Sunday, May 04, 2008

The web in 2013

I think the web in 2013 won't be completely unrecognizable to the web users of today. To project where the web will be in 5 years, I think it's helpful to look at where the web was 5 years ago.

The web in 2003:
-MySpace*,, LinkedIn**
-LiveJournal, Blogger,

* - launched in 2003 (source -

A lot of the web sites that were known to only a few early adopters in 2003 are quite mainstream now. So the websites and ideas that will be wildly popular in 2013 probably exist now in some form.

Picking out which websites today will really take off in the next five years is difficult. I think that mashups will continue to grow in popularity. Commercial mashups will be created that pay licensing fees for their data.

I see semantic web technologies primarily being used behind the scenes to improve the web of today. The average web users of 2013 probably won't know what the semantic web is, but it will enable them to find the information they need every day. Sites like FreeBase will continue to grow and applications will be built to take advantage of their free structured data. Improvements in natural language processing will help the semantic web to use unstructured data.

Applications will continue to move off of the desktop and onto the web. Already slimmed down free versions of desktop applications are appearing online. GoogleDocs and Adobe Photoshop are good examples. Cheap online storage providers like JungleDisk or XDrive will start to replace large hard drives in home PCs. In the next few years I would not be surprised to see laptops being sold with only a web browser for an operating system.

Accessing the web through mobile devices will become more and more common, so more sites will appear that are optimized for viewing on those devices.

Watching TV shows online will become quite common. Because of this, advertisers will be forced to adapt and find new ways to reach consumers. Companies will try to create or buy internet memes. For example, a fast food restaurant will buy and turn it into a marketing slogan.

I think the web of 2013 will be an improvement on the web of today. I believe that it will become easier to find information and manage personal data.

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