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predict_future.jpgPredicting the future is the fun part of being a pundit, and a necessary part of giving advice to corporate clients. Thinking about 2008 and beyond, I took a look at my predictions for 2007. Seven months in, I was half right.

1. 2007 will be the year of collaboration and intellectual partnership, internally and externally.

For the digerati, and intrepid corporate types, that’s true. Social networks like Facebook are home to much collaboration; as are Ning forums, LinkedIn and newer social networks.
But most companies are just as oblivious to what’s going on outside their walls as they ever were. It’s still true that most people in big companies don’t know what most other people who work there do.
There’s huge waste from duplicated efforts as, for example, the marketing department of one division works on the same problem as the marketing dept in another division. Often, they’ve never even met, let alone discussed how they might work together.

2. A new 3D virtual world will surpass Second Life in popularity and lead the race toward a 3D, real-time Internet shopping experience.

Not this year, but it will happen. Lots of smart people are working toward that goal.

3. Blog advertising will become the hot ad medium of the year and ad agencies will screw up big-time as they learn the ropes.

Blog ad spending is up, and prices are rising according to Henry Copeland at Blogads. But most agencies are copying old blog ad formats or trying to squeeze traditional ads into blogs. Bor-ing.
Shameless self promotion: Call me if you want high-yield blog advertising that averages clickthrus of 1.5% and has hit as high as 8.7%.

4. Widgets in new Mac and PC operating systems will introduce millions to truly customizing their online experience.

Widgets have gone wild! Yes there are widgets on Macs and PCs, but the real widget action is in social media. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and a ton of other sites let us download content onto blogs, websites, desktops and phones.
Just look at the sidebar on my blog and you’ll see a widget from Flickr, and another one with my blog post headlines. Or look at your customized Google, Yahoo, NY Times, etc home pages and you’ll see that all the content you gather is actually a collection of widgets pulling content from their sites.

It’ll be fun to see what pops up before the end of 2007 that’ll be pre-dawn for 2208 and 2009.
What’s in your crystal ball?
Posted by B.L. Ochman