Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Internet Projections for 2002 - My view of the future

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In this article:

1. Spam
2. Viruses
3. Online ads
4. PPC Pay-per-click
5. Search Engines
6. Rich-Media
7. Permission-based email marketing
8. Viral Marketing
9. Online marketing
10. Firewalls
11. Online News
12. e-learning systems
13. Knowledge Markets
14. Browsers
15. Applications
16. Content Management
17. Micropayments
18. Microsoft
19. Telecommunications
20. Information overload
21. Free or Fee
22. Hackers
23. Big business online
24. Linux

* Spam *

Spam will increase and so will tools to fight back against it. All that is needed is to take a proactive stance against email spamming by reporting and monitoring all such actions in a more systematic way.

Spam will continue to be a major problem, and will be one of the key reasons people will want a more regulated Internet.

View this segment on how to fight and report spam in this issue of MasterMind.

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* Viruses *

Viruses will increase in number and variety. New viruses will start to appear within non executable files such as in PDF, Word .doc, .mp3, .swf Flash files and in many other types of files. It will even be possible to get a virus just by simply accessing certain web site pages or by downloading music or video clips. Protection will become essential.

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* Online ads *

Unfortunately for those of us who really despise advertising online ads, we will NOT see a disappearance or diminishment of them in any substantial way. We will actually see more and newer types of advertising banners and pop-ups. In addition to windows that pop-up by themselves after a viewer has accessed a certain web site, there are now pop under windows, and time-delayed windows, which may appear long after you have closed the browser window that generated such an ad.

Yahoo is experimenting with new larger size banners that can be opened to their full size by user choice.

Nonetheless, all of the above advertising online will further loose credibility and effectiveness. More money, creative energies and time will be used to reach less and less people in an effective way.

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen, has claimed since 1997 that advertising doesn't work on the Web because it's contrary to the fundamental nature of the user experience: goal-driven navigation. (The exceptions are search-engine ads and classified ads; these support users' goals instead of thwarting them.)

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* PPC Pay-per-click *

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will also gain further ground in 2002. PPC search engines like Overture (former GoTo), Kanoodle, and FindWhat are performing well and above most rosy expectations. In particular, Overture, which has created a thriving partnership with Yahoo, has been steadily increasing the number of alliances with other search engines, and it now provides primary or secondary results to AltaVista, DirectHit, Excite (or what it remains of it), HotBot, iWon, AOL Search, Netscape Search and Lycos.

As Overture's partnership with Yahoo will end in June 2002, Yahoo may probably consider rolling out their own PPC system.

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* Search Engines *

If you are considering on which search engines to carry out your visibility or promotion campaign the best and only useful choices remain:
1) Yahoo
2) Google (it provides secondary results to Yahoo)
3) Inktomi (AOL, HotBot, Overture, iWon, MSN)
4) DMOZ Open Directory Project (it supplies search results to Netscape, Lycos, DirectHit, HotBot, Google, Alltheweb, AOL)
4) Fast - Alltheweb
5) Overture

Google will confirm to be the most important, effective and sought after search engine.

Yahoo will reign as the main directory of choice.

Fast/All the Web will emerge as second engine of choice. Specialized alternative engines like Northern Light, Ixquick, Surwfax, Teoma and others will also gain in popularity and use.

Lycos will show a comeback and MSN Search will consolidate its strong growing position.

AltaVista will lose further ground, if not close its operations altogether. HotBot may follow the same fate.

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* Rich-Media *

Rich-media communications including web pages that contain animation, video clips, streaming audio clips or other rich content will expand their presence online.

In particular, Flash technology will confirm and increase its presence and use. A de facto multimedia format standard, Flash can be easily deployed across all computer platforms, and can be viewed without differences and discrepancies across different browsers and operating systems.

Flash is also searchable by more advanced Search Engines, and several tools now exist to author Flash content without the technical hurdles normally associated with the authoring of this type of content.

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* Permission-based email marketing *

Permission-based email marketing will gain further acceptance and popularity as a very ethical and effective way to promote and market products and services online and off.

The response rates to opt-in email campaigns are significantly higher than other online ad media.

