True Value of Reciprocal Links

The year that just ended taught us all this lesson. I’ve noticed a lot of changes in people’s attitudes overall with the new year. Lot’s of loose ends are being tied up, people are looking up and over the horizon, and seeing light and starting to work on moving forward again, as opposed to working to cut and hunker down. That’s not to say people are becoming frivolous, but rather they have cut all they can, now they are looking for ways to move forward and improve overall service levels, while improving their revenues. It’s nice, it’s positive, it’s welcomed.

For my first contribution for the year, I would make some predictions. We’ll see how they turn out by the December 2002 issue.

  1. There will continue to be growth through 2002. Companies will report progress, the stock market will continue to grow. Biotechs will surge, and home traders (people using the likes of e-trade), will re-enter the market in great numbers.
  2. Traditional PC vendors will be forced to innovate more than ever in the past. There will be less and less compelling reasons to upgrade existing tools at all, hardware or software wise, until voice recognition becomes truly feasible. Vendors who produce “new age” devices – cell phone / PDA’s and the like will jockey for position in the coming market explosion.
  3. Security against viruses will be put to the test. We have tasted a foreshadowing of what’s coming. We will see increasing calls for comprehensive Internet legislation. As the Internet continues to become more critical to the lives of millions around the world, there will be less and less tolerance for cyber crime.

    There will be impetus for greater enforcement of penalties for cyber-crimes caused by the damage done by viruses. This is especially true as people become more and more dependent on the net for essential data delivered not just to their desktops, but also to their palm pilots, cell phones, etc. Copyrights, fraud, (credit card and other) vandalism, and cyber-terrorism will be key factors in what may end up being a major review of existing legislation, and the creation of proper legislative and judicial processes for this worldwide industry. Something that was largely nonexistent 10 years ago. The Internet is the backbone of the modern economy. It should be protected as such.

  4. Someone will find a new solution to spam – and new forms of spam will emerge.
  5. Companies that have survived to date will continue to do so. Some will turn the corner and start generating real profits, some will be purchased or merge with others for their value in niche markets or technical superiority. The meltdown we have seen the last 18 months has for all intents passed.
  6. Wireless will continue to lead the future growth and direction of the Internet – Outside of North America. Limited wireless access will make its first viable foothold in North America, but will wait until 2003 before becoming prevalent. Wireless will lead the way in Europe and Asia – it’s a cost effective way to deliver access. Better build more web sites with this in mind.
  7. Telecoms will get it right. Long the slowpokes of the hosting industry, Telecoms will lead the way by adopting cutting edge technologies for their end users. They will deliver a greater range of hosting solutions, responsive to clients needs.
  8. How data is presented will come to be recognize as one of the crucial disciplines in Web site design. A thing of beauty will have to be functional too. This means the sheer number of web sites, pages, access points and portals will force site builders and creators to place greater emphasis on getting their site classification, meta data, navigation and internal search tools right. With all the wireless users coming online, there will be less and less interest in surfing and a greater interest on getting there the first time. Get your web site optimized.
  9. In a change from the past, standardization will make a meaningful foothold in the search engine optimization industry. Standardization among the search engines that is. They will look at more and more ‘markers’ but will no longer exclude certain ones, or ignore properly presented data. They will still use varying scales to measure value, but will look more and more at standardized sources for information.
  10. Microsoft’s battle with the Justice Department will not be as easily settled as once thought. Someone will realize that you don’t punish a company for being a “monopoly” by forcing schools to adopt their technology – How does that help? Yes I know it’s free, but it makes no sense. BTW, I like Microsoft, but this still makes no sense.
  11. Someone will believe the world is flat and that the Sun orbits around the Earth.