Editor's note: Every December the ReadWriteWeb team looks into the murky depths of the coming year and tries to predict the future. How did we do last year? Well, Facebook didn't go public, Google Wave didn't make a comeback, and Spotify didn't make it to the U.S. But our forecasts for Google Chrome, cloud computing, Facebook and something we called the "iTablet" were spot on. What's in store for 2011? All this week we'll be posting our predictions. Let us know your prognostications in the comments.

1: There will be major opportunities and innovations around big data - storage, processing, analytics. "Data-driven" will be the new buzzword. "Data scientist" will be the new hot job. So in the spirit of the film The Graduate, I want to say one word to you. Just one word. "Statistics."



2: Governments and corporations will continue their crackdown on "inappropriate" and "illegal" content online, using WikiLeaks and file sharing as the excuse. People will debate what's protected under the First Amendment versus Terms of Service agreements.

3: Peer-to-peer services will expand, in part as a response to #2. P2P technologies and networks will improve, and new services will spring up that privilege trusted relationships.

4: "Not dead yet," squeaks the Web. Thank you, HTML5.

5: Investor dollars will flow into the education technology sector, and there will be lots of acquisition activity in ed-tech as many large media, publishing, and tech companies stake their claim in the space. But there will also be several ed-tech scandals (test-score related) and failures (yes, Kno).

6: Openly-licensed content - open education resources, open source, open data - will thrive, as more people question outmoded intellectual property laws. Nonetheless, there'll still be patent and copyright infringement lawsuits aplenty.

7: Mobile payments will explode, and our phones will increasingly become our wallets. The growth will not lie solely with apps and in-app purchases on smartphones, but will come from carrier billing arrangements on all types of mobile phones.

8: Tablets will be the hot device of 2011 - a lot of new buyers, a lot of new manufacturers. Most of the latter will suck, and the iPad will continue to dominate sales (and app sales) until late in the year when a decent Android tablet is released. Despite over a year to prepare, it will fail to have a better name than "iPad."

9: Maker Fairs will flourish. Hobbyists will build mind-blowingly cool projects. And inspired by the likes of Kinect, Scratch, and LegoMindstorms, legions of kids will be inspired to become builders and hackers.

10: My mom will join Facebook.