Report predicts death of web 2.0 in 2008

Report predicts death of web 2.0 in 2008

Big changes in store

Next year will witness the demise of web 2.0 and high street retailers, and hail a revolution in e-commerce, according to yuletide predictions from UK web testing firm SciVisum.

The company cited a backlash from cautious advertisers not wanting their brand to appear in front of unsuitable user-generated content as the primary factor behind web 2.0's imminent demise.

"2008 will be a watershed year for e-commerce," said Deri Jones, chief executive at SciVisum.

"Consumers and companies will continue to adopt a nomadic attitude towards web 2.0 websites, flocking to the 'next big thing' until the market becomes so saturated that consumers will actually be turned off.

"But just as significantly, 2008 will also be the year that high street revenues start to decline. Retailers will focus on eliminating the background problems that plague their websites and affect sales. Those that do not will die with the high street."

Online spending is set to increase from £130bn in 2006 to £162bn by 2020, and forward-thinking high-street retailers with appropriate e-commerce platforms will thrive as we witness a cultural shift in the way we shop.

To ensure continued profitability in an increasingly competitive online retail environment, firms will be forced to review and tighten their e-commerce operations to achieve maximum return on investment regardless of industry.

SciVisum's research suggests that one in three online experiences results in more than three per cent error rates, and more than 10 per cent suffer from extreme inconsistencies in delivery speed on their online journey.

Companies will focus their efforts on eliminating the sporadic errors to ensure that investments in marketing and advertising aimed at attracting eyeballs are not wasted.

2008 will also see IT managers losing out to business and marketing personnel when it comes to setting the e-commerce agenda, resulting in a shift in the performance metrics used to assess websites.

The new power brokers will demand hard metrics that provide an accurate picture of the user journey and highlight any problems.

This will lead to a more informed choice about which remedy will deliver the best return on investment, and will mean that the IT department no longer pushes for an upgrade to Microsoft SQL server 200x when there is an option to fix a one per cent sporadic error.

2008 will also see a decline of net neutrality, the principle that data on the internet is moved blindly and impartially without regard to content, destination or source.

Concerns over global bandwidth shortages will enable ISPs to increase charges to organisations that currently offer video download services for free.

These charges will in turn be passed onto the user, based on the amount of content they download.