predictions – Stay N Alive

The Entirely Contextual, Peer-to-Peer, Self-Aware Future of Technology

This article is part of the ‘Think Further’ series, sponsored by Alger Financial Management. For more ‘Think Further’ content and videos, click here.

As I talk to others in the tech industry, I’m often asked, what’s next for technology? First there was the PC, then the web. Then came the dynamic web experiences and “web 2.0”. Following that came social media, mobile, and the appearance of all your friends and family, as well as personal information into that web experience. So what’s next? The future of technology is all about the end user. It has no servers. It has no “destinations” that the end-user has to go to or search for on some company’s website. It’s entirely contextual, peer-to-peer, knows the user, and follows the them wherever they go. But what about beyond that? Where will we be in 20 years, 50 years, or even 100 years?

Predicting 50 years into the future is not an easy task to consider. The truth is, the number of possibilities and directions, as well as the acceleration of knowledge and technologies that will exist as we evolve in that direction are beyond what we can even imagine. But, with our limited knowledge and the paths we can currently see, we can make an educated guess at the direction for technology, and what that may mean for society. As I attempt to do this, I’ll focus on the paths I’m seeing now, and what it could mean for the future.

The Peer-to-Peer Society

One of the biggest changes in technology that will occur over the next 50 years will be the advent of what I call “The Peer-to-Peer Society”. There are technologies right now, which require no centrally owned server or business entity to ensure the success of the network occurs. Take Bitcoin, for example. Bitcoin relies on a technology called “The Blockchain”, which relies on a massive, peer-to-peer network of personal computers all verifying who “owns” money. Now imagine if this concept were applied to other things, like file systems, DNS, or even privacy?

In the future your computer, or even phone or embedded chip in your body will store encrypted copies with links to other encrypted data of everything owned by everyone in the world. Only those people with “private keys” will have access to that data, but they will also be able to designate access to that data to other people. Take, for instance, your address. You could provide access to the Post Office a public key that contains your address. Only they would be able to access your address and know where to send your packages. Then, along the way, no one will ever know your address but the Post Office and yourself.

Another element of the Peer-to-Peer society will be the advent of peer-to-peer commerce. Because of technologies like above, more people will “rent” things and “use” things, rather than buy them or own them. We will move, as we are now, from the ownership of digital content and the ability to easily share the things we create on our own, as well as things others have created, to the ability to easily share physical products and things we both create on our own, as well as use from our friends. Brands will need to come up with new ways, just as they have with virtual content, to reach people with physical content. Some are calling this “the sharing economy” or “collaborative economy”.

Taking this even further beyond, brands may not even be in the picture. In the future technology will enable people to do business with just other people, and we will all be a part of one large peer-to-peer ecosystem where everyone is sharing with each other, doing commerce with each other, and only the technology itself will serve as any form of organization of that commerce. Corporations will no longer have humans controlling them. Corporations will be autonomous and every “member” of those corporations will be their own CEO.

All your utilities will work this way as well. Everyone will run their own power – solar, wind, etc. all from their own yards and houses (which again, might even be rented from other members of these corporations), and will supply power to the rest of the autonomous power grid. Internet will be an entire mesh, with everyone containing wireless antennas that communicate with each other openly, no centralized ISP necessary. Water will be shared from house-to-house in various means. People will offer composting, recycling, and trash services from their own personal homesteads where they turn the garbage into useful items for generating more energy, plants, food, and products.

Sensory Data and Self-Awareness

We live in a world currently of mobile phones, tablets, and mobile technologies. Smart watches are emerging. Exercise tracking devices are starting to become mainstream, tracking your every move and storing other data alongside that. There is even a contest for a device that tracks health data so well, that it can identify diseases before you even know they exist. In the future, yours, and my life will be extended exponentially because sensory data will know before Doctors can even know there are statistical anomalies going on, in real time, with our bodies.

The future holds no destinations. The idea of “a world-wide web” where you have to go to a place by typing in a URL will be gone. The idea of “apps” you download and open on your phone will no longer exist. Instead, the devices you carry, if you even carry a device (you will likely have chips implanted in your body, connecting eyes, brain, even smell and taste all together), will tell you before you even need to look it up, what you want to know.

Walking by a restaurant? A notification pops up telling you your friend’s there and they’ve got a really cool idea you should go talk to them about.

