Saturday, December 27, 2008

2009 Predictions: What the Internet thinks about 2009

The internet thinks that it won't lose hope in 2009, in spite of all the abandoned plans, fickle VCs, and of course, expensive houses that were never bought.

In India, social networking sites have taken quite a beating and many are shutting shops. In sectors that were booming, Online travel for instance, expect consolidations. People have big hopes from the mobile internet out here. After BPO, Software as a Service is giving people hope.

What's going up in tech 2009
- Everyone will be adopting cost-saving technologies and methods.
- Virtual desktops and mobile devices will boom
- Smart aggregation of User-Generated Content
- Search Marketing Remains strong

Bandwidth Crunch
Seth Godin says, "the internet is full". The demand from smartphones, videoconferencing will challenge the will of and credit- challenged carriers, leading to (not yet full-blown) bandwidth crunch

Apple Computer in 2009
Although Apple will enter the Chinese market in a major way, finding success will be difficult. Apple's over-priced iPhone was a flop in mobile-savvy India.

More business types adopt Twitter but they must remain wary of all those marketers hiding in every corner.

Government Crowdsourcing
In an U.S. Administration headed by an Internet-savvy President, Ross Ferguson predicts that at least one major government department will launch a large-scale crowd-sourcing site for the purposes of problem-solving.

Conferences: No more talking heads?
Ad Age says that in 2009, it will be harder to justify attending expensive industry conferences. For starters, many conferences will be downsized.

Risky Social networking
2009 will see more instances of crimes on Social Networking sites [e.g. Koobface Virus on Facebook]. Cyber hives will use all means to build their personal networks. Some have gone on to say that, many people will take to a life of cyber-crime while they pass time on the laid-off line.

Suddenly, being Facebook friends with your mom will seem less ridiculous than following 4,000 strangers on Twitter.” - Greg Verdino

Sports Social Networking
Jason suggests entrepreneurs to Build sites like No more copy cat social media sites. If only.

Desktop PCs
Demand for desktops may increase owing to plans of laid-off workers who will be starting their own businesses.

Some say Netbooks may outsell Laptops. Their sales could easily double in 2009.

According to a Reuters Poll of Mobile Analysts, global mobile shipments will dip on average 6.6% next year.
Google Android will eventually develop into a worthy player (Android Smartphones) and may give competition to established players, including the iPhone.

Video Games
Video games are cheap sources for entertainment for a laid-off population with more free time in 2009. As the popular comparison goes, "a $60 computer game can easily provide 50-100 hours of entertainment."
Related things that will also sell well: Social games, Virtual goods.

Cloud Computing
In a cash-strapped/cash-savvy economy, more companies with 1000+ employees will go "Server-Less". Google will focus more on convincing and winning over big corporate buyers into using Google Apps.

A rise in server-less companies with 1000+ employees. In 2009, the market will start to hear about more and more companies going completely server-less.

Affordable Greening
Alternative energy may indeed flourish under Obama's enlightened Administration. but, many companies will have to make a hard choice between going “green” or just surviving through the year.

Annus Horribilis for New Media
As per emarketer, lower prices for most display ads and less competition for many search keywords will make online advertising a buyers’ market.

Jon Fine thinks that at least one top-50 magazine will do a TV Guide, selling for a nominal $1 to a non-industry entity, and onto a decidedly painful restructuring.

More Online Media startups
These will be headed by people laid off from troubled newspaper companies. Some of these startups may be playing a bigger role in 2010 and beyond.

Emily Gordon of has a great take on the future of New Media in 2009:
The good, the bad, and the Ghost of Media Future: Newspaper veterans will unite to create the greatest online resource of all time and overthrow all the sites that put them out of business. Newsday (snappy URL, right?) will rise again as a megasite that dwarfs other news aggregators. PR and journalism will merge to become flackalism. Someone will design an online course called "Multimedia for Magazine Editors in Five Minutes a Day" that will make that someone a whole bunch of money; why not you? Professional bloggers nationwide will unionize, with the encouragement of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, and demand full benefits and reasonable work conditions. Readers of long, focused stories online will get tired of scrolling and pay for well-designed paper versions—even more for signed copies from the right authors. (This I can prove.) And someone's got to start paying for the Internet, maybe with a package subscription to favorite sites, which would come, Salon Premium-style, with magazines, music, party invitations, and meaningful community privileges.

From Fortune Magazine
… stay away from risky assets. .. stay away from the stock market… stay away from commodities. … stay away from credit, both high-yield and high-grade. .. stay in cash or cashlike instruments such as short-term or longer-term government bonds. .. stay in things with low returns rather than to lose 50% of your wealth. .. preserve capital.

Identity Theft
Real Estate-based scams will thrive: Experts warn that your home, while fully paid for, could even be entangled in a second mortgage without your knowledge.


Online retail sales
The number of online buyers is fast approaching saturation. Online retail sales (excluding travel) will grow by only 4% in 2009—the first full year to feel the impact of the economic crisis that started in 2008.

Offline Retail
Amidst wide scale "retail space" downsizing in an "over-built" America, where many "Mom and Pop" stores will also go under, Mr. Swing predicts that 5 major "name brand" bankruptcies will occur in national retail chains by Memorial Day 2009. Strip malls will run almost empty.

Global Economy in trouble
The Trouble in America and Europe will lead to more trouble in the Emerging Economies. The Dollar will remain strong as long as economies dependent on America suffer and for the first time in history, people over the age of 65 will outnumber children under the age of 5.

Unemployment in America
Mr. Swing predicts t a " >750K" weekly unemployment claim by Easter despite an increasing number of construction jobs due to Obama's announced work plan for improving America's infrastructure.
Mr. Swing also warns that 3000+ car dealerships will close shop in 2009.
Restaurants will also close.

Best Careers in 2009
In its annual list of best careers, the U.S. News lists out jobs in hospitals and pharmacy, education, therapy, user experience/usability and urban design

American Sports
Mr. Swing predicts that the LPGA and potentially even the PGA will cancel tour dates.
People will question high salaries for sports superstars.

Revolution in Iran?
This article on CNBC says that if oil prices continue to decline, the Iranian society will be badly affected as Oil is Iran's#1 commodity. Can this dissatisfied society rebel against a non-performing government?

Amidst all this, keep dreaming.
Rohit Bhargava puts it best, “You may not always start the year as a leader, but you can certainly finish it.'' that way.”

Stories you might also want to read

A simpleguide to India in 2008

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