November 17, 2008

key digital developments in 2008

Identifying trends is a challenge especially when there are booms and buzzwords coined every month and the ecosystem changes too quickly. I would like to share a work in progress article on “key digital developments in 2008” before coming up with a final version. Let me know your opinions on the same

Here are my observations on key digital developments in 2008-

1. Aggregators: aggregators will become more popular, if they are not yet. From friendfeed to techmeme, we will see smarter ways to consume content.
2. Yahoo – launched an intelligent social architecture, yahoo life, to turn Yahoo into a set of platforms for third-party publishers and developers. Closed down services like yahoo music, auctions, yahoo 360, and missed a golden chance to join hands with Microsoft and lost many key managers. Yahoo’s move to openness, especially on search front and its move to be a platform will shape its future in coming years

3. Microblogs: Users started speaking in 140 characters and sending tinyurl’s thus making inroads to microblogs, Twitter has passed the one-billion tweet mark and used by more than 3 million users.Microblos helped more and more users to express there opinions and share there lives on internet

4. Developer platforms /API – Every popular social network has launched application platform or joined an existing one and making there websites a plug-and-play services. API’s became mainstream with more than 1000 Web service API’s on offer a steep increase from 32 API’s in 2005

5. Data/Content portability- Data and content portability will help in reducing social media fatigue and makes life simple at a time when so many new web services are trying to catch user’s attention on the other hand it will help companies to retain users to there services. We witnessed few initiatives last year (Facebook connect, Google friend connect and Myspace data) in making data more portable, but its still a long and unclear road ahead. Profile data will be shared by major websites making the web experience beyond their walled gardens

6. Browser wars – Google created a buzz by launching chrome. Chrome aspires to move the web forward and provide a stronger platform for emerging web standards. Chrome helps Google collect more data on consumers’ needs and behavior and display more precise ads Chrome can run applications faster than traditional browsers and pave way to cloud computing environments. Chrome may appeal to tech crowd but attracting users beyond early adopters is a challenge. IBM is developing a new product built around the browser as an application platform which lets users share data live and in real time. Browser will become more advanced and will became as an application platforms than just display web pages

7. Mobile web –Nokia launched a premier mobile advertising network with leading publishers and operators across the world. Nokia rebranded twango, a media sharing start up acquired in 2007 to ovi, which offers Web services such as gaming, social networking, and mapping and partnered with Google on mobile search application. Nokia recognized the need to be more than a mobile manufacturer and threats it may face from new companies and quickly started reorganizing the company into 2 segments: devices and services. Nokia will differentiate with rest of players by the content(like tie up with Sony BMG to offer free music for a year) and services it offer not just functionality of the phones. Web-capable smart phones gained more penetration and shaping mobile web habits.

8. Virtual Worlds –IBM and Linden Labs joined hands develop a version of Second Life that will live behind the corporate firewall. Google launched Lively, a browser based virtual world, but overall I am still skeptical whether virtual worlds and 3d will make big in 2009

9. Self Serving Ads- Myspace, Linkedin and facebook launched self service ads. Self servicing ads will help grow the total online ad market pie, and it helps in forming a ‘Long Tail of online advertisers’, in coming years.

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