Or, maybe your blood-sugar’s a little low. Another notification comes up to tell you a really good restaurant is nearby, or maybe it’s not even a restaurant – it’s someone’s house who voluntarily sells yummy cake for any visitor willing to knock. (remember my autonomous, peer-to-peer corporation that I mentioned above?)

Everywhere you go, software running within one of these autonomous corporations will know exactly who you are. Identity theft will be impossible. It will know what you like, who your best friends are, who you interact with, and the things you need to best exist in the world.

Flying Cars?

What’s an article about the future without a mention of flying cars? Well, I don’t think flying cars are necessarily in the 50 year future, but I think faster transportation is. For one, cars won’t be driven by people. In fact, those that run the mapping software will control the transportation system. You’ll simply ask  (or it will detect automatically) to go somewhere, and an automatic driving car will show up at your door, no cost to you (except maybe a few prompts to go places nearby that you’re probably interested in, that others may have paid for), and take you to your destination.

The roads will be different as well. There are already prototypes of solar roadways that can be replaced by panels that inter-link together. Having powered roadways opens up a whole host of possibilities. For instance, what if magnetism were employed like bullet trains?

If there are no humans operating the cars, then the entire paradigm of driving changes. Roadways can now change to be much more like trains. Remove the friction from the wheels, and add lightning fast response times to the automated cars that all talk together, and you can be from one house to another all the way across town within just minutes. So perhaps flying cars are possible!

Space, the Capitalist’s Frontier

You can’t talk about the next 50 years without talking about the commercialization of space. As autonomous corporations take over, this is the entrepreneur’s next playing field. This is where all the future resources will come from.

Not only will people begin to be able to travel to outerspace for leisure, but they’ll also be able to stay there, and even live there. Wealthy, higher share owners of these autonomous corporations will fund the hotel chains and apartments in space. And this is just the beginning – it only starts in the earth’s outer atmosphere. We’ll venture further and further away from earth as we realize there is money to be made elsewhere in this universe.

There are already competitions to mine the moon, and asteroids, and other planets. There are practically unlimited resources in those places! As we do that, we’ll begin to settle each place we venture to, and our society will no longer be just earth. This introduces entirely new paradigms we can barely even understand today!

The end of Manufacturing as we Know it

With the advent of 3D printing, all sorts of things are changing. Currently, entire manufacturing lines are being replaced by completely automated “printing processes”. These machines that can print a device from the ground up out of varying materials will get smaller and smaller, and the number of people needed to produce the products will become less and less.

Factories will no longer be needed. People will just buy 3D printers for their homes, or for their businesses, and print the things they need, or the things they want to rent out to others. Even food will be printed! The entire problem of off-shore manufacturing here in America will be an entirely moot point.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around the next 50 years. What I’ve suggested here may sound crazy. However, contemplating current technology trends and the possibilities already available to us, I really do not think we are far off. Our future here on this earth and even beyond is really bright! And I think, with technology, there’s a good chance many of us adults living today will actually live longer than many preceding us to see it.


Here’s What I Can Predict With Absolute Certainty

Including this year, I’ve been to 3 Facebook F8 Developer Conferences now (I missed the first year, but followed it remotely). There is a repeat pattern for each, that I want to just get out of the way before this conference starts, and predict, with absolute certainty, will happen. I thought this warranted its own post:

Bloggers will complain. Users will revolt. People will leave the service.

This happens with every single major Facebook update, and it has happened after every F8 conference (maybe not the first one). It is so predictable now that I just smile and laugh.

The fact is, no matter how many people say they are quitting, no matter how many people say they hate the new changes, people still stay. They always come back. They’re always more vocal leaving than they are coming back, too.

The truth is, as long as Facebook continues to innovate, and as long as they continue to adapt and listen to their users, yet innovate as they do so (meaning they are the first to an idea, not necessarily their users), they’ll always lure people back into their service. I guarantee they’ll make mistakes. I guarantee users will hate them for that. However, Facebook always adapts when it’s clear they made a mistake, and the users always come back. They’ll continue to grow, and in more and more areas – I can guarantee that.

You’re already starting to see this – “Facebook’s another Yahoo”. “Facebook is dying”. “The sky is falling”. This happens again and again, year after year. It’s almost predictable, and it will keep happening. You’ll keep coming back though. You’ll keep finding new and better ways to use the service, and you’ll continue to realize this is one of the best services for your closest friends and family to connect.

