Now that it’s 2008, let’s see how I did in my predictions for 2007:
Spam fighters will gain ground against spammers. The overall volume of spam continues to go up. (Weblog comment spam as well.) Gmail’s spam filters are continuing to perform well, but the Bayesian filter my wife uses seems to be losing ground. I’d love to get some outside input on how I did with this prediction.
People will continue to increase their reliance on Google, but more of them will come to resent that reliance as well. This turned out to be a good prediction, I think. People are more scared of Google than they ever were, and Google keeps announcing new products that make competitors of other sites on the Web. Here’s what Tim O’Reilly said about Google last week:
Everyone applauds when Google goes after Microsoft’s Office monopoly, seeing it simply as “turnabout’s fair play,” (and a distant underdog to boot), but when they start to go after web non-profits like Wikipedia, you see where the ineluctible logic leads. As Google’s growth slows, as inevitably it will, it will need to consume more and more of the web ecosystem, trading against its former suppliers, rather than distributing attention to them.
Web advertising will become even more obnoxious. I think it’s about as obnoxious as it ever was, but that it has not grown significantly more obnoxious.
I’d hope to see more progress in decentralized communication among weblogs, and less progress toward people moving into centralized weblog services. No progress on this front that I perceived.
I’d also like to see more progress on the copyright and DRM front. The DRM companies are still fighting tooth and nail, but with the Warner Music announcement that they’ll be selling music through the Amazon.com MP3 store, three of four major record labels are now selling music online without DRM. That’s progress.
Ultimately, it feels like most of the interesting things that happened in 2007 were completely outside the scope of my predictions.
Soon, my predictions for 2008.