27 Dec 2007

Review of 2007

Written by Simon

In the very best of blog traditions the end of December marks the point at which we look back and soberly (if that's possible at this time of year) digest the events, products and advancements made in our digital world in the last 12 months.

One of, if not the, biggest events of 2007 was the opening up of the Facebook walled garden to anyone who wished to register. What this did, in simple terms, was introduce millions of people to social networking and associated tools such as RSS, content aggregation, photo and video sharing, perpetual contact and all the other tools now used on a daily basis by the 60 million or so registered users.

From a technology perspective the iPhone has shifted the usability of mobile devices forward in a giant seismic leap, where all the other vendors were just shuffling forward in an apologetic manner by adding little more than memory and increasing complexity. The inclusion of a proper browser, not a rubbish cut down version, seamless integration with mac desktop applications as well as a host of third party apps already released, not to mention the iTunes and YouTube stuff this is the first truly integrated pocket device that people actually want to use.

Services such as Twitter and Tumblr gained momentum and grew their user base and I think will see wider adoption next year, though 2008 predictions are for a later post. Jaiku was bought by Google.

RSS adoption gained pace through 2007. Google Reader came out as most used feed reader.

There were a few big headlines in the digital music world in 2007. Radiohead revolutionised the music industry (and God, doesn't it need it) with their 'pay-what-you-think-it's-worth' sales model for their album 'In Rainbows'. What their actual revenue from sales was, the band will not say. However, what they did say was that it made more than all of their other albums put together when measured on downloads alone. Some sources put it as high as £5 per album while others as low as £2.90.

Last.fm was sold for £140m to CBS. Not much more to say other than the fact that it wasn't the only service to either get bought or receive major investment.

Video went mental. Joost came out of beta, the BBC's iPlayer launched and project Kangaroo was announced which will aggregate BBC, iTV and Channel 4 content into one player in 2008. Even the Queen, 50 years after her first televised Christmas Day address to the nation, has a YouTube channel.

That's a tiny snapshot of what's gone on this year. In a post to be published soon I'll be looking at what excitement 2008 has to offer. As a starter for 10, video is going to be bigger than ever and the big corporates are going to get all social.