Technology: Predictions for 2012

Story and illustration by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – What would the last week of the year be without a few predictions? Gazing into the crystal ball, here’s what I see for technology 2012. Some of it may surprise you.

Mass Market Tech

The term technology covers so much ground. In this story, I’m going to focus on the the mass market. Not IPv6 or HTML 5, we’re talking Facebook, Electric Cars and Google+.

Linked In – Up

I climbed aboard the Linked In bandwagon way back in 2006. I’m the moderator (or “owner”) of a couple of large groups. But since the beginning, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what the benefit is for all the effort.

In the past year, Linked In has started to move more aggressively toward social interactions a la Facebook.

In 2012, I predict Linked In will finally leap the chasm and become actually useful to its millions of members.

Facebook – Sideways

By all measures, Facebook is a pretty revolutionary product. And, like all revolutions, the changes can sometimes be dizzying.

I’ve rolled with the tide during previous upgrades, changes and experiments on Facebook. But the latest round of “improvements” leaves me with vertigo.

I love Timeline, a re-design of the Profile page. But the news feed seems less interesting.

Until there’s a viable alternative to Facebook, it will continue to be the world’s most popular internet destination. But I predict a choppy year for Facebook with declining numbers for the amount of time visitors spend on the site per visit.

Groupon – Down

Groupon has many devoted fans. Local businesses don’t seem to be among them.

Over the last few months, I’ve heard a lot of complaints from businesses about Groupon. Principally:

  • Groupon customers don’t become “regular customers”
  • Groupon takes too big a chunk
  • Groupon takes its sweet time paying retailers.

None of this is good. Groupon debuted on Wall Street just a few months ago. It’s already down 10%.

Prediction for 2012: Groupon loses altitude.

Google+ – Down

In 2011, all my techie friends jumped on Google+, a would-be competitor to Facebook. My non-techie friends, not so much.

Several weeks after a splashy rollout, not much has changed. Except for the militantly technophilic, Google+ is a big mystery. What’s a circle, anyway?

In the parlance of the TALC – Technology Adoption Life Cycle – Google+ has hit the chasm. The Chasm is that unfortunate spot between early adopters and mass acceptance.

Prediction: Nothing will change for Google+ in 2012 unless Facebook falls off a cliff.

Technology in 2012

Here are a few more pet tech predictions for 2012:

  • 3D Movies – Going down
  • 3D TV – Dead
  • Blackberry – Takeover target
  • Electric Cars – Still not ready for prime time
  • Twitter – Sooner or later, we’ll see a pay model or ads in stream. Maybe in 2012.
  • HP, Kodak, Olympus, Yahoo – adios

What Are Your Tech Predictions for 2012?

Like I said, I’m not a card-carrying techie.

But as Cary goes, so goes the world. So weigh in with your weighty tech predictions for 2012, no matter how geeky.


Hal Goodtree is Publisher and founder of CaryCitizen, winner of a 2011 Knight New Media Fellowship.

17 replies
  1. Don Hyatt
    Don Hyatt says:

    Special chars can be éntéréd directly from the keyboard if you know the córrect codes. The codes for both Mac and Windows (as well as html) can be found here For Mac OS, you need to use the option key and the ‘magic’ simultaneously, let go, then press the letter you want the diacritic or accent applied to.

    btw – I bought a 2012 Volt so I’ll let you know if it’s ready for prime time or not. I know it only costs 1/8 of what my truck costs to drive around town!

    • Hal Goodtree
      Hal Goodtree says:

      Merci, monsieur. I think we’l stick with standard text for now.

      Saw the Volt at Hendrick’s Chevrolet. A very handsome car – luxurious and well-made.
      Write a story about your experience with it if you’re so inclined.

      • Don Hyatt
        Don Hyatt says:

        My initial impression is quite good. I’d be happy to write a piece after I have a couple of months with it.

    • Ian Henshaw
      Ian Henshaw says:

      Seems like there is no easy way to input special characters. How do people in countries that actually use accented letters input them (without holding their tongue the right way while spinning around 3 times and throwing salt over their right shoulder)?

  2. Hal Goodtree
    Hal Goodtree says:

    Just installed a theme upgrade over the weekend. Barely have the bubble wrap off. I expect it has a few “eccentricities.” But overall, another fine piece of software engineering by Gabfire Themes.

    You like the new look?

    • Ian Henshaw
      Ian Henshaw says:

      I do like the new look.

      Anything I was writing between the “Less than” and “Greater than” characters vanished in the above posts. The hints below the comment box seem to infer that you should use them…

  3. Ian Henshaw
    Ian Henshaw says:

    Well that was interesting. The HTML code “& # 2 5 2 ;” worked without the “” around it but not with them around it… (spaces added to the HTML code so that it would show?)

  4. Hal Goodtree
    Hal Goodtree says:

    You mean there are no magic keystrokes? Cut & paste sounds like cheating lol. Anyway, pasting from Word into WordPress can yield unfortunate results (like blowing up the CSS).

  5. Ian Henshaw
    Ian Henshaw says:

    ü – é – ç

    I always cut and paste from Word/Open Office/Libre Office, etc… (depending on what computer I’m on at the moment)

  6. Hal Goodtree
    Hal Goodtree says:

    Michael – How do you do the rock dots over the “u”?
    Barbara – I did not know there were 3D smart phones. But I am excited about 3D printers.

  7. Barbara Shepard
    Barbara Shepard says:

    I wouldn’t rate Google+ as Down. I was one who joined during the soft launch. More consistent interface and my privacy controls didn’t change on a whim a la Facebook. Agree on 3D TV. Hope the same is true of 3D smart phones.

  8. Michael Pelz-Sherman
    Michael Pelz-Sherman says:

    LinkedIn has already proved extremely useful for me. I’ve found a number of jobs as a result of recruiters finding my profile. The recommendations from colleagues are my most valuable marketing tool.

    • Michael Pelz-Sherman
      Michael Pelz-Sherman says:

      The very fact that you know what IPv6 is proves Hal’s point. Google+ is only popular with the über-geeks. There are no compelling reasons for the average Joe or Jane to switch from FB to Google+.

      • TJ
        TJ says:

        I think you will see IPv6 becoming much more mainstream (atleast in the Networking community) this year – lots of progress.

        Sure – G+ is more popular with geeks / techies, people who like Google, and photographers … but I wouldn’t right them off just yet. And I didn’t say anything about switching from FB to G+, I use both (and Twitter) – for different purposes / in different ways.

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