BTW, you may be asking, “but what about Google+?” I really don’t think they’re direct competitors. Certain people will use Google+ – many people will, in fact (I wouldn’t have written a book on it if that weren’t the case). However, different types of people will use Facebook. The two will compete, and that’s good. I don’t think either service is “dying” though. We’ll all find better ways to use the best tools available.

In fact, for any service, when people are yelling you’re dying, when you’re still growing, that’s a good thing! It shows you’ve touched a few nerves and you’ve got people’s attention.

You’ve Heard the Rumors. Here are a Few Predictions That "Just Make Sense" For Facebook’s F8

Facebook’s developer conference, F8, is coming up this Thursday, having developers like myself drooling at what Facebook might be launching. Last year I was pretty close in my prediction (I had the code right – just not exactly what the code did – this was all the launch of Facebook’s Social Plugins), having got some clues in their open source Javascript SDK that were launched in the code before they were released to developers. The thing is, this year I’m stumped. I can’t see a single thing in Facebook’s code (with the exception of some sort of “Questions” XFBML tag, but I don’t think that’s new – perhaps in testing?). None of their employees are giving any hints whatsoever of what’s launching, and overall, there have been no obvious clues as to what might launch. The truth is, I don’t even know if I’d blog about it this time even if I did find anything – there is something to the element of Surprise and letting others experience that at F8 as well. I’d like to respect that. I figured I’d put down my thoughts though, and rather than trying to predict anything, I’d share what makes sense to me, out of pure speculation, but with a little bit of backup as to why I think this way.

To start, let’s talk about what the other tech blogs are sharing – it should be noted that even these are rumor, and should not be given any source of credibility until some sort of proof is shown of their pending launch.

  • The HTML5 App Market and Platform (Spartan). This was covered, and scooped thoroughly by Techcrunch’s MG Siegler. I think he’s pretty close to where they’re going with this. I’ve said frequently that Facebook would do well if they had some sort of control of the client, and launching such a platform makes sense. I predict they’ll likely release some sort of app marketplace, via a native app that controls the installation of Facebook-enabled HTML5 apps. They’ll also probably provide native apps for photo sharing and other native-only features of phones so that HTML5 apps can easily tie in and integrate with those features, under Facebook’s control. This is also why they’ll launch an iPad app – it gives them more control.

    BTW, I predicted this 3 years ago.

  • Some sort of Music solution. This too has been covered. I haven’t seen any hint of it by anyone, but it is well known that Facebook employees have loved the social experience of musical apps like Spotify. Not only that, but it would make a lot of sense for Facebook to control the music library of your phone or portable device. There’s just something really social about music, and wanting to share your favorite music with your close friends and family. The more Facebook controls this, the better experience they can provide. I bet this launches as a mobile solution of some sort. It could potentially also launch as a browser plugin (which I’ll explain below).
  • “Read, Watch, Listen.” AllThingsD covered this well. Tonight was the first I heard about it. It fits with the music sharing idea I mentioned above. It also fits with the expanded, 5,000 character limit status update posts that are anticipated to launch tomorrow (see the comments in that link), according to Blake Ross, Facebook’s Director of Product. It seems Facebook is getting ready to launch better ways to curate content – they definitely seem to be trying to get Robert Scoble’s attention with this (he seems to know more than he’s telling). Robert loves curation – he’ll be all over this. I think it will also be really good for Facebook.

    One question I do have though is could Facebook also be partnering with, or starting their own movie and media streaming and sharing service with this? They seem to have been experimenting already some with Livestream at

    The other option (which could be combined with the above) is Facebook could be ready to launch a true Google+ Hangouts competitor using their Skype relationship, allowing people to better share and collaborate and “watch” their favorite videos with groups of their closest friends and family. I get the feeling this Skype relationship is only the beginning.

  • New, revamped profiles. This will be interesting. Mashable reports that some anonymous sources are reporting that a new profile focused more on what media users are listening to or watching will be launched, the intent being to bring more attention to the profile of each user, and encourage others to spend more time on each user’s profile. Kinda reminds me of Myspace – I hope not.

    There are a few things that do make sense here though. With the new emphasis on subscriptions, I anticipate they will likely turn on some sort of capability for individuals to create custom tabs like they do Facebook Pages. Facebook will also likely need to turn on analytics (they’re “Insights” product) to give full reasoning to have people with dual personal Facebook Pages and Profiles have a reason to switch.

