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Web Trends 2007 January 1, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Trends.

This time of year many people ruminate on what trends will be important in the coming year. Many will be flat out wrong, but that doesn’t stop the fun. Read on and come back end 2007 to ridicule or praise the prognostications.

Internet-based TV will ramp up, thanks to products like Brightcove and whatever Google does with YouTube and Google Video.

We’ll see more of Interactive TV. On this theme, the Venice Project (from the founders of Skype) promises free TV all around the world. Mass adoption of IPTV technology and Bittorrent will be an important part of the online video landscape.

Consumer Apps
Social networks will become more open – and data portability will start to occur. Social networks dominated 2006, but the time users spend online will start to negatively impact social lives and lead to a downturn. Could social networks prove to be anti-social?

Web Development
Rich Internet Apps will be a major force. Watch out for Adobe’s Apollo platform and Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation. Platforms leveraging both desktop and Web will be compelling in terms of offering rich functionality that usually can’t be found on purely browser-based apps. Google will push the boundaries of browser-based apps. 2007 may be the year that rich web apps using vector graphics (VML/SVG)+AJAX make an impact.

The Semantic web is coming. Semantic Web products will come of age in 2007. Companies like RadarNetworks and Metaweb will come up with the plumbing to help generate RDF based on HTML.

RSS will go mainstream in a big way when fully integrated in Microsoft’s Vista OS and Yahoo Mail. Expect some of Google’s RSS experiments to come into play, especially Google Base, which uses an RSS variant called GData.

Structured Data
Structured data will be a big trend. Watch microformats, the Web community’s open standards for structured data. At this point, it looks like Google is forging ahead with its structured data standards – and ignoring microformats. Microsoft and Yahoo have shown some support for microformats, but is it enough to stop Google?

2007 will be about Search 2.0 and the rise of the vertical search engines. Expect Google to counter the verticals. Google Code and Health are two early examples of Google’s response.

Google is moving towards being a more meaning-based search engine. For instance, when you enter a company name in Google, the first result not only returns the homepage of the company but also some semantic meaning extracted from the website. And the right bar of SearchMash (Google’s test search site) shows that Google is planning more features.

Your Take

I’d love to hear your own Web predictions for 2007. What have I missed? Please leave a comment


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