30 Predictions for 2007 in Media/Tech/Pop
The usual caveats apply: I have no inside knowledge on any of this stuff. I talk to media+tech people about trends all the time, but nobody ever tells me anything important. And I only have mutual funds, so don't try to play that angle.
Besides, I'm just taking cheap shots anyway.
1) $100 PC. Finally, computing in the Third World! But priorities are reassessed when someone does the math and realizes that the One Benjamin PC could feed a single African for 37 years.
2) MySpace. Despite (or because of) News Corp's ownership of MySpace, unique users start to disappear. Someone at the New York Times realizes that your friend Tom has released absolutely zero new features to the community since Fox's takeover. In a scramble, MySpace releases a bunch of bad features that everyone hates. However, they sell several more sponsorship deals for movies, tv shows, and bands that you don't care about.
3) Apple. Apple buys Last.FM. Finally. And iTV is a hit. Finally. And the iPhone? Nope, never. Why? Cuz the iPhone is like God -- if it really existed, you wouldn't care that much.
4) Google. By partnering YouTube and Apple's iTV, Google has you watching Ask A Ninja on your plasma. Hello, Google Video ads.
5) Gawker. A rumor is leaked about a Conde Naste buy-out that involves a digital unit built around the new WiredNews.com. Nick Denton is too busy updating Lifehacker to respond.
6) The Office. Jim chooses Pam. Forgetting this is fiction, I attempt to drunk-dial Karen.
7) Studio 60. Sorkin's new show sorta catches on. Gloating until my pancreas explodes, I try to explain that Studio 60 is the first example of middle-brow camp. You call me a moron.
8) Technorati. A media company takes a shot at buying Technorati. Maybe Tribune, maybe NYT, probably Wash Post. By the end of the year, people are talking about a Newsvine purchase.
9) Publishing. Your mom is charged with plagiarism. Her book skyrockets to the top of the best-seller list.
10) TV News Anchor Ratings. 1) Brian Williams. 2) Charlie Gibson. 3) Katie Couric.
11) Windows. Vista ships. You try not to yawn.
12) Twitter. Google buys Twitter. A bunch of media organizations sigh deeply over not thinking of this first.
13) AOL. I have no idea. And neither do they.
14) Facebook. That snotty Harvard kid tells Yahoo, "Tell you what, I'll buy you instead."
15) Yahoo. Ba-bye, Terry.
16) Zune. Version 2.0 of the Zune is launched. A small group of converts start to form, while Engadget asks "too little, too late?"
17) Second Life. Robots invade and kill everyone. Turns out "everyone" is 5 kids in Tallahassee.
18) Mobile. 2007: the year in mobile. If I keep saying it, eventually it will be true.
19) Comedy. Dane Cook gets invited to speak at this year's White House Press Corps dinner. When Cook jokes about fucking the Bush Twins, G.W. laughs more than he did at Colbert.
20) Chumby. This little nerd toy you've never heard of becomes a huge hit.
21) Newspapers. More lay-offs, more shrinkage, more free weeklies, more navel-gazing.
22) SmartPox. Add it to the list of great ideas that won't catch traction. (See also: Open ID, micro-payments, free city-wide wireless.)
23) CBS. The digital unit will make a few acquisitions that seem peculiar. But by the end of the year, they will look hipper than Unkie Viacom.
24) GNR. Klosterman spreads a rumor that Axl will release Chinese Democracy on April 24. Thousands of thirty-somethings show up at a record store at midnight only to discover... ha ha, fooled you, old man.
25) Courtney Love. Comeback album, comeback movie, comeback fragrance.
26) Celebutantes. People talk a lot about Britney's comeback, but the new summer album does as well as releases from Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, and K-Fed. Meanwhile, Nicole Richie accidentally eats herself.
27) Ze Frank. The funniest guy in America lands a deal at Comedy Central.
28) Amanda Congdon. While the blogosphere wonders who's watching, Amanda's ratings go up, up, up. When you go home for Thanksgiving, you realize your dad has it bookmarked.
29) lonelygirl15. Remember Ellen Feiss?
30) Earth. The planet will get warmer.
Have a swell 2007.