How do you warn people that the flooding situation is really dangerous around Boulder, Colorado? A forecaster for the National Weather Service used some good old Bible terror in this morning's Denver/Boulder update. Is this modern-day Noah collecting raccoons and deer and stray pit bulls, right now?
Nick Denton, who rules over the entire Gawker empire, is the most pessimistic man in the media. In a way, this is comforting, because you know it's very unlikely that things will be worse than he predicts. In another, more visceral way, it is not comforting at all. But nobody said it was supposed to be, so oh well. Today Nick has issued his 2009 Internet Media Plan, which amounts to one big Forecast of Doom. Highlights: The main point:
If you're planning your Christmas vacation to the Caribbean (or considering whether to follow Sarah Palin's lead and invest in a tanning bed in your home), consider this: "Forecasters say we're likely to be hit with one of those old fashioned winters with freezing temperatures and plenty of snow that you'll be able to tell your grandchildren about—not the wussy winters we've had in recent years." [NYDN]
"In ten years, we believe that online video broadcasting will be the most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication." It's on the Official Google Blog, so take YouTube founder Chad Hurley's claim as a company statement. I envy Google's ability to have it both ways on just about any topic.Hurley claims his own site's "exponential growth" means video is becoming the dominant means of communication — not just for news and entertainment, but for everyday communication between individual people. He ignores the real-world evidence that people vastly prefer text-based communications — email, IM, phone texting — rather than the video tools built into nearly all new computers and most phones. Because he's rich and works for Google, Hurley's claim will be widely quoted today, and conveniently forgotten in ten years. Here's what no one will ask him: Chad, why did you post your world-is-changing claim in text, instead of uploading a video? (Photo by AP/Danny Moloshok)
A group of Apple watchers have been compiling a spreadsheet listing product numbers of iPhones submitted by recent buyers. Presuming them to be sequential, they've come up with an estimate of at least 4,539,700 iPhone 3G handsets purchased. With 2.4 million suckers having shelled out as much as $599 for the firstgeneration model, and factories in China churning out over 800,000 units a week, his hot-tempered holiness Steve Jobs's prediction of 10 million units sold in 2008 could come true well before Thanksgiving. (Photo by George Panos) [Apple 2.0]
My esteemed colleague Owen Thomas worries that analyst firm Forrester Research, by buying its longtime rival JupiterResearch, has reduced the number of alternative opinions that will be floated in the media on any given topic. But by bringing Jupiter analysts including blogger favorite Michael Gartenberg aboard, Forrester will actually lessen the number of wrong opinions treated as near-fact by the mainstream media. I could spend a couple of days correlating Forrester vs. Jupiter on a spread of topics over the past decade. But screw it, I'm a journalist — two's a trend. Here are Forrester's two biggest misses I never forgot:
It's one thing to use up the world's supply of a complex substance like oil. It's another to extract and deplete Earth's entire stock of a chemical element. We'll be out of gallium in less than a decade, warns science fiction author Robert Silverberg, thanks to its use in flat-panel TV and computer displays. Not far behind is zinc, with an estimated 30 years to depletion. Copper, too. There's only one proper capitalist response to the situation: Clear those three spots on the periodic table, and replace them with ads.
The good news? We might still have jobs in five years. The bad news? We'll all want to kill ourselves doing them. Forrester Research reports that by 2013 enterprise spending on "social networking, mashups, and RSS" will reach $4.6 billion. That will buy a lot of one-off brews at Blue Bottle. You'll need the caffeine to prop your eyes open, though, when you get to Forrester's label for the trend: "Enterprise 2.0." Care for a definition? Since we insist you share in our crushing disappointment, you're going to get one anyway. ReadWriteWeb on what Enterprise 2.0 is and isn't:
"Although the validity of Carl Johan Calleman's scholarship has been called into question by John Major Jenkins and others, it is interesting that Calleman predicted the current year (November 2007 to November 2008) to be the year of Tezcatlipoca — sinister deity of black magic and the jaguar — marked by economic collapse, war, and other threats." [Reality Sandwich]