Let's make some predictions

by William Grosso

There are approximately 90 people with weblogs on oreillynet. The weblogs themselves span the gamut of technologies and interests. And it's a great site, chock full of fascinating tidbits and useful information.

But where are the predictions? It's a time-honored and venerable New Year's tradition: everyone with a soapbox is supposed to stand up and say what's going to happen in the New Year.

Which is why, next Wednesday, I'll be posting my top five technology predictions for 2003.

I hope everyone with a weblog at oreillynet joins me in doing so. Together, we can make enough predictions that no-one will be able to
fact check
all of us.

What am I going to say?


2002-12-27 20:12:22
Reaganomics for digital media
You're gonna say that it's going to be a watershed year for cripple-ware (copy-protected gear): the market for pro-sumer and low-end professional gear is going to disappear, and the market for consumer gear will be increasingly dominated by big players. As a result, smaller new media producers are going to start going out of business because they either won't be able to get anything done, or it's going to take twice as long, and this market too will become more dominated by big players who can afford more capable, more functional, and more expensive gear.

Like a form of Reaganomics for digital media, the divide between active producers and passive consumers will further widen; producers will tend to be very big corporations and will at all times get to be master of the remote control; 'convergence' will come to describe the movement of consumers to the couch, where they will sit quietly, watch, and listen.

Alternate possibilities:

• We will all buy all the latest digital gear and become frustrated, most people without really knowing why. Most will just feel a vague and uneasy disappointment. Then we will all decide it's not worth it and stop buying all digital media and devices. Some will decide to go back to analog. Cults will form around 8-track decks and pre-Macrovision VHS machines, and collecting LPs will become much more fashionable, infuriating DJs everywhere. The following year the tech and 'entertainment' sectors will go into a devastating 5-year slump.

• Small new media producers and the companies that make gear for them will still begin to fade away, consumers will be happy to hand over their personal data, money, media rights and remote control to very big corporations, and will slowly begin to forget that there ever was a thing called a 'record' button. ("Is that to bring up my personal profile record, or my history record?").


Quote of the day: Content is Not King, by Andrew Odlyzko
"The annual movie theater ticket sales in the U.S. are well under $10 billion. The telephone industry collects that much money every two weeks!"
URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue6_2/odlyzko/index.html