Anybody who has seen my main website will know that I might have jumped the gun a bit when I pigeon holed myself as a professional business blogger. It’s been not so much a case of jumping on the blogging bandwagon as jumping too early with nowhere to land.
So whilst I wait for the pro-blogger gravy train to arrive, I thought I might look into my crystal ball and see what other predictions I can try and foresee in the mists of time Forbasis.
We are still only really at the start of the ambiguous ‘Web 2.0’ with marketers and PR professionals all rushing to find the best ways of utilising the new tools at their disposal. The gold-rush is on to find the best way of gaining exposure and mining the rapidly growing online marketplace.
It has never been easier or cheaper to reach a global audience in a very short space of time.
Web 2.0 has also been synonymous with the growth of the bedroom publisher. Anybody with a PC and Internet connection can now run their own blog or website, and potentially reach millions around the world. This has created a torrent of content flooding onto the Internet on a daily basis.
So much content is being produced that it is virtually impossible to keep track of all the latest updates on all but the smallest of niches. Over 50 million blogs are now being tracked by Technorati with 1.6 million new posts hitting the web everyday! Google and Microsoft are also hell-bent on adding all the greatest literary works known to man by scanning whole libraries onto the Internet. I don’t, however, expect to see Shakespeare or Dickens topping Digg anytime soon.
There is going to have to be a rethink on how we find and distribute content and information. After all, we can’t go on fighting over the top few search engine spots forever!
Once RSS penetrates the mass market, and awareness spreads, people will start using RSS to bookmark their sites of interest. Why waste time trawling through all your browser bookmarks when you can have all the updates delivered straight to your homepage?
But relying on RSS website feeds and topic keyword feeds will only have a limited lifespan. With more and more blogs appearing on every topic under the sun your aggregator will eventually reach saturation point, overloaded with content.
I already spend most of the morning reading through all my RSS feeds – and I only started using RSS a few months ago! If I don’t want this to creep into my afternoons I’m going to have to sleep less, learn to read quicker or limit my daily intake. As I subscribe to more and more blogs this is going to mean missing potentially mission critical information simply due to the constraints of time.
My prediction is that aggregators are going to have to become a lot smarter in the future. Obediently following your instructions and delivering content from all your subscribed sites will simply lead to info overload. They are going to have to almost develop artificial intelligence and be able to predict what content you want, and the most relevant, on a daily basis.
Aggregators are going to have to behave like researchers and reporters. Assessing what sites and content you read and then going out and to find the latest, best and most relevant info available. Your homepage will be your own fully customised magazine with news, video and audio all handpicked to match your interests.
With the proliferation of laptops, smartphones and electronic paper people will have more devices than ever before for consuming content. Thus feeding the demand for yet more blogs and distributed news catering to the tastes of an increasingly widening cross-section of people.
Being able to get your content delivered to people’s homepage will be critical if you want to sell a product or service. At present a lot of people rely on sites such as dealtime and kelkoo to find the best products and prices. Once they start integrating this with reading blogs you will want to ensure that this starts them on a path to your site.