The cost per acquisition is also significantly lower. Turnaround time is faster and results can be accurately tracked.

Expect more companies to move their offline direct mailings online.

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* Viral Marketing *

Expect more companies to hear, learn and understand what viral marketing really is. Viral marketing methods can be successfully applied also to the non commercial sector and in PA and PR efforts.

The basic viral marketing concept refers to the engineering of electronic direct and indirect word-of-mouth referrals, one form of self-replication though not the only possible one.

The secret of successful viral marketing campaigns lays in providing a means through which people use and pass on to others the message, product, or service your are marketing. Think of Hotmail, eGroups, e-Cards and you have the idea. The moment the user or recipient takes advantage of it, he unconsciously becomes an agent promoting and recommending your service to others.

The degree of sophistication of viral marketing campaigns is all yet to be explored, and the many applications that can exist outside the key traditional commercial sector could be even more rewarding and interesting than the ones developed so far.

Read more at:

Seth Godin, Ideavirus
Rather than marketing at the consumer, Godin's approach seeks to maximize the spread of information from customer to customer.

Viral Marketing Doesn't Have to be Complicated by Matt
McAllister Contributing Writer (posted 03/14/2001) 13640_14885.html

The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, E-Commerce Consultant viral-principles-clean.htm

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* Online marketing *

Search engines related services will significantly increase in relevance, number and variety. More services like,, will come to light and will encounter a very positive response from the audience.

Search Engine Marketing will become a key component of any serious PR, PA, promotion and marketing strategy.

Read more at:

Successful Copywriting & Search Engine Marketing from two delightful experts advisors find a great number of very good and up-to-date articles Subscribe to their free newsletter and read their solutions to readers queries. Invaluable.

Wilson Web
Dr. Ralph Wilson is the marketing guru for many who are serious about utilizing the Internet for marketing and promotion.
The amount of research and publications he has written and prepared is absolutely impressive. Everything you find on his site for sale is absolutely worth every single cent.
A highly useful and very comprehensive resource for SEM. Recommended. searchengine.htm

Subscribe to the e-mail-based moderated discussion list that brings you the very best about search engine marketing. Content is all written by subscribers, the moderators filtering and selecting the most interesting threads and topics to cover.
A must read. lists/isearch/summary.html

Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Positioning and How to improve the positioning of your site on the major search engines, without it taking over your life. searchmain.html

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* Firewalls *

Firewall systems both hardware and software will boom. Everybody with an always-on connection to the Internet will need to protect herself in some way from unauthorized intrusions and hacks. Firewalls are the only way at present in which you can fully protect your computers from malicious attacks coming from the Internet. As mentioned this is particularly important for those of you who have an open connection to the Internet that is always accessible.

Read more at:

How firewalls work firewall.htm

Firewall FAQs

Internet Firewalls: Frequently Asked Questions

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* Online News *

News services offering ways for users to further customize selection of content topics and coverage area will improve and start to become useful tools for many more of us.

Independent news researchers and services will start to realize that the future is very much in the hands of smaller, faster and independent agencies or journalists, who can validate or feed news items independently of the major media conglomerates.

Small and alternative independent news and information web sites will flourish and will start to become important points of reference for those needing to stay abreast of the latest news and trends in their field of interest.

Expert advisors, guides, gurus and scientists will provide perspective and vision in as many different areas as one can imagine. It is something we will need to rely on to stay on the edge. In addition, it may be something some of you may decide to tap into since you may be a point of knowledge reference for others.

Read more at:

FAIR's List of Online News Sources

Open Directory - News: Alternative Media

70 Free, Alternative and Independent Online News Sources


NewsIsFree collects headlines from 2068 sources around the web.
It's an excellent resource for browsing both news sites and weblogs. The site also provides "Aggregations" of content, as well as browseable "News Channels" that function essentially as a directory of different types of news, organized by category, name and date.

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* e-learning systems *

The field is in great development and turmoil. Many companies are being bought by larger groups. Technologies are being integrated and changed very rapidly. Some initial standards are being set and used to evaluate systems.

There is not yet anything that fits the bill for what we are looking for. Some products and services have developed good components and some others are refining technologies that are promising but immature for effective deployment.