    Also, being able to go to my profile to see what music I’m listening to is also an interesting concept – not sure why they wouldn’t use the news feed for that, though. Instead, perhaps they’ll use some sort of concept more similar to Google+’s Hangouts or where you can actually listen together to the music, comment on what you’re listening to, and give others the ability to control your own music flow. The same could apply to movies as well.

With those out of the way, let me share a few things that just make sense to me, with the recent launch of subscriptions, and the direction Facebook seems to be going. I should be careful to note that I haven’t gotten any official confirmation from any Facebook employee on these. They are pure speculation on my part – they just make sense though. I predict some or all of these could be launched, and if they aren’t launched at F8 we will see them at some point in Facebook’s future:
  • A browser plugin platform, to complement the HTML5 Mobile platform. I’ve lauded the web with no login button for awhile now. The concept being you can go from site to site, and have each site automatically identify you based on information supplied by your browser. What if it was a Facebook extension or plugin in your browser that actually did this? What if Facebook provided a platform for this, so that other apps could easily tie in and augment the experience, based on permission from the user.

    It just occurred to me today that it’s been a little eerie that there have been no hints of anything new in the code in Facebook’s website or their SDK. True, Facebook could just have a stronger security model than they used to (likely), but it could also be that some of their employees are also using a browser extension to test sharing, and other features. With this, it would be much harder to detect what’s happening, and you wouldn’t see anything in the code of the website itself.

    Also interesting is the activity I’m seeing by Facebook’s Director of Product, Blake Ross, recently. He seems to have had a major role in the launch of many of these recent products. For those that don’t know, Blake Ross was one of the founders of the Mozilla Firefox project (yes, the browser).

    I should also be clear that anything I ever see from an employee friend I never reveal on this blog – to me a friend is a friend, and I would never abuse that relationship. I can certainly write about what I’m not seeing though! (and of note, I have not seen anything this year, oddly!)

  • Better, and more accessible search options. With Facebook’s subscriptions recently launching, along with a better lists user experience and easier ability to target posts publicly, or to specific lists, it makes sense that more and more people on Facebook are going to begin posting updates publicly. This is what Facebook’s been trying to make happen for quite awhile now. I think finally they did it.

    As a result, it makes sense that Facebook would release a better search user experience, to search these public updates. This is what currently makes Twitter powerful. And with the “Read, Watch, Listen” theme, it would make sense that Facebook wants you to be able to discover content easier. Will we be able to search public updates? Will there be trending terms and other stats (similar to their Lexicon that used to be available). I talked about this potential a few years ago.

  • The ability to “subscribe” to Lists. Several people, including Facebook’s Blake Ross (again, see the comments in that link), have hinted that Facebook is getting ready to launch better ways for family and friends to only get the content they want to see from you. This is the problem I’m running into right now with the new subscriptions. I post a lot more with subscriptions, but half of my posts my family and friends can’t even understand! The majority of my subscribers can though. So how do I set it so that my close family and friends don’t see those public updates?

    A solution I think makes a lot of sense is the idea of creating Facebook lists that others can subscribe to. Right now, when someone subscribes to my public updates, I get a notification saying, “so and so has subscribed to your public updates”. What if that notification was also programmed to say “so and so has subscribed to your technology updates”? The wording seems to make that possible.

    I think it would make a lot of sense if I could create lists targeted towards things I’m interested in. I could create a “technology” list. I could create a “facebook” list. Or, I could take one of my existing lists. Then I could have the option to make that list “subscribable”. Doing so would then, instead of only allowing me to decide who gets updates targeted towards that list, allow anyone who wants to be on that list also receive updates I want to intend towards people on that list. It would be a lot like an email list where anyone can subscribe to get updates, a common feature of many mailing list providers.

  • The death of Notes. As I said above, Blake Ross also confirmed tonight that tomorrow, a new change will be launching allowing Facebook posts to have a maximum limit of 5,000 characters, and potentially even more after that. The current limit is 500 characters. This, in essence, removes the need for the Notes app on Facebook. I think it makes a lot of sense that this app will go away. There’s just not much need any more for the app if I can do the same thing in my status updates.
  • The reintroduction of ActivityStreams, in a distributed consumption (and publishing) model. Chris Messina gave an excellent presentation on the vision for this model. Google+ just launched support (read-only right now) for ActivityStreams, in a limited format. It would make a lot of sense for Facebook to do the same. They’re already rumored to be launching Twitter integration and the ability to post updates to Twitter. What if they also end up having a content consumption model, using ActivityStreams’ standard to be able to import content that has a different source than the current site the content is being shared on. This, in essence, could allow for a distributed subscription model.

