2008 is going to be a year of political intrigue, depressing economic news, annoying web filters, weird weather, crappy television, newfangled gadgets and green hybrid vehicles. That's the short of it and some of it is bound to be true. But no one really knows what 2008 is going to be like yet so here's a closer look at some key issues.
Australia gets a big giant filter for 2008. Duncan Riley has more on the Great Firewall of Australia here. Let's hope filters do not become a global trend for 2008.
Speaking of the Kindle. Some folks like that for a hot gadget in 2008. The Kindle does have some hidden easter eggs that may help it win kudos from gadget bloggers. Some more obvious forecasts are
that the 3G iPhone and Google's Android platform will be popular this year. Another hot 2008 gadget may be the Chumby.
Some gadget forecasts can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.
The RIAA apparently thinks in 2008 you shouldn't be copying your music from one device to another. Some suggest that in 2008 the mainstream music industry will end. Note: It isn't going to end but the big music labels will continue to struggle with CD sales in 2008.
U.S. President: It is an easy prediction to say that U.S. politics will be a hot topic in the blogosphere this year. The polls are all over the place.
The BBC calls it the "nobody knows" election. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is the lack of an incumbent. Vice President Dick Cheney could have run but he has never polled well and has health issues. The Democrats appear to be better off than the Republicans at this point. The Democrats have raised far more money and they have been polling better but the elections are still a long way away. Grist is only 98% sure we will actually get a new president in 2008.
The BBC has an article about some new technologies that could be
making the news in 2008 including IPTV and Wimax. They also mention there will be more of the "web to go" with technology like Google Gears. Predictions posts on Google Operation System and Google Blogoscoped also mention Google Gears.
2008 may not be an exciting tech year. There could be much iterbore says Damien Mulley: "2008 is going to be the most boring year in tech ever. Everything is about iteration. Yawn yawn yawn." Damien could be wrong and he knows it. The subject of his post is "Complelety Wrong Predictions for 2008."
Writers Strike: We certainly hope that WGA writers is ancient history by the end of 2008 but it looks like lots of reality tv shows is a given for at least the first few months of 2008. The number of scripted shows remaining is quickly shrinking. The striking writers have won the battle for public opinion but the AMPTP is still holding out on cutting a deal. It has been depressing to watch but there have been a couple postive signs. The fact that some of the networks are already losing ad revenues is a sign the networks may need to return to the bargaining table. The Worldwide Pants side deal was also a positive sign. Despite these positives some analysts are saying the strike could last until the SAG's deal with the AMPTP expires in June. NewTeeVee has some thoughts on the strike from insiders here. Ongoing updates on the strike can be found here and here. At least the strike brought us the Writer Boi video.
Online Video: That there will be continued growth in online video was a sure thing even without a writer's strike. That there is a battle over it between the writers and the giant media companies is a good example of just how important web video is. There will be serious growth in online video in 2008. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb sums it up this way: "Online video will become so ubiquitous, including live and mobile, that everyone will wonder how the internet existed without it. It won't feel like a big deal, though." NewTeeVee has some short video interviews about what will happen in the online video world this year. Marketing Shift thinks 2008 will be a big year for Joost. Paris Lemon expects Flickr to launch a video service this year. Download Squad offers five video predictions including one that Seesmic will die.
B.L. Ocham predicts that social networks will turn to subscriptions starting with small fees. "The fees will be small, but they will replace conventional advertising as a revenue model."
Rev2.org kills off some 2007 buzzwords including AJAX, The Long Tail and Folksonomy.
Economy: A lot of how 2008 goes depends on what the economy does. There are some indications that the economy in 2008 might be unfun
and possibly even scary. See here, here, here and here. Some of these stories contain the dreaded stagflation word. If these dour economic forecasts pan out than we could lose some of our social media friends in 2008. At a minimum there are likely to be many more Web 2.0 shutterings in 2008 than we saw in 2007.
Blogs: AdesBlog.com is predicting a slow down in blogs about blogging and blogs about making money online. DailyBlogTips sees some consolidation in the blogging industry in 2008 but expects "2008 will be another big year for blogging and new media in general." Rex Dixon predicts there will be less blogs.
Facebook Fatigue: Facebook ended 2007 by finally allowing users to turn off the invasive Facebook ad beacon. John Batelle doesn't think 2008 will be kind to Facebook. Business Week is also forecasting Facebook fatigue.
WebMetricsGuru predicts the continued growth of content aggregators. The more content there is the more we need tools we need to filter it so that we do not become overwhelmed.
Green: There is no reason why green won't get even hotter in 2008. Especially if tech companies can come up with green ideas that also save you money. GreenTech Pastures has some green predictions for the new year.
Digital Urban predicts the launch of Google's own Virtual World system.
IP Democracy has a useful table that provides summaries of sixteen prediction articles.
Robin Good has a twopart predictions post that covers a number of subjects. His predictions include an increase in live-blogging and online collaboration tools. He also predicts that some small publishers will move away from Google AdSense.
Twitter. Twitter is the still the leading microblogging service even though Google now owns Jaiku. One of the trends that emerged in 2007 with microblogging was a drop in blog posts. On this blog there were less posts in 2007 than in 2006. It's easier sometimes to do "hey look at this" type entries on Twitter than to write up an entire blog entry. Some bloggers are predicting Twitter will be acquired in 2008. It will be interesting to see what happens. A good question is When will any of these microblogging services ever let you host your microblog account on your own domain? Maybe that will happen in 2008.
Celebrities: Unfortunately, you should expect more celebrities to find themselves in the gossip blogs in 2008 for not wearing underwear or for getting a DUI. There are some forecasting celebrity turnarounds for a couple of 2007's troubled female stars. One blogger predicts a big turnaround for Britney Spears. Defamer has excerpted some celebrity predictions from this ET Online article. If these predictions are accurate then it looks good for Lindsay Lohan from July onward. Epicurious says farmers will become the new celebrity chefs. Can't really see a Top Farmer show but the networks may try anything if the writer's strike continues much longer. Celebrities will also jump to online video even more in 2008.
Trendwatching has a prediction post that includes some acronyms and phrases you may not have heard of like premiumization, nethoods, MIY and crowd mining. Start using some of these terms early in 2008 and you might be able to fool people into thinking you know a lot more than you actually do.
Still need more predictions? Try a search on Google News or Technorati for predictions and you will find many. There's a few hundred
2008 prediction videos on YouTube as well.