The following is a bunch of predictions. Mark my words. Three areas to pull out your wallet for.
- Personal Web Hosting/Cloud/Sync/Backup Services – I’m not sure what to call this space that I think we’ll be seeing a lot of. I don’t believe that these kinds of services will be bundled with mobile accounts anytime soon, but that’s clearly what will happen. The definition is this: Add-On ISP-like services that make mobile and desktop apps work together more effectively. This would include backup services and services that bridge gaps across the various hardware networks we use.
- Genealogy – The Baby Boomers love this stuff, and actually so do humans in general. Who doesn’t want to know their own family history? And with DNA analysis becoming more and more standardized, I think that Social-Media-Driven Genealogical Information will probably be mashed together with known hereditary data to create really compelling information services for average people. The word “Rich” comes to mind but that’s really in the hands of designers and visionaries. Imagine what’s going to happen in this space. It blows my mind.
- Library Sciences Related Anything – The so-called “Public Library” is probably about to explode into something much more tangled with our daily lives. I believe that tax-funded Public Libraries are increasingly getting closer to being able to easily use cutting edge Information Technology to serve the public. The abolition of hard-copy card catalogs went slowly. But we’re in the age of Moore’s Law. It’s no stretch of the imagination that soon there will be title-to-isbn translators that cross language barriers and so on… But that’s just the beginning. Imagine the Public Library as place that has cached, categorized databases from all sorts of sources, and Librarians as people helping you to mash data together (while you’re still at home in your underwear or on a train heading to work) …This idea is so hard to see for some people. I could go on for pages about the possibilities. And for you asshole cynics, remember: Facts Cannot Be Copyrighted. “(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.” …Libraries are worth so much to us as people. And when they merge into a global archive of ‘verified’ sources, we’ll really start to see the Web’s potential.