Was having a quick think about what the next thing is likely to be. I think we're going to see lots of effort being put into making our lives easier. I think what we will see may get called 'RSS 2.0'.
The main thing is that we will see more things stripped of their context. One of the ideas behind 'Web 2.0' was that text can be separated into content and formatting. I think this year we will see this extended into websites. The basic idea behind a website is that you go there and get a service. Many content based sites are becoming familiar with the idea that they can still make money if they allow people to know what content is on their site before they go there.
This will be extended across all the other web services. Email, Social Networking and other things I can't think of right now will fit into the RSS model. I think someone (probably someone new) will come along this year with an RSS reader that is easy to use.
The problem with RSS as it exists at the moment is that it's complicated. Hopefully someone will find a way of making it simple. This will definitely help things along. One stat I would like to see is how many people are actually using RSS. It's not something that will come through the advertising we do, it's something the publishers need to start telling us.
Many of the new businesses getting funding at the moment are focused around the idea of altering webpages that already exist. This is particularly focused on facebook apps at the moment, but the open application platform will allow them to be extended across other sites. All of the major companies have now setup platforms from which portable applications can be delivered (facebook, Yahoo!, Google and Apple). Mozilla is also working on Prism, a browser which will make some webapps indistinguishable from normal applications. The web will creep further into people’s lives.
Basically by the end of this year there will be a program or web service which will exploit this. It will be able to tell you what appointments you have that day, what the headlines are across all the media you regularly read, who’s poked you on facebook, what your favourite band have done on Myspace and which of your TV shows is on tonight. This is all possible with existing technology right now, we just need someone to make this popular.
If the privacy debate doesn’t really happen we will be technically able to deliver adverts for beer to someone who is going to the pub tonight or shampoo to a girl who is staying in to wash her hair.
More sites will use the portability of aggregator sites to make new revenue streams, we should get used to things like the Sun’s deal with Brand Alley and all the major portals’ deals with Uswitch and Moneysupermaket. There isn’t going to be a place to hide from being sold to.
If you are genuinely interested in getting told about deals to do with what you want, advertisers aren’t going to wait for you to check your email – they will tap into your widgets on your desktop. The amount of integration possible between sites and programmes will mean that the line between spyware and legitimate advertising will blur. There will be some fun levels of targeting possible and we need to be ready to exploit it as soon as it comes out.
Should be fun playing around with all the new toys that come along. As always it'll be a good couple of months before anyone does anything with them!
Title Image shamelessly stolen from wonder wombat's photostream