Home 2011 Predictions: Mike Melanson

2011 Predictions: Mike Melanson

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: The idea of the “real-time Web” will become the standard as dynamic, real-time content permeates every corner of the Web. Beyond updates, commenting, and news, the movement toward real-time will finally begin to fully realize the connection between the Web and the Internet of Things. Instead of hacks and mashups telling us when the next bus is coming or what point in the journey our package is in, we’ll have real-time tracking via RFID or other IOT technologies.

2: Complex Internet TV systems like Google TV will find a way to become screen-agnostic or simpler, cheaper systems like Roku Box will win out with consumers. For these more complex integrations to work, they’ll also need to refine their operating systems and offer integration with a wider variety of cable TV content. We have plenty of access to our email already. We don’t want to pay $300 to see it on our TV screen too.

ReadWriteWeb’s 2011 Predictions:

3: Mobile payment systems will continue to make in-roads in the US, especially as online payment systems become more widely accepted. They won’t, however, have the same traction as these same systems in countries where the realities of everyday life necessitate them. (IE mobile payment systems in parts of Africa help workers protect themselves from getting mugged on their monthly pay day, according to one story I remember hearing on NPR.)

4: Speaking of money, we’re going to see Facebook really do something with its virtual currency, Facebook Credits, over the next year. So far, the company got rid of its virtual gift store and made credits available for purchase using PayPal. They’re now usable for in-game purchases, but we have yet to see the cross-over to the real world. We might see Facebook Credits become a real live currency in 2011, with users having the ability to buy tickets to events (remember that Eventbrite partnership stuff we saw earlier this year?) and maybe even make phone calls over Skype (there has to be more to that Skype/Facebook partnership, right?).

5: Over the last several months, we’ve heard more and more that Twitter is not just a place to go and tell us what you did for lunch – it’s a place to go read about what other people ate for lunch. Okay, I jest. But really, Twitter is working on transitioning to a more consumer friendly, consumption-based tool and that’s what we’re going to see in 2011. The website redesign was just the beginning. Now, the company is going to figure out (beyond a list of 10 trending topics) how to filter and aggregate all that content and make it useful to the average Web user. And then stick some more advertising in there, likely of the local variety.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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