Chinese Internet Predictions for 2006

Bill Bishop predicts:

1. Tencent becomes the largest Chinese Internet company by market capitalization.
2. At least one of Shanda, Netease, The9, Baidu or Sohu sees its stock trade below its IPO price in 2006.
3. Shanda decides it can use its cash better elsewhere and places out its 19.5% stake in Sina, possibly to a large Chinese telecom company. Sina is after all the second largest news provider in China after CCTV, and I believe the government would prefer to have some amount of ownership concentration in the hands of another friendly shareholder.
4. The Alibaba show hits some bumps. It is easier to grow revenue from $0-60M than it is to go from $60M to $250M, and at some point the CEOs showmanship may piss off the wrong person in China.
5. Neteases game business will slip, as the spread of free games hits their core titles and commercial operation of their 3D game is delayed at least into Q4.


Ramesh Jain writes about our vision in Seraja:

With ubiquitous presence of sensors, increasing storage, bandwidth, and processing power, it is increasing easier to capture detailed experience of events. These experiences include information associated with them. This is slowly changing how we get information and experiences and share those with others in our own circles as well as with all other people. The Web that is emerging is more multimedia, but more importantly it is the web of events are rather than documents.

Many calendar and map oriented techniques that are emerging are reminiscent of Gopher days of document-web when each document was independent and was perceived by us as a document. By creating a web of these documents trough referential links, the Web has now entered the Google age where we consider them related and use characteristics of the links among them in organizing, accessing, and evaluating information. Going forward, the links among events will be referential, spatial, temporal, causal, and contextual. Today we are in the Gopher age of EventWeb. Many challenges lie ahead to take us into the Google age of EventWeb.

TV and Mobiles

Tomi Ahonen writes:

Mobile TV is only four years old, as two innovations were launched simultaneously in 2001. In Finland SMS-to-TV chat went live, while MTV launched Videoclash – the programme where viewers could decide what videos to see next, and vote via mobile phones. Since then in 2002, 2003, 2004 and even 2005 when I met with thinkers in this TV-Mobile space, most were always only thinking of putting football highlights, news clips etc onto mobile phones. Boring boring boring.

Now in 2005 we’ve seen first signs of real innovations – you have to see MTV’s Head and Shoulders to really “get it” – what we can do and what can really sell – on mobile TV. When Robbie Williams promoted his new CD, he had his concert simulcast to 3G phones. At the MTV Europe Awards the mobile MTV channel went back stage and shot exclusive footage that was only seen on mobile phones. At Big Brother houses around Europe it is now commonplace to have exclusive cameras – and latest innovation from Finland this Autumn, exclusive microphones – that viewers of the show can get more through their 3G phones.

Promod Haque on India Opportunities

Promod Haque is Managing Partner of Norwest Venture Partners. The Hindu Business Line has an interview with him:

As mobile users in India are increasing, wireless data services and products continue to be extremely interesting investment opportunities for our firm. India also has low credit card penetration, and we believe there are opportunities for companies to create alternate online payment methods.

There are also tremendous opportunities in the media/broadcasting sector. Broadcasting is changing. In the past it was done through satellite and cable. In the future it will be done over the Internet. This will be taken one step further than what IPTV providers are talking about when they say they want to control the content (as satellite and cable providers have).

The Internet will become the transport mechanism for delivering television, movies and news. You will see a lot of new channels that will start to use the Internet as the platform for communication like publishers did when they first used the Internet to deliver content.

Imagine a world where we will be able to watch any local channel from India, China, the UK or the US, using the Internet.

New technology also will change the way content such as news, reviews of information, breaking stories, research reports, opinions, is transformed, aggregated and distributed over the Internet. In the past, finding important news or information was limited to some Web sites. The landscape has changed and we are seeing more local, user-contributed, content. Building on the blog phenomenon, there will be more uses and models for this technology.