    Also of note, Chris Messina worked on the SpreadFirefox project at Mozilla with Blake Ross

  • The launch of OpenID Connect support. OpenID Connect just released their spec. Both Facebook and Google have been very public supporters in the development of this spec. Facebook has always been one of the first on board to the new OAuth specs for developers, with their launch of OAuth 2.0 support last year. It would make a whole lot of sense for Facebook to launch their first implementation of OpenID Connect during this conference.
  • Revamped Facebook Pages. It’s already been rumored that profiles are getting a revamped look and feel. What about Facebook Pages? Up until now they’ve been pretty neglected. I think it makes a lot of sense that Facebook Pages would get a better interface. More moderation capabilities. Easier management. Better promotional opportunities to gain more likes. I think this is very likely this conference.
  • An actual Phone based on their Open Hardware initiative? Facebook has been very big on their open hardware support, with the launch of their new server hosting facility near Seattle. In fact, David Recordon, Facebook’s Senior Open Programs manager, was quoted recently by Jolie O’Dell at Venturebeat saying that Open Hardware was the future over open source software.

    What if one of their focuses currently is on an open hardware phone? There’s nothing like that out there right now. Google’s focus with Android has been on open source, not Open Hardware.  Facebook could really take the mobile game to the next level with this approach.

Of course, all these predictions are just speculation, but you have to admit they all make a lot of sense. Whether we see them at F8, or in the months following, I bet we see a lot of these come to fruition. The innovation in this space is just mind boggling (and I’m sure overwhelming for many users!). While I’m sure competitors such as Google+ are a motivating factor, Facebook truly seems to be thinking outside the box in their efforts going forward. As long as they keep doing so, we’ll continue to see this playing field move forward at a pace we’ve never seen before. Let’s just hope the users can keep up!
In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you’re coming to F8 – I’d love to meet you! Of course, as always, you can subscribe to me any time on Facebook to get more updates like this.

8 Late Predictions That Will Change the Web in 2009

I’ve been intending to write this all month, and until now have had to put it off due to a really busy month on SocialToo. I’ve been tracking multiple web startups this last year, and many news stories around technology. In January and end of December you may have seen the predictions of blog after blog for what they predicted will happen in the year 2009. I missed this opportunity last year, so this year, I noted mine on Twitter, favorited them so I could reference back to them, and will list those here for you to reference next year and see if I was right. Here are 8 predictions that will change the tech space in 2009:

1. SixApart and Automattic will enter the microblogging space (Original Twitter prediction) – Twitter has a monopoly right now in the microblogging space. Even though there are serious contenders like Friendfeed, it’s hard not to leave such a large network of connected people all communicating with each other, so competing with such is a hard task to accomplish. Like it or not, Twitter is still a micro-blogging platform, emphasis on “blogging”. It’s a way to express thoughts and news quickly, in short space, in a very social way. SixApart and Automattic, the two competing blog platforms that make such software as WordPress (that this blog is hosted on) and MovableType, know Twitter hits their audience and fills a void their platforms don’t fill at the moment. They will pose as serious competition by bringing the space of micro-blogging back onto the user’s blogs themselves. We’re already seeing them start this effort with SixApart’s Motion software, and Automattic’s BuddyPress. David Recordon at SixApart is already actively involved in pushing standardization in lifestreaming with Chris Messina and others, an effort Twitter is oddly absent from. Oh, and let’s not forget SixApart’s acquisition of Pownce, solely for their developers! At the same time, I asked Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Auttomatic what their competition to Motion was, and he responded BuddyPress was the answer.

2. Facebook will overtake Craigslist and/or Ebay in online classified sales, or become a very strong competitor (Original Twitter Prediction) – What??? It’s true, Facebook doesn’t even have a classifieds site right now, for the most part. They’ve taken most of it down, and what’s left is rarely used. However, Facebook has announced plans to integrate with existing online marketplace provider, Oodle to integrate their own social offerings and network with the existing Oodle marketplace. I still think there is a huge social marketplace that has not yet been tapped, and of all companies, I think Facebook is the one that gets this, and they’re trying to get it right. I truly believe this year is the year they’ll get it right, and they’ll do such with a combination of developer platform options, micro-payment options, and even more social ways to spread what you’re selling by word of mouth. However, with the tremendous size of Ebay and Craigslist, Facebook has a very steep hill to climb – we’ll see if they’re able to do it this year or next.

