Blog Post

Troubled Technologies?

I'm reposting the following from Internet Evolution, an IBM-sponsoredsite dedicated to "news, analysis and opinion about the future of theinternet."  They recently put out an "'09 Watch List" of "TroubledTechnologies" that they expect may not survive the dry up of venturecapital in the year ahead.  Included on the list are such web 2.0standards as microblogs and online video.  This mostly seems to be ananalysis of business models vs. technologies, but it is... provocative?questionnable? perplexing?  I'm interested if anyone else on our ownforward-looking site has thoughts to offer...



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Well,the new year is upon us. Time to cast off bad habits, internalize newresolutions, and call for the untimely death of a few Internetindustries by year's end.

OK... we won't take things that far. But we areready to declare a few technologies to watch this year, as the VC welldries up, business models continue to fail to work or even materialize,and the recession comes around to cull the tech industry's weakest.It's safe to say, for some, 2009 will not be a good year.

The technologies outlined in this report (microblogs, targetedadvertising, social news, online video, streaming music, and enterprisesocial networking) aren't necessarily going to be wiped off the map,never to be heard from again, per se, but evidence suggests that there are rough times ahead and that many companies in each of these spaces won't survive '09.

Nor should they, really. While Web 2.0 sites aren't lacking in"traffic" or "eyeballs," originality in the space is sparse, andestablishing a business model is considered, by some, an ancientpastime devoid of purpose. Traffic first, revenue later. Just try paying the bills with charts that show higher click-through rates.

"What I find scary in this new world is that, instead of entrepreneursliving on the edge of reason and fantasy, there are so many 'me-too'social media experts out there right now," observes serial entrepreneurand media personality Imran Anwar. "That's not how new evolutions comeabout. That's not how 'Internet 3.0' is going to come around."

Fortunately, there's a silver lining (we think). Whereas thepast couple of years have been defined by overcrowding and overfundingin the Web 2.0 space, and an onslaught of startups with no purpose orplan to make money, this recessionary year is likely to see more duediligence on the part of VCs, allowing strong companies andtechnologies to emerge from the smoldering pile of dead ones.

Then we'll have at least a year or so before we screw it up all over again.

Want to disagree with our Watch List? That's your prerogative(albeit a daring one), and we'd love to hear your thoughts on themessage boards below. Have we nailed the techs to watch? Left any out?Feel free to opine, but keep your eyes peeled for falling techcompanies.

? Written by Nicole Ferraro, Site Editor; Mary Jander, ThinkerNet Editor; and Terry Sweeney, Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution


Thanks to user Mallix for sharing this photo of "My Twitter Class of 'O8" on his flickrstream.  To see more of Mallix's photostream, please click on the image.


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