Monday, February 28, 2005

Technolgies that will take over the world

Here is my prediction of future technolgies that will really take off in the next two years. Some of these may not be revolutionary, but I'd just like to get my predictions out there so maybe I can review this in a couple years to rate my predictive skillz.

The first technology is social networking. Those who frequent livejournal realize the importance of web communities and following your interests by viewing the interests of others. Although blogs will continue to grow and converge (settling on RSS 2.0 and atom as the syndication standards), the real story will be in the convergence of social networking services. Right now sites like del.icio.us solve two problems: they give the ability to store your bookmarks on a central server (sorry, roaming profiles are dead), but also to share those bookmarks with others. This may not sound that interesting, but our friends at google seem to think that cross referencing information to determine relavence is of significant importance. There is an idea of adding keywords to entries to help the process along; this reminds me of setting meta-tags in web pages for search engines to pick up on. Flickr is an amazing site that also builds social networks, but this time pictures are the central focus. XML and web services will be the glue that ties this all together. Another prediction in this category is that client-side rss aggregators are a non-starter. It's server side or bust.

Calendaring will soon become a real focus. Look, those of us in the web focused community are all doing the same thing. We're using IM, we're sending emails, we're posting pictures, we're blogging, we're browsing (and finding interesting links). We are people who like to use the web, but we also have complete lives. We go to parties, we have friends and families, we date, we manage our finances. All of these things are going to converge. I predict the hula-project will blow oxygen-rich air on the spark that has been started by Apple with iCal. We are all part of a worldwide community, and groupware projects to date have it all wrong. Look for common sense solutions that prove that information technology hasn't even gotten warmed up yet. Say bye-bye to proprietary solutions to obvious problems like evite. Hula has its head on straight.

The pendulum of (server side - client side) is swinging back toward the client side yet again with our friend ajax. Prooving themselves yet again, google has burst out of the gates with google suggest, gmail (if you want an account just ask me), and google maps. Web clients are here to stay and they don't have to suck. Flickr is pushing the envelope of rich web apps (that steer clear of .NET and JAVA thank god).