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2006: I Was Right! December 31, 2006 – 4:36 p.m. – Permalink

2006 is down and out. 2007 is in. It’s time to go back to “2005: Highlights and Predictions” from last year and figure out if my predictions were correct. I went to several of my friends and asked them to compare the actual situation of the Web with the predictions I had made.

It turns out that I was generally right, on every one. Here’s a short review of my proposals for what had occurred:

  1. Browser Wars ... Again? I predicted that Firefox would become a major competitor against Internet Explorer by the time IE7 was released. Firefox has done just that; it now has 12% of the browsing public, and it has seized 39% of the browsing public in Germany. Firefox 2.0 was released on October 24, and it was downloaded two million times in the first twenty-four hours. Prediction: Correct!
  2. Loss of Hype for Web 2.0. I said that nobody would care anymore about Web 2.0. And it has happened. I have not read a single blog entry since early this year about it, and it seems that the buzzword is now nonexistent. Zeldman, meanwhile, is heralding the arrival of Web 3.0. Face it. Web 2.0 is dead. Prediction: Correct!
  3. The Final Death of IE5. Internet Explorer 5 will die, I said. I was right. Back in December 2005, Microsoft announced that it’d no longer support Internet Explorer for Macintosh, and support for Internet Explorer 5.5 ended on December 31, 2005. It came a little sooner than expected, and nobody hears about IE5 anymore. Prediction: Correct!
  4. More Attention to Typography. I said that typography would become a major focal point of design this year. And it has. Many more people are trying new fonts and using fonts in new ways to complement their designs. Good typography contributes to good design. Prediction: Correct!
  5. Morphing Designs. I said: Blogs will start looking much more interesting. Some of the more seasoned bloggers have been experimenting significantly with design, and now designers’ blogs look really good. That might also be a result of the May 1st (2006) CSS Reboot, which threw out some excellent sites. Prediction: Correct!

Here are some of the most popular and most notable articles from 2006 (reprints don’t count):

Thoughts on Life and Blogging (January 7)
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to express my feelings without feeling hindered by what this blog was originally meant to be — a simple blog about Web standards and Web design. But recently, I’ve felt like Seraphic Zephyr has not amounted to anything important in anyone’s eyes.
Would You Censor for China? (January 31)
It’s more than likely that you’ve heard about Google censoring itself for China in order to gain access China’s increasing market on the Internet. Even though Google has had a Chinese version of its site for years now, China, one of the last Communist countries in Eastern Asia, set up government blocks on it.
The Curse of Social Networking (March 8)
I read a horrifying and sickening news article today from Yahoo News. In Costa Mesa, California a few days ago, a student is facing expulsion after posting several offensive threats against one of his classmates on his MySpace. Twenty other students were suspended for viewing the threat.
XSS: LOL? (April 18)
For those of you completely unconvinced by “The Curse of Social Networking”, one of my fieriest articles regarding MySpace and its lack of safety, here’s what else you can expect from MySpace’s instability and inattention to detail. A user named “Samy” managed somehow to amass a million friends in twenty–four hours back in October. You might ask how this is important.
To Switch a Gear (April 24)
One thing I have experienced frequently since writing in Seraphic Zephyr for the first time has been the undeniable fact that there is often nothing to write about. No matter how hard I try to find something notable to elaborate upon, there is zilch. Some blogs have overcome this barrier by switching gears, switching topics.
True Music Lovers Don’t Kill Concerts (May 27)
I had the wonderful opportunity of attending a Colorado Symphony Orchestra concert today. The two pieces played were both fantastic. During the second one, to my disgust, people began getting up and leaving with angry expressions on their faces. It was musical director Jeffrey Kahane’s last concert of his first season with the orchestra, and this is how they repay his work?
Tempus Fugit (June 22)
In one year ... many things can happen, many things the mind cannot even begin to fathom. On June 22, 2005, Seraphic Zephyr was born with little fanfare. After all, thousands of websites are sprung up every day. But to me, June 22 has special significance to me. It’s the day I was finally able to give my work to the world.
MySpace, Idol of Teen Spirit (June 24)
In 1998, the domain “www.myspace.com” was registered to a small file sharing and Web storage firm. The idea was that if you referred people to the site you could get more Web space in which you could place files. When this MySpace.com failed in 2001, what would be formed in July of 2003 would cause massive controversies over safety of youth on the Internet, schools’ rights to ban websites, and a consistent and expansive lack of accessibility and standardization.
W3C, Get a Move On (August 15)
Revolutionary Web designer Jeffrey Zeldman raised several eyebrows when he blasted the World Wide Web Consortium recently for its direction in his entry “An angry fix” from July 17. One of the ideas that he brought up was the W3C’s corporate sponsorship was damaging its relationship with Web standards advocates and designers.
Undisclosed, Unpublished, Unrevealed (October 11)
I spend quite a bit of my time updating Seraphic Zephyr wondering what I should upload and what I should not. I’ve written several entries that have never been approved by the editor, who is, of course, me. Following is a sampling of entries that have never made it past the drawing table, along with a few unknown facts.
Accessibility in Law: Nothing New (November 4)
What follows is the message I intend to convey in this article: accessibility should be made law worldwide. The nature of the Web these days is daunting to those people who require assistance when they browse from other programs or sources. It is for these disabled people that we need to fix the problems we have created and allow a fully accessible and universal Web, open to everyone, to thrive.
Boston and Opera, Sitting in a Tree? (December 18)
My friend Patrick refuses to use Firefox. He’s migrated from Netscape to a short period with Internet Explorer 7 to Opera. Patrick used to be an avid fan of Netscape, and now he’s an avid fan of Opera. Recently he pointed me to an interesting Slashdot news story.

It’s difficult really to determine what’s going to happen in 2007, so even though I may have been correct this year, I doubt I’ll get them all next year. Plus, these predictions were very hard to come up with.

  1. IE7 Will Fight Firefox. After all, Vista is scheduled to be released next year, and as far as I can tell, IE7 is doing pretty well in terms of browser competitiveness. Firefox may have a tough time combating Microsoft’s 2007 onslaughts.
  2. The Biggies Acquire. Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, the three companies currently dominating the Web, will continue acquiring various small entities. They’ll continue expanding; I predict that Microsoft will release a video service similar to YouTube. This prediction’s shaky. Give me some leeway next December.
  3. Shifting Focuses. Websites will begin looking less like crap, and people will start paying attention to Web standards. More sites than ever before will adopt well-structured HTML and CSS in an effort to expand Web consistency. It’ll be less about profit and more about catering to customers. Web standards will also become prevalent internationally.
  4. The Final Death of CSS Showcases. Last year I said IE5 would die by the end of 2006. This year I say CSS showcases will die by the end of 2007. I personally have had enough of these sites.
  5. New Techniques. As 24 ways has already demonstrated, there is a lot of intelligence available on the Web. People are going to continue discovering new ways to pursue new objectives. There are already so many wonderful ways to do cool things that I’m already trying to find time for a redesign.

I also might actually get some real work done on Seraphic Zephyr (including a much-needed redesign and a much-needed integration with a CMS), along with some other projects that have remained stagnant since last year. The summer of 2006 was incessantly busy, but there isn’t much I’m expecting for the summer of 2007. It should be an easy ride.

Have a Happy New Year!