How About Those 2006 Predictions!

Well, yes I know that technically we still have something like three days left in 2006 and I’ll update this post if need be, but I figured today would be a good day to review how people fared with their 2006 predictions. Some of you may recall that at the end of last year I compiled a few of those predictions posts and came up with a number of predictions. Some of these predictions were subjective and so it’s kind of hard to tell if they got it right or wrong but here’s my best interpretation. Feel free to chime in if you think I get any of these wrong.

To my credit I resisted the temptation to make a bunch of predictions last year sticking to just a single one which I got wrong.


Who got it really, really wrong.

1. Thomas Hawk: Yahoo will buy Digg. (should have, but of course did not).

2. Dave Winer: Apple will ship two generations of iPods. The first new generation, released in April, will have a satellite receiver built-in. The second will have a low-power FM transmitter built-in.

3. Paul Scrivens: Pricing for iTunes Music Store songs will change based on the popularity of the song. Some songs might go for $.29 while new hits will rise to $1.99. To appease customers, the album price will only raise a bit.

4. John Battelle: iTunes will begin to get the speed wobbles as the music industry decides it wants to control its distribution just like in the good old days.

iTunes growth actually remained very steady. They even hit the 1 billionth song downloaded mark in 2006. Rumors of it’s decline did make their way recently into the blogosphere though. CNET reported a decline earlier this month.

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

6. Jason Calacanis: DIGG will be bought by CNET.

7. Paul Scrivens: Digg will be purchased by CNet for $5-8 Million.

Uhhh, I think Kevin and the boys are… um… going to need a little more than $5-8 million at this point.

8. Phillip Swann: DIRECTV Will Launch a Portable DVR

9. Jason Calacanis: Walt Mossberg will join the Engadget team.

Walt Mossberg is still kicking around that little paper called The Wall Street Journal best I can tell.

10. Jason Calacanis: 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.”

Gawker was not bought by Newscorp.

11.Dan Tynan: As part of its ongoing agreement with NASA, Google will secure exclusive advertising rights to the moon, where it plans to run text ads on the lunar surface. To increase traffic, the search company will distribute free telescopes to every human on the planet.

WTF? This is just crazy.

12.HelloCompany: Google will buy Gannett and install its Click-to-call button beside every classified on the Gannett network.

13. Jason Calacanis: After obsessing over Google for years while writing The Search, John Battelle sells his Federated Media network to the them.

14. John Battelle: There will be one major new IPO that briefly gets the press talking about “the Next Google.” But it won’t live up to the hype.

15. John Battelle: Microsoft will gain five points of search share, at least.

According to an article in the Guardian last week, Microsoft Live Search could be renamed “Dead Search”, “According to the latest Nielsen//NetRatings numbers for the US, Google now handles 49.5% of searches (up 31%) ahead of Yahoo’s 24.3% (up 27%). However, MSN/Windows Live Search now has only 8.2%, and its share has fallen by 12%, year on year.”

16. Pat McCarthy: Face-recognition photo application Riya will be acquired by a major player.

Nope, although they did turn themselves into a kind of place to go if you want to buy shoes I guess.

17. Dave Winer: Scoble will appear on Oprah.

This did not happen but I did hear he does a pretty cool photowalking show with this guy Thomas Hawk.

18. Phillip Swann: Yahoo to Buy TiVo.

19. John Battelle: Tivo and NetFlix will merge.

20. Blake Ross: In retaliation for Gore’s bold foray onto the Internet, George W. Bush will be the latest to come under fire for editing his own Wikipedia biography. Although Wikipedia will have implemented the most sophisticated algorithms to deter this kind of behavior, Bush will be caught because he will change all instances of “George” to “I”.

Uhhh… wouldn’t be prudent.

21. Greg Linden: Wikipedia will be sabotaged by a spam robot coming over a botnet. The spam robot will makes millions of subtle, small changes to the articles, many of which go undetected for long periods of time. Unable to keep up, Wikipedia will be forced to shut off anonymous edits and place other controls on changes.

Not this year.

22. Shel Israel: Realizing that there is a better chance for one independent blogging tools and hosting service, Six Apart and WordPress will talk merger. WordPress will not like the idea, but will se
e that it beats getting gobbled or crushed by one of the giants of Google, MSN and Yahoo!

Not that I’m aware of. Although Six Apart did launch Vox.

Who got it kind of wrong:

1. Om Malik: iPhone, the real thing comes to market sometime in September 2006 time frame.

2. David Kirkpatrick, Fortune Senior Editor: Apple is likely to introduce a cell phone next year.

3. Shel Israel: The number of bloggers worldwide will exceed 150 million.

Note: As of Dave Sifry’s last Sifry alert on blogs in October he said Technorati is now tracking 57 million blogs. We most certainly will add more but I doubt the number gets to 150 million by Dave’s next analysis.

4. Shel Israel: Somewhere a blogger will break a news story that makes the world stop cold. He or she will be considered for a Pulitzer. But the committee will reject the idea, because the traditional newspaper managers who determine award recipients will remain adamant that bloggers are never journalists.