Any "serious" system may cost tens of thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands). Also, the development effort required is prohibitive and discouraging for most.

The very best e-learning systems are the ones that are refining and simplifying the process of creating valuable online references, curricula, rich knowledge objects and knowledgebases of content in specialized categories in a simple and direct way.

To try out an e-learning system that comes close to providing all of these benefits, without asking you for upfront money I personally suggest all of you to try out e-College. It will give many of you who do not have much experience in this field, a good opportunity to see how you can build an online reference or course curriculum and what steps are required to do this effectively.

You can try out a full course on e-College for six months at no cost at all. Highly recommended.
Great technical support and customer service make also a difference in providing the assistance others make so hard and expensive to provide. Recommended.

To register to set up a free online course in eCollege go to: Teaching_Course_Try.html

For a basic introduction to e-learning read Sanjaya Mishra's brand new Designing Online Learning KS_online.pdf

For a set of professional research reports including complete industry reviews of all the online learning systems available go to Brandon Hall at: publications.html

Directory of e-learning providers ($ 99)

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* Knowledge Markets *

Knowledge markets will start to materialize.

Expert advice and knowledge exchanges will start to find methods and system to gain initial ground in the open market by finding ways to integrate effective payment models.

The e- learning industry in particular will be the first one to produce large number of commercial "knowledge objects" in the form of online courses, tutorials, course packs, e-guides, e- books and what more you can label and imagine.

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* Browsers *

Internet Explorer's soaring rise to browser of choice for most of us has reached its peak and it is now on its way down. For the first time in a few years, I am publicly recommending to either avoid upgrading beyond Internet Explorer 5/5.5 or to move to Netscape/Mozilla 6.2 or better.

Microsoft has chosen to go in directions that I do not personally support and that include the Passport and .NET strategies which may raise strong ethical and privacy issues.

Also, the choice also to drop support from its 6.x versions of Internet Explorer for Java and Quicktime protocols appears again a move set only to further cut out competition and valuable alternative tools to Microsoft offerings.

Netscape is back with a better browser and now there are all the good reasons to adopt it once again. For those of you who have not abandoned it, there could not be better news.

Many smaller and more specialized browsers have also appeared on the market, and are making steady inroads in specialty niches. Among these I would want to mention Opera and Icab (for the Mac).

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* Applications *

Custom applications that will work seamlessly by combining local access and processing and an online interaction with a service or news source are likely to start developing. Instead of using a browser to access many sites, some sites will have tools that people can download and will allow to interact with online data and information.

Alternatives to Microsoft Office suite will grow in number.
After the appearance of Sun Star Office and 602Software Suite, both free clones of the Microsoft basic toolset, more and better replacement for the industry standard software tools will appear while providing full compatibility of their files with the official Microsoft tools.

ASP and hosted solutions will become increasingly affordable and interesting for many small businesses and no-profit organizations.

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* Content Management *

The outlook of this sector promises further growth and the launch of many new content management tools and services that will revolutionize the lower end of the market.

The shift will be from large major commercial corporate players like Broadvision, Documentum, Interwoven, Lotus Notes, Vignette and Web500 to smaller independent and more dynamic competitors capable of bringing to market more flexible, effective, usable and lower cost solutions.

New tools and online services that allow officers, editors and journalists to directly update content of web sites without having to go through lengthy approval processes and the need for HTML coding will start to appear.

Among these, I suggest paying attention to, which has just launched its first fee-based PRO service, and City Desk a fantastic low-cost desktop content management tool that revolutionizes the ease with which any journalist, researcher or writer can update and post to his web site without the need to go through a webmaster.

To find out more go to:


CityDesk by Fog Creek Software

Download a free Starter Edition of CityDesk at: CityDesk_starter.exe

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* Micropayments *

The only possible alternative for content publishers online is the development of micropayment standards that would allow for "transparent" and automatic payment methods when accessing selected content online.

