The Year’s Half Over. So How Are My Predictions Tracking?

I like to do this exercise from time to time – asking how my predictions for the year are holding up given six months have passed since I posted them.   Well, let’s see, shall we? 1. We’ll see an end to the recession, taken literally, by Q4 09. I think…

nostraD-tm-3-tm-tm-tm.jpgI like to do this exercise from time to time – asking how my predictions for the year are holding up given six months have passed since I posted them.  

Well, let’s see, shall we?

1. We’ll see an end to the recession, taken literally, by Q4 09.

I think most folks agree this will happen. I’m not saying it has, just that the consensus is we’re on the way there.

2. The online media space will be hit hard by the economic downturn in the first half, but by year’s end, will have chalked up moderate gains over last year in terms of gross spend.

Jury’s out, hard to call this one, but my own experience indicates this has a good chance of happening.

3. Google will see search share decline significantly for the first time ever. It will also struggle to find an answer to the question of how it diversifies its revenue in 2009.

Ok, so is this significant?! Well, yes – it’s the first share slip Google’s had, and it happened this year, but it’s tiny. Hey, it’s a start. As for the answer to how it diversifies revenue? Well, the jury is out, but it’s still all AdWords, all the time, so far. YouTube is struggling with a model, Google admits. Meanwhile, Facebook seems to have found one (in self service)…

4. Despite #3 above, Google stock will soar in by Q3-4 of 2009, mainly because demand will pick up, and when demand picks up, it’s like rain on a field of newly sown wheat.

This is already starting to happen – GOOG has moved from below 300 in March to well over 400 now. But we’ll see if it continues. Several analysts are predicting a return to 600 or 650, in fact.

5. Tied to #3 above, Microsoft will gain at least five points of search share in 2009, perhaps as much as 10.

I know, I’m crazy, right? But the company did release Bing just last month, already won two or so points of share, and has a 100mm marketing war chest, and its major distribution deals have yet to hit Comscore. Wait and see….

6. Yahoo and AOL will merge.

This one I may be wrong on, because first, AOL has to spin out. Or maybe it almost does but then combines with Yahoo this year….

7. … in the second half of the year, Microsoft will buy its search monetization from the combined company.

Well…again, this takes longer to develop that this year, I’m guessing. I probably have egg on my face here.

8. Apple will see a significant reversal of recent fortunes.

Wow, I am so wrong on this so far. Even with Job’s health issues, which are not what I meant when I wrote this. There is always the second half of the year.

9. Major brands will continue to struggle with the best way to interact with “social media.”

True so far, but wow, what a great, great opportunity for folks who run companies in this space. Cough.

10. Agencies will increasingly see their role as that of publishers. Publishers will increasingly see their role as that of agencies.

I think this one has become obvious. I’ll hope to prove it when I do my annual round up at the end of the year.

11. Twitter will continue its meteoric rise.

Remember, I said this back in January. Twitter was at 5.9mm uniques according to Compete. It’s now broken 20mm there, and we all know it’s way bigger than that. It took a pause last month, and we’re all waiting to see what June’s numbers look like….

12. Facebook will do something entirely shocking and unpredictable….As I think about it, it might be as simple as making Facebook Connect truly open, and changing its policies to make it drop dead easy to get data out of the service. Also, Facebook will build a Twitter competitor, but it will never leave beta and will ultimately be abandoned as not worth the time. Instead, Facebook will “friend” Twitter and the two companies will become strong partners.

Wow. They did it. At least the first part of it. We’ll see about the second part.

13. Lucky #13 is reserved for my eternal mobile prediction: 2009 will see the year mobility becomes presumptive in every aspect of the web.

I think finally, this one will be true.

14. Lastly, I promise, I will have sold my book and will be hard at work on it.

Well, we’ll see….

Thanks for keeping me honest!

9 thoughts on “The Year’s Half Over. So How Are My Predictions Tracking?”

  1. Good update.

    Still can’t see the Yahoo/AOL merger – the way AOL has been split up worldwide makes any merger messy (Carphone warehouse in the UK have taken a long time to work out how to merge their Talk Talk/Tiscali/AOL UK web services).

    Good call on MS search – Whilst reading your article I realised that I haven’t used Google search for a month. I know I am just one person, but I can’t be the only one in a similiar position.

  2. Dear John,
    I am a long follower of your thoughts but I must say predictions are a really must see.

    thanks !

  3. Nice write up, John. I enjoyed reading this and seeing where your head was at in January and where things are now. I look forward to the end of year wrap up.

  4. Re: your prediction about a decline in Google’s search share, I wonder whether that’s truer than you think (at least by the end of the year).

    Twitter and Facebook search may be small in an absolute sense now, but I bet they have very strong growth rates (is there any reliable way to measure them?) Any fresh search monetization models are also likely to spring from one or both of them. And of course to Google’s consternation, Facebook’s data isn’t publicly indexable (and therefore not monetizable).

  5. I think the verdict is still out on Microsoft stealing away market share with Bing. Yes that article said it happened slightly but Microsoft is also spending $250 million on their ad campaign. It will be interesting to see if they keep increasing market share without ads.

    And I agree with Rahul on Twitter search but not on Facebook search. Twitter search along with all the other real time search engines being built will really be the ones that take away market share.

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