Ummm… not that I’m aware of.

5. Greg Linden: Flickr, Technorati,, and other popular tagging sites will find themselves under assault by spammers. Like with splogs, efforts to battle the influx of crap will be only partially successful.

Note: I’ve thought that delicious, Technorati, and Flickr have all remained remarkedbly spam free.

6. Oliver Thylmann: The Google Bubble will Burst. Google is immensely overvalued and that valuation will need to come down.

Google declined in price temporarily but the bubble has yet to burst and it ended up for the year.

7. Dave Winer: Google will make a deal with the Time-Warner movie companies, and start for on-demand distribution over the Internet.

They didn’t do this exactly but they did buy YouTube.

8.Michael Noer (Fobes columnist): Xbox 360 will be a flop. Microsoft rushed to get its system out for the 2005 holiday season, and it shows. The launch titles are, at best, uninspired. Worse, Ubisoft is now saying that the 360 version of one of the most anticipated games, King Kong, is essentially unplayable on a regular TV and needs an HD set. Gaming blogs and Web sites are chock-full of complaints alleging that the 360 freezes, overheats and crashes.

Microsoft says that they are confident that they will hit their 10 million unit projection number by the end of the year. The units remain a popular hit with consumers.

9. John Battelle: Google will stumble, some might say badly, but it will be significant.

Everything seems to be aok down on the farm.

10. John Battelle: Mobile. I repeat my mobile prediction from last year, in the hope that it will come true this year: Mobile will finally be plugged into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user and a major mobile innovation – the kind that makes us all say – Jeez that was obvious – will occur.

This hasn’t happened for me at least yet.

10. Roland Tanglao: No Flickr of video emerges.

Update: Roland chimes in and says that YouTube is not a Flickr of video.

There was this little site called YouTube.

11. Greg Linden: Microsoft will abandon Windows Live.

Not exactly, but they need to have better properties there if they hope to get anyone to actually use it.

12. Jason Calacanis: MySpace will host an awards show on MTV or Spike.

Not that I’m aware of.

13. Jason Calacanis: Newscorp (and maybe some other folks) might spin out their Interactive assets and take them public.


14. Brandon Paddock: Newsgator will get bought by, or closely partner with one of the major search/portal/blog players – or by someone that’s trying to become one. Nope, although they did partner with

No. But they did announce a partnership with NBC for video.

15. Jason Calacanis: 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.

I’m not aware of any examples of this. In 2005 Adam Curry made a big splash when he signed with Sirius.

17. Phillip Swann: Voom Will Get a Re-Birth

I wouldn’t exactly call their positioning with Echostar as a “Re-Birth”

18. Jason Calacanis: Someone will do the Wikipedia version of Weblogs, Inc. and and it will fail because it never reaches critical mass.

Not that I’m aware of.

Open to interpretation or I don’t have the numbers readily at hand. Feel free to chime in with your comments

1. John Battelle: The pace of Internet startup acquisitions will not be as torrid as most entrepreneurs and VCs had hoped.

Any VCs or entrepreneurs care to comment, I’m not sure what their expectations were for this year?

2. Jason Calacanis: 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.

I’m not sure on the traffic of blog networks.

3. Shel Israel: The greatest growth of all will come from non-professionals who create blogs to serve small groups of family, friends and colleagues.

Not sure where blog growth is coming from, although this is vague it seems to make sense.

4. Shel Israel: Each member of the so-called A-List will continue to increase the people who follow them. But they will each become less important, as the relentless growth of the blogosphere outgrows their readerships, giving them influence over smaller percentages of the total.

Would like to see some thoughts on if this has happened.

5. Dave Winer: Jason Calacanis will stay at AOL though Easter 2006, and then will resign to spend more time with his family.

Hmmmm… it didn’t exactly happen that way but Calacanis is actually gone from AOL.

6. John Battelle: The China Internet Bubble will begin to deflate.

Not quite sure how to gauge this exactly, but overall China seems to be doing well. The Matthews China Fund returned almost 65% since the beginning of the year.

7.Phillip Swann: DIRECTV Will Emerge As the HDTV Leader

8. Pat McCarthy: Social news site Digg will expand into other content areas and media types and then will be acquired.

Digg definitely expanded into other content areas but they were not acquired.

9. David Kirkpatrick, Fortune Senior Editor: Yes, I love Google, but my first prediction is that a year from now we won’t think that the search company is the invincible behemoth that we do now.

10. John Battelle: Google and Yahoo will both enter the video (nee television) advertising marketplace.

11. Phillip Swann: Several More HDTV Networks Will Launch in 2006.

12. Phillip Swann: Rear-Projection TV Sales Will Suffer in 2006 And Beyond.

13. Phillip Swann: But Rear-Projection HDTV Prices Will Drop Under $500.

14. Phillip Swann: New HDTV DVD players Will Be the Buzz of the Industry.

15. Phillip Swann: HDTV Sales Will Jump In the First Two Months of 2006.

16. Phillip Swann: The Plasma-LCD-DLP-SED Flat-Screen TV War Will Spur More Interest in HDTV.

17. Phillip Swann: The Networks Will More Frequently Promote HDTV As a Reason to Watch a Primetime Show.

18. John Battelle: Someone, and I do not know who, will make a big pile of Big Media video assets freely available on the web.

