The psychic Hotline won't help you in this article!
However, I want to share my predictions for 2003 and the
trends I see affecting how you will use the Internet for
both business and pleasure.
Anybody with an email account for more than three days has
gotten unsolicited email (referred to as Spam) from people
they don't know. These people offer to sell them everything
from acne treatment to inkjet cartridges.
As federal and state lawmakers weigh into the battle
against Spam, you can expect two significant developments
First, anti-Spam software sales will skyrocket among home
and business users. Unfortunately, unless somebody invents
a solution that actually works well, the end results won't
fit the promises made to sell the products.
On a side note: It will prove very interesting to see how
many of the anti-Spam product vendors will actually use
Spam to sell their wares!
Second, anti-Spam sentiment will massively affect
legitimate online business owners trying to communicate
with their customers via e-mail.
New services will spring up to help even the smallest
businesses secure their communications with customers and
avoid the "Spam filters."
** Lights, Camera, Action!
The use of multimedia, including video, pictures, and
sound, along with other interactive devices, will really
take off this year.
However, the proliferation of multimedia will not occur
because of higher Internet access speeds through DSL or
Cheaper and better computers, combined with improved
"streaming" software technology, will drive this multimedia
trend. As computers and web servers on either end of the
information exchange get faster at encoding and decoding
data, the need for broadband access lessens.
** Sold to the Highest Bidder
Expect auction sites to see all-time highs in sales and
revenues this year. With a sluggish economy, people look
to save and make money any way they can, and buying through
eBay makes it easier than ever.
** Do you Yahoo?
Search giant Yahoo will rebound this year from a couple of
poor business decisions. Expect them to regain the top
spot as the world's number one search portal by the end of
** "Micro-Businesses" Will Dominate
Using "guerrilla marketing" tactics, small businesses will
spread like wildfire online. These businesses won't bother
with startup capital, or IPO's; they'll simply reach
profitability within 30 days or close up shop.
Also, expect to see "Big" business start adapting these
techniques by creating special units within larger
corporations that reward the entrepreneurial online spirit.
So take the challenge!
Cut out this article, put it on your bulletin board, and 12
months from now we can all see if my psychic abilities rate
with the most popular 900 numbers or whether flipping a
coin would have achieved the same or better results. :-)