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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

I'm sorry... But that's the wrong answerBeing the Prediction Expert – nay, Deity – that I am, I feel it’s my duty to share with you my one random prediction for 2006.  But first, let’s review what I said on January 4th 2005 – precisely one year ago today…

MSN is my ‘big tip’ for 2005… Google could be seriously threatened

Let’s all celebrate how wrong that prediction was… MSN has made big leaps forward since January 2005, but it’s not even close to challenging Google’s dominance in the search marketplace.  But as the Google behemoth is increasingly questioned by the internet community at large in the same way that Microsoft began to be questioned in the 90s, perhaps this is the moment for some other internet technology to break through and change the internet in the same way that Google did.  Indeed, business experts already report the beginnings of a second dot-com bubble.

Some say that citizen journalism will change the face of the web and the news media.  That, as far as I can see, is a load of bollocks.  Not to put too fine a point on it, of course.  But, frankly, idiots like me spouting ‘news’ and half-baked opinions and predictions (see above for example), however loud we shout, are never going to rival the newsgathering power of organisations like the Beeb.  Yes, quality citizen journalism brings a personal aspect to the news – you just have to read some personal accounts written by those caught up in th 2004 tsunami or the 7th July London Bombings to realise that.  But as more and more sites like mine spring up, where the uninformed essentially pontificate on the day’s news of which they are hardly informed themselves, the genuine wheat becomes harder to separate from the ever-increasing chaff, and the value of citizen journalism as a whole declines.

The blog is distinctly not the killer application of the web.  But what is? 

How the hell should I know?

This 785th post was filed under: News and Comment.

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