iMedia Connection has a post today about the five trends in consumer generated content from the last year that will have a profound impact on our internet experience in 2006 and beyond. Here are my thoughts on each:
1. Social networking comes of age
I have played around with Yahoo360 a little and have visited a couple of MySpace pages. I’m far too old and uninterested to care about Facebook. On the one hand, I tend to dismiss these pages as cyber-playgrounds for kids and young people. But the numbers indicate that a lot of people are using these sites. I suppose it will be a powerful trend, but I’d be surprised if much of the buzz is generated by the over-25 set. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love some sort of private internet space where I and my close friends and distant family could keep connected. But even if I found it or built it, no one else would use it. I just don’t think there’s enough desire and know-how to make these pages work for the parent and grandparent generations.
2. Wikipedia becomes the number one reference site.
I absolutely believe this. Wikipedia has been my first and nearly exclusive reference site for months. My prediction is that some of the current closed reference sites will become free, ad-supported sites in 2006 in an effort to stay relevant. Might work, but they better hurry.
3. Flickr and tagging take off.
Everyone who knows me knows I am deeply in love with Flickr. It should and will own the photo storage and community market. Tags are just a fancy word for keywords. I use tags on almost all my posts and I believe they will become an almost mandatory part of most web content. That’s a good thing. But keywords aren’t new- they’ve just been repackaged in a sexy package.
4. Blogs, blogs, blogs.
Yes, the move to the edge we’ve talked about is being driven primarily by blogs. This is a good trend that I believe took off in 2005 and will keep rising in 2006 and beyond.
5. Video search goes viral.
Maybe, but does anyone really search the net for videos? If there’s a good one (like the Narnia rap), I’ll find out about it via someone’s blog post. I’m just not sold on video search. If Thomas Hawk (who I predict will give me a link in 2006 if I keep applying blogger lie number 9) is right and Flickr does video, Flickr will own that market as well. Anyone else think Google knows about this and that’s why it’s falling all over itself to get out there first?