

Was that over the top? It was, wasn't it. Ok, let's move on to mobile then, shall we?

Biz Stone: Mobile
Co-founder, Twitter

Twitter has emerged to create a seamless layer of social connectivity across SMS, IM, and the web. Twitter asks one question: "What are you doing?"

i-boy Copredicton #4: At some point in the next five years, investors will ask Biz Stone one question: "What are you doing?"

That's my favourite Coprediction, in case you're wondering.

There's more to Stone's predictions, but since they all involve Twitter I'm skipping them.

Peter Norvig: Search
Director of research, Google
The internet is an ocean of information and in the near future we'll speed through it effortlessly and intuitively, like a tuna.
Google shows signs of irreverence. Nice. He goes on to predict that Google will help us all grow dorsal fins and swim to Hawaii. No, not really.
We will get back web pages, yes, along with existing books and videos, but also custom tables, charts, animations, databases, and summarisations created on-the-fly in response to our specific needs.
But unlike John Arlidge over in The Guardian (back in 2002!), or this, or this, Norvig forgets to mention on of the key drivers of all that happens online: PORN ... And that brings us nicely to some bonus coverage:

i-boy Copredicton #5:
Video of the Year 2007

Bruce Cole: Archive
Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities (US)

For my comments on Bruce Coles' predictions, please see: The Internet Wayback Machine

Next ...

Steven Huter and Adiel Akplogan: Developing world
Research associate, University of Oregon Network Startup Resource Center; CEO, Regional Registry for Internet Number Resources for Africa

I agree with much of what they have to say because I am an optimist and believe that with our help Africa can overcome war and disease.
Overall progress will occur, but realistically, the limited or unavailable national infrastructure (power and fibre) will make it difficult to attain economies of scale, which will limit pan-African internet development between now and 2012.
The explosion in mobile telephony that has turned Africa into the fastest-growing market in the world, at more than twice the international average growth in subscriber numbers, will continue to drive locally-fuelled innovations.
i-boy Copredicton #6: The "One Laptop per Child" will pave the way for much more significant and far-reaching initiatives who will owe a debt of gratitude to a small, cluncky, battery-powered cheap green plastic laptop.

More to come ...

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Saturday, December 08, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt  


Hi George,

Only just saw your NY predictions post.
Nice co-comments. A couple of things I'd add from my perspective, are 1. the reappearance of Jaiku.
They went dark a few months ago after being Googled, and I'd hazard a guess that they'll come storming back as a Google tool reincarnate, perhaps as a FaceBerg killer, with strong mobile/point of presence integration, (weren't he founders from Nokia?) They might just give Twitter a kicking too.

I also think 2. FaceBook will either crash and burn with people deserting/dropping their minutes on site dramatically, or god-forbid, go from strength to strength, (I suspect the former, but best to hedge bets methinks.)

3. Speaking of Twitter, it's actually going the FB way in becoming a bit of a pain in the arse. I'm reminded of the old Lord Leverhulme '50% of my advertising is wasted', chestnut, but on Twitter, it's not 50/50, it's more like 90% of my time is spent reading inanities, but 10% is gold-dust, but how long will anybody be prepared to dross-sift?

4. Ad agencies integrating search and creative skills. (Kind of like a city trading floor). Offering real-time retail sales skills/ad tweaks to clients on commission/sales percentage rather than upfront fees.


Client will be looking for more creative accountability/effectiveness. + The metric/analytic tools, online fast-reaction tools and scalability of market is all there.

What's missing: Creatives, planners, account handlers and oh, most clients who see/get/give a monkeys.

Anyhow, just thought I'd pitch in a few additional thoughts, thanks for listening/reading/dozing off ;-)
# posted by OpenID digitalagency : 10:42 AM, January 27, 2008  

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