19. Churl: In 2006 we are going to lose our dog. Churl, I hope you didn’t lose your dog man.

20. Phillip Swann: Microsoft Will Buy Its Way Into the Living Room.

I’m not exactly sure what Swann means by this.

21. Jason Calacanis: 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).

The housing market bubble didn’t exactly deflate/burst, although last month was the first month in a long time that San Francisco at least recorded a drop in housing prices.

22. John Battelle: Vista will launch, and its much anticipated and feared desktop search integration will be viewed as anemic. The whisper as to why? Fear of the DOJ…. Vista launched for businesses this year but the more public consumer launch is not until next month in 2007. I have not heard a lot of DOJ concerns.

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

Google did announce a video Adsense type thing, but I’m unaware of a podcast advertising thing that they are doing. I’m not aware of any significant follow up response from Microsoft of Yahoo.

24. Shel Israel: After a few major metropolitan newspapers die, dailies will begin to understand that blogs are part of their solution, and will start incorporating neighborhood bloggers into their system.

Anyone have any evidence of this?

25. Phillip Swann: Porn HDTV DVDs Will Explode in 2006.

Not sure on this. Although some kind soul left a HD DVD copy of a porn version of the Pirates of the Caribbean in the room that I had at the Bellagio in early September of this year (thank you very much). Anyone have any statistics on porn HDTV DVDs?

26. Phillip Swann: This Will Be the Year of the Video Blog.

I’m not sure. We had the Vloggies and lonleygirl15, Ze Frank and Rocketboom. PodTech. But can anyone really name 10 different video blogs?

Who got it right.

1. Phillip Swann: CBS to Launch VOD Digital TV Channel.

CBS did in fact launch inner tube in May of 2006.

2. Phillip Swann: DIRECTV Will Shake-Up Its Executive Team.

This is still in progress but likely as Murdoch and Malone made major equity swaps with regards to DirecTV in the past two days making it unlikely that Murdoch will continue to run and control the DirecTV franchise.

3. Greg Linden: Microsoft will launch an AdSense-like advertising product in the hopes of underm
ining Google’s business, but the product will fail to attract a large network in 2006 due to relatively weak ad targeting and low clickthrough rates.

Microsoft launched AdCenter in 2006.

4. Jason Calacanis: No RSS readers will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.

To the best of my knowledge no major readers were bought in 2006

5. John Battelle: speaking of privacy, there will be a major court case involving the database of intentions that gets legislators talking about “protecting the common citizen” (or somesuch) from “the perils of unprotected Internet data mining” (or somesuch).

John cites a couple of cases saying he got this one right. There was also a big case involving executives at little old HP last year.

Who got it really right.

1.Jason Calacanis: 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.

Google’s stock price hit $471 per share on January 11th, only to drop down as low as $337 a share on March 17th (about a 16% decline). Today Google’s stock price is at $465 a share, about 7% higher than it’s closing price on the first trading day of 2006.

2. John Battelle: “Web 2.0” will make the cover of Time Magazine, and thus its moment in the sun will have passed. However, the story that drives “Web 2.0” will only strengthen, and folks will cast about for the next best name for the phenomenon.

Time actually named “You” as the person of the year referencing the Web 2.0 movement.

5 Replies to “How About Those 2006 Predictions!”

  1. Walt Mossberg considered leaving Dow Jones with Kara Swisher for a blog-powered site, but he will instead work on the project, AllThingsD, under the Dow Jones brand.

    Blog entries are now eligible for a Pulitzer Prize.

    NewsGator Enterprise Server software is part of Intel Suite Two. Suite Two also includes Six Apart’s Movable Type blogging product. Fits the “closely partner with” prediction by Brandon Paddock.

    Regarding Shel’s comment on the growth of personal blogs I think the success of MySpace accounts with blogs, Facebook notes, and new products with privacy settings front and center such as Six Apart’s Vox and Google’s new Blogger service prove Shel correct.

    If Microsoft continues to lose a large amount of money in the Entertainment and Devices division it could be argued they are buying their way into the living room. Losing hundreds of dollars on each Xbox to gain a home entertainment node for example, or media extenders not turning a profit.

    The RSS aggregator space saw a few acquisitions such as Microsoft’s purchasing Onfolio and Six Apart’s purchasing Rojo.

  2. NetNewsWire, by some measures the MOST POPULAR desktop feed reader, was acquired by NewsGator along with the rest of Ranchero.

  3. From memory, one of the adult channels was looking at HD, but realized that people look worse in HD, and it would ruin the fantasy.

    Yes, I’m serious.

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