My Predictions for 2006

UPDATE 2: Wow.. this post is getting a lot of play. I’m going to have to expand upon my Blog network and podcast points since they seem to have pissed off a lot of folks. More comments here, here, etc. Ironically Jeff Jarvis, the guy who can’t stop telling everyone how to run their business, isn’t going to make predictions and in fact hates them! I guess if you want his predictions (plus non-stop PR) you have to pay his consulting fees/give him stock options (did we mention you can hire him as a consultant? You can hire him as a consultant–he’s avialable for consulting if you need a consultant).

: Marketwatch picked up my predictions; Jim talks about a prediction that mentions WIN; Many others folks have commented including: Incremental Blogger, Bloggers Blog, Randy Holloway Unfiltered 2.0, ben barren, Sean Bonner, Steve, GeekNews, Greg, and Blogs4Biz; more “Calacanis to leave AOL” speculation; Fred has bookmark list of predictions–that’s hot; wonders about Newspaper blog networks; Nik says I got the RSS one right already–Microsoft is adding RSS to Outlook–uhhhh yeah!; Ewan (and many others) are questioning my podcast prediction–let me just say I’m talking about *business* success. I’m sure many, many podcasters/podcast companies will have moral, creative, etc. success.

My Predictions for 2006

1. Someone will do the Wikipedia version of Weblogs, Inc. and and it will fail because it never reaches critical mass.

2. 30 of the 50 blog networks will fizzle out and/or die. Only one or two (other than Gawker) will break 20M pages a month. The blog network space is just way too crowded, and if you can’t go big at this point you’re gonna have a real hard time doing a *real* network (say 20 blogs or more). Now, you’ll do just fine if you stay focused on a narrow niche that you can own.

3. Metblogs and Gothamist will both raise venture or seed capital.

4. DIGG will be bought by CNET.

5. CNET will be bought by Yahoo or Fox Interactive/Newscorp.

6. Newscorp (and maybe some other folks) might spin out their Interactive assets and take them public.

7. New York Times will cut the newsroom staff by 10-20% and face another Jayson Blair/Judith Miller-style scandal. However, advertising on their website will be oversold. They will launch gadget, car, personal finance, and video game blogs that will do OK.

8. Google’s stock will take it’s first significant hit (> 15% drop) at some point during the year, but not because of their earnings but rather some outside factor (think advertising slow down, terrorist attack in the US, tech bubble bursting, etc). Google’s stock will end the year basically flat (+/-10%) while their earnings soar.

9. Google Adsense for Podcasts and/or Video will debut in Q2/Q3 of 2006–Yahoo and Microsoft will follow shortly after that.

10. Half of the indie blog search engines will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space.

10.B No blog search engines will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.

11. Half of the indie RSS readers will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space.

11.B No RSS readers will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.

12. No podcasting company will have any significant success in 2006, but a number of podcasters will be offered great jobs at Sirius and XM Radio.

13. The housing bubble will deflate/burst (it’s much worse now than people are saying) and consumer confidence and spending will be moderately shaken. This will create a pullback in consumer advertising which will result in a cooling of the media/Web 2.0 space and another round of main stream media layoffs (think magazines, newspapers, etc).

14. If there is a terrorist attack in the US and/or if oil prices shoot up again the slow down above will turn into a very serious recession. Folks will stop trying to build companies and start looking for a paycheck–Web 2.0 meme dies.

15. Sirius will hit 5M subscribers by the end of the year due to Howard Stern’s massive success in drawing new subscribers (note: I own a small amount of Sirius stock in my retirement account, AOL has a deal with SiriusXM–AOL bought my company Weblogs, Inc., and I’ve been a fan of Howard Stern for 20 years).

16. Gawker will hit 20 blogs and get bought by Newscorp–Nick Denton will keep Fleshbot and retire for the third time before spinning the Fleshbot into an ipod video service claiming all the while that “there’s no business in it.”

17. After obsessing over Google for years while writing The Search, John Battelle sells his Federated Media network to the them. He spends his days playing beach volleyball and holding salons in the cafeteria–life is good. [ note: John’s predictions for 2006 ] [note2: related riff by DW — Dave sure knows how to tell it like it is ]

18. Walt Mossberg will join the Engadget team.

19. MySpace will host an awards show on MTV or Spike.

20. Some new editorial format/meme/buzzword claiming to be the evolution of blogging will emerge.

OK… have at it in the comments!

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