Valleywag's 25 predictions for 2008

Valleywag is of course known for its dead-on accuracy, so our predictions for 2008 need no introduction. Inside, my 25 predictions (made without inside information) cover the futures of Facebook, Google, Digg, YouTube, Twitter, the Wall Street Journal, Apple, Yahoo, Gawker Media, AOL, Dell, LOLcats, the president, and more.

  1. Facebook stays independent and private, strikes a meaningful deal that legitimizes its business plan, and buys a startup.
  2. Born out of the writers' strike, at least one "Funny or Die" style site gets big buzz and maybe even gets bought, but it fails to produce any videos near the quality of FoD or Super Deluxe.
  3. Google releases some limited version of voice search beyond GOOG 411. During the year, the company's stock tops $800.
  4. Digg sells to a major media company for at least $200 million, and founder Kevin Rose starts a non-web-based company.
  5. YouTube announces it's adding HD video, but the feature doesn't arrive until 2009.
  6. Gawker Media, publisher of this site, starts a men's site and a Web show.
  7. Yahoo suffers major layoffs, leading the press to dub it the next AOL.
  8. Yet AOL is spun off and reframes itself. At the end of 2008, the company's future is still uncertain.
  9. Apple releases a second-generation iPhone, and at least one New York Times article tries to draw a "middle class/rich" line between those who upgrade and those who stick with the first generation.
  10. A new videoblogger emerges as the go-to example for slick independent daily vlogging, following Amanda Congdon and Ze Frank.
  11. Tumblr, the pared down blogging service, enjoys the popularity that 2007 brought Twitter.
  12. Twitter remains independent and spins off a new service.
  13. The Internet again fails to drive one presidential candidate to success. So does Chuck Norris.
  14. Jason Calacanis, still running his online directory Mahalo, starts another project.
  15. A new meme started in a geeky part of the web infiltrates the "normal" population even more deeply than LOLcats.
  16. Yet another e-book reader comes out and no one cares.
  17. Blog search engine Technorati collapses after failing to get enough funding to stay afloat.
  18. The Wall Street Journal announces it will soon be free online.
  19. Blog platform maker Six Apart, having spun off LiveJournal and rearranged its exec staff, gets bought.
  20. Dell screws up the good will it won in 2007 with another customer-service or bad-parts scandal.
  21. Net Neutrality takes another hit from a telco-friendly Congressional bill.
  22. Second Life plods along.
  23. The TechCrunch blog network lands a regular TV appearance, if not a show.
  24. The country tires of the last round of famous-for-being-famous celebs, and gossip blogger Perez Hilton's TV show gets cancelled.
  25. A minor medical incident renews the "can Apple survive without Steve Jobs" argument.