IMHO there's something missing from Jason Calacanis' predictions for 2006. In a list of 20 predictions, he writes:
10. Half of the indie blog search engines will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space.
10.B No blog search engines will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.
11. Half of the indie RSS readers will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space.
11.B No RSS readers will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built one.
Paraphrasing him, here's an easy take at what's missing for "Blogs 2006" :
Half of the blog software vendors will shut down, go out of business, or just stagnate as the major portals take over this space.
No blog software vendor will be bought in 2006 because every major buyer has already built (or bought) one.
Google bought Blogger, Yahoo! did Yahoo! 360, Microsoft did MSN Spaces. Six Apart snatched Live Journal, but LJ is already stagnating (I don't know what the stats for TypePad are). What are the expansion (or exit) possibilities for blog software editors? Basically:
- Aggregate "eyeballs" for ad revenue / mindshare / white label licensing / selling out to a major portal (less and less viable), that's the Six Apart model. There's potential in white label licensing to media, portals and hosts. Hosts could be tempted to buy a blog software editor (and, may be, watch Nokia buy Six Apart, unless they finally decide to honor the plural form of Lifeblog compatible providers on this list).
- Develop and sell a software, like ExpressionEngine (pMachine, branded more like a CMS), or Movable Type (Six Apart) or Traction (Traction Software). Those who are targetting mass blogging will badly suffer as Open Source contenders such as WordPress and DotClear continue to release new and better versions (if Six Apart continues to slow down Movable Type in favor of TypePad, it will just confirm this trend). Those who are targetting corporate blogging (like Traction) may have some slack, provided they abandon their variable "per seat" licensing model that all CFOs universally hate.
- Make viable open source products: watch WordPress and other free blogging software secure funding and offer both installable and hosted versions (wordpress.com is already there). Companies will finally be able to create blog farms with free software that vendors software didn't allow them to do, and the white label revenue stream will decrease as corporations are less and less afraid to integrate open source software (especially on the web).
I know I'm missing a lot more (I just used Jason's list as an easy way to tackle the blog software space). What are your predictions for blogs in 2006?