Micropayments are the answer. They provide a revenue stream to websites, and yet don't interfere with the freedom of linking and navigation. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about micropayments, especially that they require users to stop and think about every link. Jakob Nielsen says about their future:

"Slow Progress Unfortunately, micropayments require a ubiquitous infrastructure to work. All users must have a payment service installed, or websites won't be able to collect their money. It's a well-established fact that Web users don't want to download special software just to access an individual website.
Pre-installed, or no cigar. Given this, we are not going to get true micropayments in 2002. I do predict many more services that rely on user payments, but the payments will be bigger than I like and clunky to collect since there is no infrastructure to rely on. Many sites will implement their own payment schemes, which is a doomed idea except for big service conglomerations like Yahoo and AOL.

In Europe, Denmark and Sweden have announced plans to implement countrywide micropayment schemes that use a single standard supported by all of the important websites in each country. This approach obviously only works in small countries, but it will be interesting to see what types of new services flourish once these payment schemes are operational. Denmark and Sweden could well become the Web's micro-laboratory and show us what ideas will work when payment for services is finally possible."

A true micropayment system would operate invisibly and simply accumulate charges on the user's monthly bill without an explicit confirmation for every click. That's exactly how electricity bills and long-distance telephone bills work.

The point is, micropayments are so small that they are not worth a user interface. They just happen. One cent here; one cent there. At the end of the month, your bill is maybe $20, but you got 2,000 articles for your money.

Read the full article at:

The Case for Micropayments

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* Microsoft *

Possibly US spy-secrets will be revealed through a major Microsoft bug. A major three-letter intelligence agency will suffer a public and catastrophic breach of classified data because of exploits in Windows XP and ban its use completely. Previous security incidents involving the loss of classified data will also be revealed. Eyes and heads will certainly roll.

At least one global corporation will announce a complete migration away from all Microsoft Windows products and OS to an interoperable mix of Unix, Mac and Linux platforms.

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* Telecommunications *

Telecommunication companies face greater problems and possible crises. The infrastructure costs and business models adopted so far do not seem to be able to sustain the costs involved in such operations and in paying the high steep fees requited to Telecom licensees.

The costs of licenses and infrastructure will outweigh the revenue potential. To survive, there will need to be mergers possibly with new or traditional content companies, as any viable revenue model will require a comprehensive content offering.

The wireless and telecommunications sector will continue to flounder. Too much cost, too much hype and too little demand for all these wonderful extra services.

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* Information overload *

Information overload will continue to grow as a problem. Most people are not yet equipped or trained to self manage, organize and prioritize the information coming at them in an effective way. Most of us receive extraordinary amounts of information that are not easily stored, nor are they easily retrievable with effective logic after time. People will spend more time searching for the information they need and will need more and more to know how to carry out this task effectively.

Education in how to use search engines and other complementary research tools will become even more vital than it is today.

More adequate mental models for effective knowledge management systems will develop and new technologies and tools will come into the market to support the need of small and medium business, of non-profit organizations and NGOs.

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* Free or Fee? *

The concept of the "free" Internet will further fade, as profit becomes the only religion.

A two-tier Internet will clearly emerge: for-free and for-fee.

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* Hackers *

Hackers will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Internet. They will also prove to be a balancing and much needed force in uncovering insecure software, bugs and holes in online systems, and in general in challenging the status quo and the big software players.

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* Big business online *

Bankruptcies, mergers and consolidation will continue.

More people will go to fewer websites, as the Internet becomes controlled by a few mega-corporations.

The PC crisis will continue. For a significant percentage of the population there will be no compelling reason to buy a PC. For those that have one, there will be few compelling reasons to upgrade. will start making a consistent profit.

There will be a massive consolidation of eMarketplaces.

Small business online as a very viable business model online. Niche marketing and rich and relevant content will be the key factors driving the success of knowledge and solution providers of all kinds.

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* Linux *

The Linux business sector will emerge from the slump.

Red Hat (a major Linux distributor) will continue to increase market share, sales and profits.

The Linux desktop will achieve a measurable market share on consumer machines and an even larger share of desktops for business and government.

The growth will be fueled by both continuing refinement and improvement of the desktop, the growing dissatisfaction with Windows performance, security, and pricing, and the easing of Microsoft licensing restrictions.

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, January 31 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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