Editors Note: This is the last of a two-part installment of media predictions in the New Year.
While this time of year always brings out many technology predictions for the new year, the last five of my Top Ten Internet Trends for 2005 may surprise you and may seem like old news if you follow these things. Most on the list have been trends that were a long-time coming and will now be finally realized.
Here are my last five Internet Trends to Watch in 2005.
LOCAL / GEOGRAPHICAL WEB SEARCH
The promise and opportunity of locality-based search has been talked about for years with many companies starting up and then going out of business. The year 2005 will start to bring geo-based search into the range of real usability and value. While we will still be at the very beginning of the growth and development of location based search tools, I believe that 2005 will start to bring together all the features that will make local search valuable to everyday searches. Major brand search resources will rapidly fill out with local resources. In 2005, people will learn of the value of local search sites. The rapidly growing numbers of small business web sites will propel free and paid location-based search listings.
See Yahoo’s Local Search beta at http://local.yahoo.com, Google Local Search beta at http://local.google.com and Microsoft’s MSN City Search-based local search service at http://local.msn.com.
WEBLOGS BECOME SPONSOR SUPPORTED MAJOR MEDIA SOURCES
The traffic to weblogs is growing as mainstream media draws attention to the importance and profound impact of grassroots weblog journalism, also known as citizen journalism. This boom of traffic to weblogs is drawing on the general distrust of the major media and the increasing quality of the people who are blogging online. In 2005, major media reporters and anchors become webloggers. See examples of weblogs with advertising: MSNBC HardBlogger at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5445086/, PaidContent.org at http://www.paidcontent.org and AutoBlog.com at http://www.autoblog.com.
E-MAIL MAINTAINS “KILLER APPLICATION” STATUS AGAINST INSTANT MESSENGER FOR NOW
It is my prediction that in 2005 the Spam e-mail problem will diminish and Netizens will rediscover e-mail as the most important way of personal electronic communication. Spam filters will continue to get better at filtering spam and important messages will start getting into the inbox and read again. Many will get tired of and grow impatient with the constant interruptions that occur when using Instant Messenger services.
MOBILE WEB AND MOBILE STREAMING MEDIA GROW
In 2005, we will see continuing growth of the smart phone platforms like Windows Mobile and Pocket PC Phone Editions. These smart phone platforms are integrating faster processors, memory, faster Internet connections and web browsers that enable access to the World Wide Web from millions of smaller color screens. The fast growth in the numbers of small screen smart phones with web access will push the web site owners to develop small screen versions of their web sites. We will also see an accelerated growth in streaming media on smart phones globally as high speed wireless data technologies mature and get greater integration into smart phone devices.
EMERGENCE OF UNLIKELY GEEK MEDIA STARS ONLINE
2005 will see the continued emergence of unlikely geek webloggers that gain national and international fame from being a well known blogger. While some of the names I am about to list may be unknown, here are a few: Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Matt Drudge (though not really a
blogger) and Doc Searls. You can rest assured that these names are not unknown to people who are really into following technology. Here is a list of the Top 100 Weblogs: http://feedster.com/top100.php.