Here are my more serious predictions. Some I want to come true, some I simply suspect have a chance of becoming reality. What’s on your list?
- Obama develops a backbone and starts to be the president we elected. He will also learn that Gibbs has to go and that he needs a far better comms team.
- Facebook or Twitter gets bought/files for an IPO (I have no inside knowledge). If this happens the IPO market will catch fire for lots of other companies.
- The Euro becomes a common currency for the chosen few of EU economies. If not at least one EU nation will file for bankruptcy (Can they do that?).
- Foursquare goes the way of Digg. Facebook’s places has already made them irrelevant. The final nail in the coffin is just waiting to be driven in.
- Microsoft Kinect will spawn a whole new category of businesses well beyond gaming. The possibilities are endless.
- A major daily newspaper will stop its printed version. The economics have pushed them all to the brink. One will jump.
- Julian Assange will end up in jail. It may not be in Sweden but he will be found charged by someone for something.
- The environment will come back on the agenda. As the economy improves people will stop worrying about their jobs and start paying attention to the horrors that climate change will bring if we don’t act.
- Those of us in PR will figure out digital comms and we’ll be shocked by what it means for us. We’ll find out either by accident or because a competitor that we never expected starts to show us the way.
- Blackberry (RIM) either realizes its products are horrible and changes path or it accelerates towards that brick wall that is currently at the end of the road they are on.
Wikileaks has gone from being an annoyance to the US government to public enemy number one in a matter of months. We now have various top law makers are talking about legislation that would severely cramp their style. Not content with annoying world leaders, the site has now said it will turn its attention to big business. A year ago, few would likely have worried about what may appear on the site but given Wikileaks’ apparent attitude to risk it would appear ‘business’ may have a lot to worry about. Commercial secrets of all manner would appear to be fair game. After all, the site is prepared to leak military classified information that puts lives of innocent people at risk. If so, then the damage extend to cover the lives of people in the middle east to damage to brands that could cause thousands of western economy jobs to be lost. Of course, the argument to support Wikileaks is that they are only letting people know what governments and businesses are up to behind their backs. In some cases it has real merit. Corruption and other unlawful acts should be named and the people responsible shamed. But simply revealing secrets because they are a) interesting and b) secret isn’t a great argument. I’d like to see Wikileaks survive this storm but I’d also like to see it act more responsibly. Without sensible self regulation it will receive harsh government regulation and all its efforts will have been in vain.
I’m pretty sure the owners of Wikileaks have secrets they’d rather not reveal. These secrets may be fascinating and if revealed could be acutely embarrassing to the people responsible. Perhaps they could give that some thought the next time they dump someone else’s laundry on the internet.