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What is Hot and What is Not in Technology for 2008

Sharon Housley -- After looking into my crystal ball, I have made a cluster of predictions about what will be hot, and what will be not so hot in technology for 2008.

Top 10 Winners Predicted for 2008

1. Video

YouTube has not shown any signs of slowing down. With the increasing popularity of portability and the increase of video-viewing technology, the growth of video is unlikely to slow down.

2. Healthy

Healthy is in. It is not only fashionable, but now cool to be healthy. Maybe this will help counter the rise in obesity in the US. Even those who give in to their cravings and indulge agree that it is cool to be healthy. Organic foods are at an all time high with an increase of roughly 20% per year in the US! This may also be a top New Year Resolution.

3. Long Tail

The Long Tail is still hot. Small businesses and big business are all attempting to capture the famed long tail.

4. Buy USA

Buying USA is in. The falling dollar has made US products more competitive in foreign markets. Moreover, the quality issues that came to light in 2007 (lead in various Chinese products) have made US consumers more conscious about buying US manufactured products.

5. Rich Internet / Interactive Web / Semantic Web / Web Services

The interactive web with user reviews, peer voting, and social bookmarking has never been more popular. The Internet has become more personal and interactive. Contextual content has given way to personal preferences.

6. Aggregate and Attention Data

Suggested purchases, related purchases, and recommended purchases are now an integral part of ecommerce. Aggregate data is becoming a critical component of upsells.

7. Power of the People

The collective voice and user-generated content is taking the Internet by storm. Yahoo Answers is a pristine twist on the collective voice; it allows visitors to answer questions from others. Good answers are rated and users are rated on a point-based system. Amazon's MTurk acknowledges the need for humans: pay people to do things that machines cannot. Surprisingly, in a technical society, people still have power.

8. Going Green

Going green has never been more popular. With environmental concerns becoming a global issue, saving the planet, protecting resources and living green is tantamount to being a responsible citizen. Venture capitalists are not turning a blind eye to the needs of clean green technology; alternative energy and green living are attracting interest from deep pockets.

9. Biometrics and Big Brother

Digital data and tracking is at an all time high. Privacy concerns appear to be taking a backseat to cool new technology that is likely to label the 21st century.

10. Prosthetics / Bionic

The revolution of evolution. The devastating limb injuries to soldiers is expediting the growth in the biomedical field of prosthetics. Huge advancements are being made, and super human limbs are a future possibility.

Top 10 Losers: What is Not Hot Predicted for 2008

1. Lead

Lead and harmful chemicals in toys is definitely out.

2. Squat Toilets

Squat toilets are definitely out! The Olympics in Beijing will likely westernize the East and introduce them to modern conveniences of the Western world.

3. DRM

Not much better than #2, digital rights management still has a number of issues to work out.

4. China

Between the claims of spying, rampant pollution and poor quality imports, China is on the outs for 2007.

5. Skinny is Out

Curves are in.

6. Blockbuster / Netflix

The future is downloading movies to iPods. Blockbuster and Netflix are likely to have a difficult time in the future. On demand video rentals available for immediate download offer compact portability and will cut into the current video rental markets.

7. Orbo

Orbo, the promised dynamic new energy source is going out. Orbo fell flat, with lots of hype and little to show. Perhaps Orbo will prove the naysayers wrong and make a splash in 2008, but for now Orbo is not hot.

8. MySpace fell to Facebook

Between perverts and conscientious parents realizing the risks associated with MySpace, the social network toppled. However, it was quickly replaced by Facebook, which promised a higher level of security (which is proven to be a fallacy). Facebook violated user privacy by sharing purchases with "friends", and with the addition of privacy controls, users are still leery. Social networks not only experienced growing pains but online threats are still an issue and privacy concerns are increasing exponentially.

9. Privacy

Stores tracking purchases, cars equipped with satellite tracking, cell phones tracked, and still few common citizens realize or acknowledge how much privacy they have lost over the last 20 years.

10. Piracy

For the first time it seems people are beginning to comprehend the effects of piracy in the software industry. It seems that software piracy may be on the decline and that software piracy is no longer considered cool.

Last Year's Predictions How Did We Do?

Readers can assess my ability to predict based on last year's collection of technology predictions at:

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll, software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds, and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage, a wireless text messaging software company.

© 2008 Sharon Housley

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