3. Robert Scoble and FastCompany will do something truly innovative with all the “likes” he has been sharing on FriendFeed (Original Twitter prediction) – While Gabe Rivera has done a tremendous job responding, Scoble has made no secret his frustrations and love/hate relationship with the service, TechMeme</a. And, as the most followed individual on FriendFeed, he has a unique position to present the news from that which he finds in his huge list of friends, in a social, living manner that others cannot. While, knowing Scoble, I know he does this because he truly enjoys new information, smart people, and innovating startups, I can’t help but wonder if some of his activity is in planning for something he is also doing with his employer, FastCompany. We’ll find out in the next 11 months I guess.

4. Facebook will launch a serious developer platform, solely for mobile phone developers (Original Twitter prediction) – I predicted this middle of last year, and Facebook has confirmed this, sort of, as Ben Ling announced at F8 last year that they would be releasing libraries for Facebook Connect on top of the iPhone at some point. I asked again in the following Press briefing, and he confirmed it there as well. I think Facebook has tremendous potential on the iPhone. While technically it is possible to integrate Facebook Connect and the Facebook platform into any environment with an internet connection, Facebook has not put their focus in this area for developers yet, nor have they made it easy. However, once they do expect an even larger boom for Facebook as they launch to the 3 billion world-wide cell phone subscriber base out there. Imagine not only friend and status information being shared, but geo-location, on-the-spot photos and videos, and more. I think this is the year for that to happen for Facebook.

5. People will grow tired of traditional social media services and move, possibly en masse, to bigger, and better solutions (Original Twitter prediction) – Microsoft has yet to seriously contend in the social media space. Google keeps trying and failing (or so we perceive). Yahoo has yet to be successful. However, each of these have massive chat platforms all with friends lists and networks that, with a little tweaking could be modified to work, just like Twitter, or possibly even Facebook or similar. Microsoft has shown interest in this by having a representative at Steve Gillmor‘s Bearhug camp last year. Each of these platforms dwarfs Twitter in size. I think there is a very strong possibility Twitter will either be acquired by one of these, or the big 3 will start competing in Twitter’s space and we’ll see serious competition out there. I think this is just one example of ways this can happen in the Social Media space we know today.

6. RSS will lose its anonymity (Original Twitter prediction) – one of the strong points of RSS is that anyone can subscribe, and no one has to know they subscribed to the content they want to read. However, in an increasingly “Social” world, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to remain anonymous. I think the days are numbered that RSS keeps its anonymity. With services like Feedburner beginning to fail, and services like Google FriendConnect and Facebook Connect taking shape, there is a serious possibility bloggers will soon be able to know each individual, personally, who subscribes to their blog. If you think I’m blowing smoke about this, just look over there on the right – see all those names and faces? I’m willing to bet each one of them subscribes to this blog.

7. FriendFeed will be acquired by a major news organization. (Original Twitter prediction) – FriendFeed, even more than Twitter, is a news source. It’s a way to gather and read more than just statuses, but blog posts, Google Reader shares, Facebook posts, and more, in one single location. News organizations worldwide are dying. It’s becoming too expensive to produce good content any more, especially as others are producing content for free via blogs and other mediums. For this reason, I think the successful News organizations will be Content enablers, not providers, and will be the ones providing the technology, and services for ordinary citizens to report the news where they are, at the time it’s happening. Of all available networks out there, I think FriendFeed does this best. Think I’m crazy? It already happened to FriendFeed’s competitor, SocialMedian, acquired by news organization, Xing. It happened to MySpace with News Corp. Smart news organizations will realize this and you’ll see many more acquisitions like those.

8. Content aggregation will move to blogs (Original Twitter prediction) – I covered this a little in number one. However, I think it’s worth re-emphasizing. People like to own their content. I think people are getting frustrated that they can’t aggregate, communicate with their networks, and more, through their own home base, being their blog. I think the smarter services will enable the ability to aggregate on users’ own blogs, and network with others’ blogs and content aggregation at the same time.

So there you have it – heard here first, 8 predictions that I think will change the web in 2009. In economically troubling times people are desperate – they work harder than ever to make things work, and I truly believe that much of the landscape as we know it will be different, come 2010.