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Web Predictions for 2007

Firstly Happy New Year!
Information below on how experts feel that the Internet is going to go.
My understanding is that we will join on-line groups with the same interests as ourselves and, within those groups recommend new products, holidays etc.
Wikipedia is also talking about a search engine based on what real people have seen rather than Google which uses formulas and bots to garner its results.
I personally look forward to a time when the search engine gives genuine results not just pages of pages advertising what you are looking for.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Web users driving change in 2007

Web users driving change in 2007

By Mark Ward

Technology Correspondent, BBC News website

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, AP

Video site YouTube blazed a trail in 2006

It is often said the only constant in the world of hi-tech is change
– a fact that makes prediction notoriously difficult. But here three
tech veterans give their view about what will drive change over the
next 12 months and beyond.

There is little doubt that 2006 was the year that web users started to flex their muscle.

Although everyone is familiar with web giants such as
Google, Yahoo and Amazon, the last 12 months have shown that their
reign at the top is perhaps not going to last forever.

In 2006 it was YouTube, MySpace, Bebo, Facebook and many other social sites that grabbed the headlines.

The focus on users and online communities will continue
in 2007 said Kathy Johnson from Consort Partners – a Silicon
Valley-based firm that advises start-ups targeting the so-called Web
2.0 space.

The big trend among hot web companies will be the
“actualisation of personalisation” she says. By that mouthful she means
web firms will find a way to mine the information generated when net
communities spring up.

Kathy Johnson, KJohnson

Johnson: Personalisation will be big in 2007

For instance, she says, although web shops such as
Amazon make recommendations about new books, CDs, DVDs or gadgets you
might like based on what you have bought, few people trust these as
they are not entirely sure how they are generated.

And, she said, the recommendations made by net retailers were often not very accurate.

People were much more likely to trust recommendations that come from an online interest group they had joined, she said.

“That’s why all the companies are talking reputation
management and melding it with personalisation so when you get
recommendations you can trust them,” she said.

Ms Johnson said start-ups such as music community sites and Mog were leading the way but she had seen many more being
founded along similar lines.

Mix and match

For serial entrepreneur Philippe Courtot, 2007 promises
to be a year of big changes for the broader technology industry which
will also be set in motion by greater use of web technology.

Mobile camera screen, BBC

Mobiles will make possible all kinds of social changes

The ease and speed with which web programs can be put
together is driving more and more businesses to question how they
create the software they use to keep their organisations running.

“You cannot keep on developing software the old ways,”
said Mr Courtot who is founder and chairman of online security firm
Qualys. “The costs of distribution and support are higher and higher
and the customers are less and less satisfied.”

Instead of buying a licence for a program and developing
applications themselves, companies will move in great numbers towards
firms offering software as a service via the web browser. “It’s going
to be much more visible than it has at any other time,” he said.

As customers start to dry up he predicted a wave of
mergers and acquisitions as old-fashioned software firms consume each
other to stay in business.

“There’s going to be huge consolidation,” he said.

Phone home

For Dr Martin Illsley, director of the European research
labs for tech consultancy Accenture, 2007 will also be a big year for
personal technology – in particular the mobile phone.

As the numbers of handsets bearing cameras reaches a
crucial point they will start to make possible all kinds of unforeseen
changes – ones that businesses may struggle to cope with.

Toyota partner robot, AP

Robots will start to pop in more places in 2007

“Camera phones will allow customers to communicate with businesses via pictures in addition to phone and e-mail,” he said.

“Consumers will be able to complain more easily by snapping the offending incident or object,” he said.

For businesses the downside is the weight of evidence
that customers can amass about faulty goods or shoddy service. However,
he said, smart firms will find a way to use the information being
generated and which may be impossible to capture any other way.

Also in 2007 he expects other technologies, in
particular robots and wireless sensor nets, to start to weave
themselves into everyday life.

As the component costs of these devices fall they are much more likely to be used everyday, he said.

“New generations of service robots will not be very
intelligent but will provide cheap help for a range of tasks such as
packing, cleaning, checking and basic assistance,” he said.

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