28 Things Didn’t Happen In 2007
A lot of predictions were made about 2007, just like every other year. Some came true, some didn’t. Here’s a list of what didn’t happen.
Vertical search and niche social networks didn’t take off
Well, there were many copycats, but not a lot of breakthrough players. Vertical search? Only if Google’s integration of Universal Search counts. Niche networks? Though I predicted the beginning of this era, very little has happened. People are still flocking to the broad-appeal social networks, but that still could change.
RSS didn’t go mainstream
A significant portion of the tech elite predicted this would be the year RSS went mainstream. And, well, it really didn’t, despite Vista, which people are ditching in favor of a return to their beloved Windows XP. Ask anybody not closely following developments on the Web if they know what an RSS feed is. Bet you’ll be surprised at how few have heard of one. But that too, may change in the coming year. You know, again.
Yahoo didn’t buy Feedburner (or Facebook)
Several industry observers noted that somebody, probably Google, would buy Feedburner. And that’s exactly what happened, perhaps another sign that RSS is on the brink once again.
Online video didn’t prove to be a moneymaker
Blinkx and Brightcove, MetaCafe and DailyMotion all made headway in 2007, but all anybody talks about in regard to online video is YouTube, which possibly may have nailed down the right balance of user-generated content and monetization. But definitive success remains to be seen. Bandwidth costs are a bit of a concern, too. Who knows? Maybe Hulu will strike it rich?
GOOG didn’t split or slow down
Google didn’t split, but is also didn’t reach $1,000 per share as some predicted. But there’s always next year, and hovering around $700 is not too shabby.
Candidates still didn’t answer questions
At the end of 2006 the term "YouTube Presidency" was already being tossed around. And sure enough, 2007 saw the first YouTube debates for both Democrat and Republican frontrunners. That means that YouTube not only became vital for the expansion of user-generated content, but also as an agent for social change. But candidates still dodged tough questions like they were playing full-contact lawn darts.
SecondLife didn’t get a second wind
SecondLife seemed unstoppable in 2006, and for part of 2007, spawning its own currency and legal philosophies. Companies began experimenting with building their own SecondLife areas, and thieves and vandals ran amok, too. At the end of 2007, who’s still talking about it? Hardly anybody, and the virtual tumbleweeds seem to be increasing as members seem to spending less and less time there — their initial infatuation wearing thin. Jury’s still out though. The site has seen some positive growth, just the not the explosive growth everyone was counting on.
Widgets didn’t falter
Widgets certainly did explode onto the scene in 2007. After Facebook opened up its platform to developers, the applications began pouring in. And then Facebook users started virtual food fights. Sophisticated usage or not, you have to chalk one up for the success of widgets in social networking.
Google didn’t bust the office block
When people are uninstalling Vista and replacing it with Windows XP, you might expect any competing office product to gain ground against Microsoft Office, too. Everybody oohed and ahed over Google’s new presentation offering, but then went right on using PowerPoint. Because that’s what you use for presentations, everybody knows it. Google gets an ‘A’ for effort and for presenting alternatives, but as Microsoft is learning with Vista, the public seems rather reluctant to change the status quo.
Unless it’s for Apple products, that is.
AdCenter and Panama didn’t catch AdSense
Nobody, contrary to predictions that MSN AdCenter and Yahoo’s Panama would gain ground against AdWords and AdSense, really put up a much of a fight against Google. Google continues to gain search share and search advertising dollars while its two biggest competitors still struggle to keep up.
People didn’t switch to Windows Live
Windows Live, Windows What? That’s different from MSN how? No one really knows or cares that much outside of Redmond, unless they actually kept Vista and didn’t switch the default search to Google.
Google didn’t release an operating system (again)
No, there’s still no traditional operating system from Google to compete with Microsoft and Apple. But there is Android, which Google is developing for mobile phones, so there may finally be some vindication for those who’ve been waiting now for years.
People didn’t abandon their TV sets
Internet TV? Well, not quite yet, though TV made prodigious use of Internet content. Baby-steps have been made toward the transition with releases like AppleTV, network websites and mini-shows for the web. Verizon and AT&T are both banking on television over fiber connections. The vast majority still get their TV from broadcast, cable, or satellite, but the winds of change are a-blowin’.
VoIP didn’t take over everything.
In fact, eBay wrote off Skype as overvalued and Vonage was sued by everybody within arm’s reach. 2007 wasn’t so great for VoIP, but who knows about 2008? Maybe, maybe.
The pageview didn’t die
The pageview, as a metric, hasn’t died. It may not be as strong as it once was with new measures like user engagement or new formats like AJAX becoming more popular, but the pageview is still used for many business models, especially those selling advertising. Eyeballs are still eyeballs.
Newspapers didn’t die, either
But they might be sick. There’s still a generational split when it comes to where people prefer to get their news, but even that appears to be dwindling. The younger crowd no doubt prefers digital formats while the older crowd, which still clings to email too, likes the morning paper and a cup of coffee.
Google didn’t settle with Viacom
When Google acquired YouTube late in 2006, their was a resounding chorus that Google just bought itself a world of copyright problems. Sure enough, Viacom slapped them with a billion-dollar lawsuit which still hasn’t been settled despite Google’s effort to be more vigilant about fighting copyright infringement. YouTube’s still the best place to find anything you might have missed on MTV.
The Web 2.0 bubble didn’t burst.
Yahoo CEO Terry Semel didn’t cut it
And neither did Yahoo, for that matter. Semel is out, and Yahoo is, well, still a distant second.
AOL didn’t have another privacy gaffe
But Facebook did. John Battelle nailed it when he predicted another privacy fiasco on the AOL search query level. Facebook Beacon is the big winner at being the big loser.
The iPhone didn’t bring the mobile web to everybody
Despite the drooling, ecstatic reception of the iPhone, mobile Internet still has a ways to go in the US. The technology is the starting point, just like with the iPod, but to continue, access to the mobile web needs to become cheaper. As soon as Verizon and AT&T stop liking money so much, (or when Google busts the block) expect the mobile web to really explode.
A major newspaper didn’t fold up its print division in favor of online publishing.
But magazine InfoWorld did, and the San Francisco Chronicle cited a growing online news market as the chief catalyst for laying off a large portion of its news staff.
HD-DVD didn’t win
In the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format war, nobody’s won yet. And there may not be a winner, either.
The NYT and the WSJ didn’t stay snooty
The New York Times decided content wants to be free and opened up its Times Select articles to the online world. And then, the Wall Street Journal opened up, too. A trend? Seems that way.
Digital rights management didn’t get anywhere
DRM didn’t get much love, even from record companies. Three major record labels announced they were getting rid of DRM.
The Democrats didn’t do much of anything
The Democrats didn’t really do anything about Net Neutrality or other web-related policies. They talked about it, made threats, wrote letters, but never managed to get legislation out the door. Maybe next year, if not too distracted by the elections again.
The Web did not come to a grinding halt
The Internet didn’t crash because of video. They predicted it for 2007, and are still predicting it for 2008 and beyond, but gridlock didn’t happen, and as more and more bandwidth is added and fiber expands, it’s probably not going to happen.
Amazon’s stock didn’t crash
It more than doubled instead. Though an analyst noted that "AMZN is a stock that continues to live on borrowed time," when it was at $38.50, two months later, it’s selling at $95.