2008 is going to be the most boring year in tech ever. Everything is about iteration. Yawn yawn yawn. More iterations on touchscreens. More freer mobile devices, yet they won’t change at all much. More WiMax vapourware from Intel more strawgrabbing by Microsoft. More social networking fandangos. More people shilling social media to “enterprise” without knowing if or how it works and whether it’ll benefit a company. Invention itself though will seem stunted or neutered as the once anarchy filled web with so much variety cross-fertilises into one grey lump.
2008 will see a matching of two distinct groups, both desperate for attention. Presidential candidates in the States will join up with desperate startups and do something “innovative” for Politics 2.0. It’ll be all noise and nothing of substance. Again.
There’ll be even more privacy breaches in Ireland and more spam and more unsolicited calls and yet again the limp and lame Data Protection Commissioner will do nothing but write an end-of-year report on how great they are. Liars. Nobody will really give a damn either, until someone starts seriously abusing our data and it starts to affect more and more of us then bits will get into daily conversations and we’ll hear “Why isn’t something being done to protect are data?” replacing the urban legends about African immigrants getting free cars and petrol to drive their kids to school. For a while at least.
57million ego channels and nothing on
Videoblogging or video journalism will take off. Sky News and the BBC are doing their damnedest to make sure that happen. While Seesmic is shit (for now but I hope this changes) it’s actually boosting video blogging and encouraging a good internetworking of the Europeans and the Americans. This will continue as QIk will also contribute to this as well. Hopefully we might see a LiveTube site that gives us a Videodrome-like service that shows all the live shows on right now and who are viewing them as well as creating timelines that mix news stories and the video reactions to them.
The Irish Times will open up
While some won’t want to see the paymodel go away after defending it for years, the paywalls at the Irish Times will fall away and traffic will go up and up, making this quality paper rightly go up in rankings for all things Ireland. The Irish Times will internally consider buying Beaut.ie or asking Kieran Murphy from IceCreamIreland to do a weekly piece for their food and lifestyle blog. Nothing might happen though.
Property investors take a gamble
With the sagging property market, the people who had fun investing and wheeling and dealing in property will miss the cut and thrust and will look elsewhere. Some clever startups might encourage some of these guys at a racemeet to invest in a few startups. Some will only invest because a formal rival has invested and once again there’s a competition. While not taking an active role in their investments (thank goodness) they will at the same time tell all and sundry about the business, generating more buzz. 15 years later EI will release a report suggesting that it might be a good idea to look at property investors and developers as potential investors in technology.
RTE will also start figuring new media out
Get ready to see a blog or two on RTE but it will be a conservative move to start with. Start seeing stupid sonsofbitches use the blog comments to vent about anything at all to do with RTE. Start seeing the comments being moderated. RTE will start allowing video replies to news items. Again, heavily moderated but it will be a welcome start. There are some keen and progressive minds in RTE so when this move happens, it would be good to see this getting welcomed and praised instead of nitpicked.
Blogging will get a mainstream regular slot
Be it RTE Online, Ireland.com, Newstalk or TodayFM, one of them will do a regular thing on “blog reactions” to news items. Something like what Slate does already. All it takes is a proactive blogger to get off their ass and sell the idea.
Online generated number 1 in the music charts
Using the momentum that started with the Waits for Christmas, someone will get a song to number 1 in Ireland just from hype created online. The unknown (til then) artist will be like the Ron Paul for Irish music. We Irish are good at pissing off the Brits by voting the Wolfe Tones as the best song ever and we’ll bring it all back home by getting an unknown artist to number 1 just because we can and we want to screw around with the system. Further proof that you give an Irishperson rules and they’ll work out ways to break them.