2006 Trends

ContentSutra quotes from a story in The Financial Express:

Expect laptops costing Rs 5,000 ($110) and race for cellphones with a price tag of Rs 1,000 ($22) to begin. A hand-cranked laptop that will cost roughly $100 is expected to be in the hands of schoolchildren in poorer countries by late 2006. The idea is to get the cost of a basic computer down to $100 by a combination of clever design and bulk manufacturing (minimum order is likely to be about one million units).

The rapid diffusion of broadband and digital technology in television networks is highly accelerating this process and is leading to the development of new content delivery infrastructures (internet, UMTS, MMS, MP3, VOD, DSL, WiFi/WiMax, digital cable) as well as new multi-channel access tools available to the end consumer. Not many analysts are yet betting on many watching TV on mobiles, even though 3G is on its way.

TECH TALK: 2006 Tech Trends: Peer Production and Syndication

7. Peer production and syndication are at the heart of the new Web.

People power is on the rise. As writing and publishing becomes easy, more are taking to the Web for recording their thoughts on whats happening. Blogs now come in all forms from text to audio to video. Syndication, in the form of RSS feeds, is making consumption of this peer produced content easier. Aggregators are coming in all forms, and even becoming part of email clients. A decade ago, Geocities and other gave birth to the People Web. But the static nature of those pages saw that promise fade away. Now, its finally happening blogging is fulfilling that vision. This is the real Web 2.0. It is about We, The People.

BBC News: DIY content creation is already a budding market with consumers set to spend about 8bn on devices to help them create their own content. Devices such as digital cameras, camcorders, audio players, software and printers have all fuelled this DIY revolution.

JD Lasica on 2005 Transformations: Citizens media takes off. Few amateurs are creating citizen journalism, but millions of us are creating our own messy, democratic works — photos, video, audio — and a lot of it is astonishingly good. The introduction of devices like the video iPod will propel citizens media into millions of more homes, while traditional, force-fed, top-down, linear Big Media programming and content continues to falter.

Steve Rubel: In 2006 feed reading will become even easier than it is now, especially if there is a groundswell of adoption around Windows Vista. It will bolted into all kinds of connected devices, from cell phones to Sling Boxes to point of purchase displays. In addition all kinds of new information will find its way into feeds, not just news and blogs. Now that we are unified under one flag, RSS – as a term – will actually begin to fade. Sure, it will always be popular among us geeks. However, RSS will increasingly become, as Greg Reinacker at Newsgator believes, plumbing. We will talk about it the same way we from time to time lovingly espouse SMTP. To sum up, RSS Inside is to 2006 what Intel Inside was to 1996 and that’s why it will be an important trend to watch next year.

Conversion Rater: RSS will become two-way with the help of Simple Sharing Extensions from Microsoft. This will open up a whole new set of features in our favorite web applications, as well as pave the ground for a plethora of new applications. A related and equally large story is Microsoft becoming a big player in the newer web technologies with their Live platform.

Corante: Aggregation increasingly becomes the basis of getting information from the web. Aggregation increasingly becomes the basis of getting information from the web, whether it’s through Yahoo, legacy media, personal recommendation services, tag-based always-on search or whatever, says Corante Network Media contributor Mark Hamilton. Aggregation will help deal with information overload at two levels. The first is the simple means that facilitates the aggregation – this includes greater adoption of technology such as feed aggregators. Jack Vinson notes that they will continue to evolve their capabilities present information in useful ways.

Dog Or Higher: “People will become less and less important visitors to your site, while software will become smarter and more interested in your dataData will become increasingly distributed, and reside on the edges of the network (a book review you do will reside on your site, not, for instance at Amazon).”

Robin Good: Peer media will also be ground for rapid growth as new P2P tools will start to provide the ability not only to share and download content but also to edit, remix, mashup, select, and compile content in new valuable formats and styles. Personal Media Aggregators, branded and distributed to specific communities of interest will provide the means to share, collect, edit and republish content both within that network as well as to other related ones. While newspapers and magazines have been the first adopters of these future content delivery and distribution containers, other markets as commercial music, sports and even politics will find great marketing and communication value in them.

Tomorrow: Multimedia

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