Along with Auld Lang Syne the New Year always brings with it a rash of predictions for the coming year.

Rather than add my own predictions I thought it might be interesting to do a poll of polls, and see what the top five items are from the lists I've read over the past week. The predictions come from over a dozen sources, ranging from The Guardian to individual bloggers.

Fifth place is a tie between collaboration and web based applications - although you need the latter to successfully collaborate nowadays.

The key to both is doing things "on the web" - don't tie your information to your own PC.

At number four we have Vista - Microsoft's next generation of Windows due in late 2006. Expect an even more Mac-like interface, RSS feeds, more personalisation and more use of XML.

There's no number three as it's a tie for second place between wireless and video. Expect to see video everywhere from mobile phones to HDTV on your living room wall. Wireless will continue to be all-pervasive, with more wi-fi hotspots and more wireless home networks.

At number one it's Web 2.0 and web services in all their forms.

Of course there's a clear link to collaboration and web applications at number five - but the vision here is more encompassing and more fundamental. It's the web built dynamically, linked together and displayed as you want it.

Of course we're early in the Web 2.0 hype-cycle so don't expect miracles in 2006, and anyway Web 2.0 is more a state-of-mind than a specific technology.

However, you will see more elements of Web 2.0 thinking creeping into things like Google, Firefox, Yahoo and other leading web environments.

So what didn't make the cut?

Internet telephony is notable by its absence - just too complex for the public at the moment, or due to be eclipsed by video and collaboration?

Open source was rarely mentioned, but many may see it as business-as-usual already.

Of course the key question is would the 2005, or even 2007, list look much different? Probably not.

A lot of these technologies are actually streams of incremental change.

The web has enabled entire technologies, applications and services to materialise almost over night - just look at Google Earth and its related ecology.

Many of the current hot applications are more about how we integrate the different core forms, media and dimensions (text, images, audio, video; storage, wires, wireless; location, time), bring some intelligence to them (other users, semantics, personalisation), and present them to users in the most useful way.

If new technologies support this expect them to grow.

* David Burden runs his own information consultancy, Daden Consulting. Past articles and other musing can be found on his blog at and he can be contacted at