Thursday, January 01, 2009

time to grade predictions

Happy 2009, everyone!  Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but moving into our new SF offices, actually writing code again -- more on that in a later post -- and the holidays have pushed blogging down the stack a bit.  However, for the fifth year in a row it's time to grade my predictions from the previous year.  Without further ado:

1. The teams I built at Linden Lab will do amazing things this year (duh!)
A bit of a gimme, but credit to Linden folks for coming through a tumultuous year and delivering on some long-promised features.
1 out of 1 (1.000)

2. Social search engines -- such as Foxmarks, Wikia Search, and others -- will generate initial results that are strong enough for Google to release a Google Social Search Beta to great fanfare and limited use
I so want to give myself half a point here, since Google talked about social search a lot this year, all the social networks introduced search, and Google started paying more attention to social networks in general, but they didn't do it.
1 out of 2 (0.500)

3. The breakthrough feature on the '08 iPhone will be video capture, editing, and video blogging more than 3G
Ug.  When some of the 3G design rumors emerged with a front facing camera I was pretty stoked.  Alas, they were just rumors.  I wonder if I was just early on this one?
1 out of 3 (0.333)

4. In Europe, virtual world content will increasingly fall under country of origin rules, greatly simplifying the European Union regulatory requirements
Looking back over past predictions, I have a pattern of being early on predictions involving large organizations and bureaucracies.  Time will tell on this one.  Some academic discussions and white papers supporting this idea, but no real action.
1 out of 4 (0.250)

5. Games and virtual worlds will once again be vilified in the name of "family values" during the 2008 Presidential election
Not nearly as much as I feared -- mostly thanks to the remarkable campaign of Barack Obama and the economic collapse -- but still plenty of uninformed rhetoric about games, violence, and addiction.
2 out of 5 (0.400)

6. Despite number 5, games and virtual worlds will be the cornerstone of at least one nation's effort to reform their education system
I can't claim this one, as no national effort exists, but if any country was going to stand out it would be the United States.  2008 demonstrated that there is no shortage of new and interesting ways to leverage virtual worlds and education.  It also shows no sign of slowing down.
2 out of 6 (0.333)

7. Despite additional packet tampering and shaping by broadband providers, no effective network neutrality legislation will be passed
This continues to be an incredibly complex issue.  I'm not convinced that true network neutrality regulation is even possible, but I feel that continued debate on the issue is important if we are to find compromises -- network transparency, perhaps, where you are always able to tracert your routes? -- that deliver the guarantees the Internet requires.
3 out of 7 (0.429)

8. Between AIR, Gears, GWT, Silverlight, and Weave, some technology will nail a user experience that smoothly supports both Web and offline usage via a browser
Google just opened this up for docs, although it isn't perfect yet.  Fortunately, a proof point does exist in Balsamiq Mockups.  Check it out if you haven't for a great example of what AIR can do.  Ditto the brilliant work by the folks at Aviary.
4 out of 8 (0.500)

9. As the actors join the writers, more AAA content will be developed for machinima, virtual worlds, and the web as a way to give audiences fresh material without crossing picket lines
4 words.  Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog.  Not to mention a steady stream of machinima hitting the mainstream as never before.
5 out of 9 (0.555)

10. By the end of 2008 I will be building or working on something as challenging and interesting as Second Life
In hindsight this feels like a gimme, but writing just after Philip forced me out of Linden it was a stretch.  Fortunately, the challenges and opportunities at EMI are fascinating, far reaching, and plentiful, so I am thrilled to be able to claim this one!
6 out of 10 (0.600)

0.600 again.  Predictions for 2009 soon.  Thank you to all the friends, co-workers, students, and family who made 2008 such a strange, tumultuous, and ultimately wonderful year.

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