Checking my older predictions

It’s been about 1.5 years since I asked a few questions in my Google Lifestyle post:

So the question is, what is waiting a few more years down the line? Maybe I won’t be able to imagine life before my documents sat in a magic Writely cloud where I could get to them from anywhere? Will cell phones evolve straight to internet-connected computers with an always-on broadband connection? Will people record their whole lives, because storage for audio and video will be so cheap?

Let’s break it down:

“Maybe I won’t be able to imagine life before my documents sat in a magic Writely cloud where I could get to them from anywhere?”

The whole notion of storing your data in the cloud is really getting a ton of attention lately. Scoble recently said it better than I could:

I’m trying to get everything I do online because I want freedom from my computer.

What do I mean about that?

Well, what if my computer gets stolen? I don’t want any data on it.

What happens if Linux comes out with a Macintosh killer? Or if I decide to get a Windows computer again (I’m currently using a Dell Tablet PC because they sent me one to try out). I want to just load one thing: Firefox and go to work. Right now I’m switching between my Dell and my Mac without any problems at all because almost everything I do now is in the browser.

Earlier today my Windows XP computer halted with no warning whatsoever. That’s been happening more and more in the last few weeks. I think it’s because my laptop is overheating, but the net result is that I don’t want to store anything important on my laptop. And I don’t really need to. My email, calendar, bookmarks, documents, and feeds are all in the cloud. Of course my blog is too. If my laptop died tomorrow, I’d be a little bit bummed, but I could hop onto any other computer and get a full day’s work done.

“Will cell phones evolve straight to internet-connected computers with an always-on broadband connection?”

Hello, iPhone? The iPhone isn’t as fast as some other phones, but it’s still fast enough for me to consider it a broadband connection. I use my iPhone all the time to browse the web when I’m stuck in a line.

“Will people record their whole lives, because storage for audio and video will be so cheap?”

That post was from September 20th, 2006. Just as an example, Justin.tv, a popular “lifecasting” service, was founded on October 10, 2006. ‘Nuff said. To be fair, the writing has been on the wall about this one since at least the MyLifeBits project. I think lots of people will eventually record everything they hear/see.

So I’ll say that I did okay on these predictions, even though they were fairly straightforward in hindsight.

22 Responses to Checking my older predictions (Leave a comment)

  1. People have been using Webmail and Geocities type homepages to store documents every since the mid 1990s.

    In fact, the very savvy, innovative, resourceful techies were doing remote collaboration using special free Webmails, free Web hosting sites and free hosted forums during the Web 1.0 era of the 90s, long before it became mainstream to do it and the advent of document storage companies.

  2. Matt, since you mention Browser Sync, do you know if there are any plans to update that extension? So far as I know there haven’t been any updates to it since 2006.

    Apologies if this is too off-topic; I’m just wondering.

  3. online storage data is the great solution but what with a hackers that can open all you secrets to the world?

  4. One more prediction… iPredict Google will release the Google toolbar for the iPhone this year. (Please, please, please) I do all of my bookmarking with Google and it’s a pain to create new Google bookmarks on the iPhone where I now do most of my web browsing.

  5. Hi Matt,
    Your predictions are reasonable and inline with the development of internet field so obviously it has to be more or less right !!! Because storage for audio and video are available cheap, recording whole life is quite strange

  6. Ani

    Dear Matt, it will take years to have broadband connection on mobile in third world countries. I am scared to have all your files on net, because once I deleted my one profile in google-analytics by mistake, and analytics team refused to restore that back as they were not maintaining any backup that time. I feel you need to have periodic backups to avoid any disaster… Well, I am impressed with Scoble idea to work with browser only, and you are free to fly high with no strings…

  7. Tim

    Dude, you shoulda got a Palm Centro. It does pretty much everything the iPhone does, and I don’t have to become one of the iDiot’s who live and breath Apple. Maybe now’s teh time to switch and get one from Sprint. Their network is MUCH faster and greater coverage that AT&T’s. Plus, it’ll only cost you $99 a month for unlimited everything (voice, email, data, text, etc).

