As I think about predictions for 2006, I realize that I’ve spent more time thinking about the nature of predictions than about the predictions themselves. I’m going to try to restrict myself to trends, rather than predictions that require specific knowledge about the future plans of various companies, since I don’t have any of that.

Here goes:

  • The mindshare of Ruby on Rails will grow relative to other Web application platforms, in spite of the efforts of devotees of other platforms to come up with their own Rails alternatives. I have a theory about why this is that I’ll elaborate in another post.
  • Identity theft by way of stealing databases of personal information will continue to grow explosively. I think there’s still plenty of low hanging fruit out there for fraudsters and I think that this year we’ll see the back ends of large Web sites get hacked and see their customer databases stolen by fraudsters.
  • Wikipedia still won’t be accepted by the academic and journalistic mainstream. The way wikis operate is counterintuitive enough that the establishment will reject it even though it’s obvious that it basically works.
  • JavaScript will be bigger than ever. The trend toward pushing functionality back from the server to the client that got rolling in 2005 will continue to grow. Hopefully Internet Explorer 7 will be good enough to fuel this trend.
  • The blog phenomenon continues apace. I don’t have a specific blog-related prediction, but my guess is that we’ll continue to see more big Web sites add blog-like features, and that more people will try to make their living writing blogs. The raw number of blogs will continue to grow explosively. (I guess I’d say that blogging is a trend, not a fad.)

That’s enough for a first try, we’ll see how I did this time next year. My prediction about the predictions is that they are too generic to be interesting or to grade.