My good buddy David Peralty obviously felt I was slacking off on the blogging front, so he graciously tagged me with this prognosticating blog meme. So without further adieu, and with a little more brevity, here are my 4 web predictions for 2007.
1. The Rise of the MP3 Blog (and blogger) – Ok, it’s already happening, but I think 2007 is going to see the true power of the MP3 blog really begin to change the online music landscape. If the record industry thought Napster was a problem, they haven’t seen nothin’ yet. Unlike Napster and P2P file sharing, MP3 blogs are a different animal altogether because along with providing MP3 files hosted (in many cases) anonymously on free blog hosting services etc, they also disseminate opinion. MP3 bloggers are fast becoming the ‘pulse’ of what’s hot, what’s fresh and what’s waiting to be discovered by the masses. With online music downloads/revenues showing signs of softening, the record industry will have no choice but to find ways to ‘seed’ their music into the public consciousness, and it will be the MP3 bloggers who will continue to be at the forefront of this trend as the PR companies for the record industry begin en mass to send freely distributable MP3 files to these MP3 bloggers in hopes that they’ll infect their bands with some quantifiable internet viral juice. The free internet goes from being the ‘enemy’ to reluctant ‘friend’ for the record industry. It has to happen, it’s slowly starting to happen, and 2007 will be the year it goes from fringe to all-out trend.
2. Vancouver-based NowPublic is acquired by a mainstream media organization with sizeable girth that wants to do citizen journalism the right way ie, the New York Times. Oh, and for those who missed it, NowPublic was recently named one of the ‘Top 5’ best news sites by the Guardian.
3. Jason Calacanis tries, but fails to capture the ‘lightning in a bottle’ that he experienced with his Weblogs, Inc. venture – Calacanis is readying his next move, but this time he has big dogs and big money behind him in the form of Sequoia Capital (the YouTube sugar daddy). Let’s get something straight here, I’m totally setting myself up for being wrong on this because betting against Calacanis is a very. bad. idea. It’s like betting against Seabiscuit, you just don’t do it. But it’s just a gut feeling, so I’m going with it. Calacanis won’t be down for long though. He’s young, he’s as bright as they come, and one pitfall won’t tarnish his golden touch all that much.
4. Darren Barefoot leaves Canada and becomes the most sought-after travel journalista on the WWW – I love reading Darren’s blog and anybody who has been reading it lately knows that for some time now Darren has had his eye on living and working in a foreign country. He just announced his plans to take his wife/biz partner Julie and his company Capulet on the road to Malta for 6 months. I predict he blogs his escapades abroad and by the time he’s done the trip, Condé Naste comes calling with a tempting offer to travel/blog around the world. In the end, Darren turns them down and chooses to return to beautiful B.C. to build his new home on Pender Island and kickstart an initiative to blanket B.C.’s wilderness with free WiFi.