  8. Sick of Hillary and Obama?

    Vote for McCain Romney!
    ;)

  9. Voyagerfan5761, I don’t know. I’ve been trying to get those folks to sync user-defined dictionaries without much luck, so I’m not sure.

  10. iPhone is broadband? 220kbps in EDGE enabled areas doesn’t smell like broadband to me. I tried Google Maps out on it and it was painful. When the 3G version comes out I’ll believe you. Of course people like HTC have been making faster versions for ages (complete with GPS hooked up to Maps. Heaven!) – it just took the marketing power and UI design genius of Apple to make the public aware.

    Justin.tv was some way behind the old Jennicam.

  11. @Matt: Heh, that would be a useful addition. I figured I’d try asking you, even though I had my doubts that a member of the web spam team would have much to do with the Firefox extension teams. Thanks for answering all the same. :-)

  12. Great predictions or desires as we put it – it’s hard to believe that anything fathomable when it comes to the web cannot be done these days. Everything you’ve predicted this year will certainly happen within the next few years.

  13. I’m still waiting patiently for my Google Hoverboard

  14. I predict Gppgle will integrate a URL shortening service into the toolbar and then pass pagerank or not through those shortened links.

  15. That I will get shorter as I get older

    Matt Cutts gets fired, aged 60 and a half, for dancing naked with his cat on Google Streetview (renamed planetview)

    Chinese to English translators become the norm by 2031

    Complete loss of the English language by 2042

    Documents reporting the faked moon landing are made public, 2103

    The Internet goes universal, 2304

    Interplanetary communication translators become the norm, 2315

    Complete loss of the Chinese language by 2406

    The Google Man’s mission is complete 2507

  16. I loved the comment by Scoble that you included. I’ve been hunting for a way I can success fully move more of my work online and away from the insecurities of my computers. Anything could happen and I would be greatly inconvenienced. Having all my stuff online allows me to simply replace the hardware (easily done) and get back to it.
    All I need now is for Roboform to setup an online service and I’m set ;-)

  17. Nice predictions – with the rate technology is advancing anything is possible goiing forward. It just takes someone to imagine it and make it happen so where is that Hoverboard?

  18. Lifecasting is definitely about to blow up. The new age blog (imagine that, blogging is already set to be surpassed). I’ve been recording and publishing my sleep talking for about 5 months now. Its the true reality tv (my recordings are audio but that is about to change).

  19. I just think that those internet phones will have to offer bigger fold-out screens while remaining compact. A 2-inch screen to view the internet is very disadvantageous.

    I also think that social networking sites are overrated. There’s only so much you can do. Unless they find more applications to keep people onboard and stop spam, many will go extinct.

    One thing that has always puzzled me is that there is no big online community for 50+ people to talk. Everything is teenage-driven, filled with words like LOL and whatnot, there is not a corner for middle-aged folks. I hope something for the older internet users will be developed soon.

    I also hope that the Google algo gives newer sites a chance to beat their long-lasting competitors. Truth is, many of those established sites are stuck in 1999, but have no reason to work hard because they know they can’t be beat. Their front pages are merely 2 big pictures (this is especially true of older e-Commerce sites) and some others are still stuck on deprecated HTML coding. Meanwhile, there are plenty of new sites that are SEO-optimized but have no opportunity to gain a brand name, backlinks, or be on top of the SERPs.

    Anyway, those are just a few of my wishful thoughts for the future.

  20. Speaking of old…thanks for rooting on Readburner. I’ve just purchased it to keep it going! Thanks again and keep an eye on us ;)

  21. You are now dubbed the Google nostradamus.

  22. CJ

    Is Google EVER going to fix the “this page contains secure and nonsecure content..” error message that pops up for ALL U.S. advertisers going to the Adwords login page? Doesn’t engender alot of faith in Google’s systems when such a simple https error message has been ongoing for months now.

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