2008 Predictions (Part 2)

Yesterday, I reviewed my first 5 predictions for the year of 2008 and gave myself 4 out of 5, so far. And I think perhaps I even deserve a 1/2 point for the one I got wrong.

Today, we’ll look at the other 5.

6. Explosion of Third Party IM Platforms

Well, these were certainly a success story this year, with the likes of Bluepulse, Mig33 and Mxit growing rapidly and between them, have tens of millions of users. And in the case of Bluepulse, they took on a new heavyweight Google exec, who says it’s going to be a “multi-hundred-million user, multi-billion dollar company” – words that may well prove remarkably prescient or come back to haunt him regularly in the years to come.

Anyway, I wasn’t saying they were going to be hugely financially successful, just that they’d explode this year. And they did.

7. Mobile Video Take Off

Just to be clear here, I was suggesting that short YouTube style clips (not mobile broadcast) would take off on mobile and indeed, quite a lot of traction did happen in 2008. I cited MyWaves as a particular contender and indeed, they get over 5 million unique visits to their mobile website per month.

Does 5 million UU a month count? No, I think I peaked too early on this one and no points for me.

8. Mobile as Digital Mouse

I said we’d start to see this emerge as a serious trend, where the mobile acts as a bridge between the analogue world (aka meat space) and the digital. And I think I was right. We’ve seen lots of first mover activity from 2D barcodes to Nokia’s Point & Find, from Ralph Lauren’s award winning campaign to Fanta’s virtual tennis.

I think I deserve my point for this.

9. The Battle for MoSoSo

I was predicting that it would be the year when the giants of social networking PC world started to pitch a battle with the behemoths of the specialist mobile world, such as Peperonity, Itsmy and Mocospace.

And yes, a battle has been quietly raging with all the big boys starting specialist mobile sites from MySpace to Bebo to Facebook – and dear old Friendster has had a lot of success in some markets too. Meanwhile, the mobile specialists have stood firm and proud and all that’s seemed to have happened so far is just market growth.

Anyway, the battle started, which gets me my point. But where will it end? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

10. A Tricky Year for Podcasting

And so it has been. Don’t get me wrong, this is a market poised to be huge. But not until we have flat rate data plans established and an easy way of getting them onto our phones. Sure, the iPhone does that and like many things, offers us a foretaste of the future.

But one point for me.

I think I’ve been pretty harsh, or certainly realistic, in judging myself. The points I didn’t get related to trends that are happening (look what a central role mobile did play in the US elections and quite a lot of us are watching video clips on our phones) but I was a little early in my timelines. Which could be the subtitle of my autobiography, if I ever come to write it.

So, the final count is 8 out of 10 – a little better than last year, but about average since we started this little game.

Watch out for 2009’s predictions in the next few weeks and of course, Carlo’s verdict on his predictions for this year.

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