2011 Predictions

Here are a few things I expect to see in 2011.

1. Hands Free Scrolling – Someone will take advantage of the built-in cameras in computers to create a hands-free scrolling feature. Moving toward this is Instapaper’s awesome tilt scrolling feature in the pro version of the iPhone app, but tilt scrolling doesn’t cut it for hardware you don’t hold.

2. StarTribune.com will lose traffic year over year for November. Using Compete.com’s November data as the metric, their annual unique visitors grew year over year for November 2010 (1,728,853 unique visitors) over Nov 2009 by 0.17%.

Startribune.com 2010 Traffic on Compete.com

And that was in an election year with a statewide recount, and a football team that still had something approaching a shot. (Minnesota Democrats Exposed will be down year over year as well.)

3. Someone, after moving to Minneapolis, will tell someone else who moved to Minneapolis that this town is cliquey. They will bond over this statement and become lifelong friends. A light bulb will go off in one of their heads when they realize that transplants to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles also tend to bond with non-natives.

4. In the 2nd half of 2011, Android tablets will outsell iPads. Why? Around $300 reasons.

5. Yahoo will sell or spin off Flickr. People trust Flickr with their photos, but they’re worried about having Yahoo in charge. Flickr already offers non-Yahoo login options, which will ease in the transaction.

6. An easy to use WordPress to Amazon S3 backup plugin will launch. Seriously, who’s backing up their WordPress blogs to anywhere other than the server where the site is hosted? Everyone knows they need to do better, but it hasn’t been easy enough to do.

7. A new restaurant will open between Hiawatha and the Mississippi on East Lake Street. If it’s a quality, yet family friendly, pizza place or a Brasa or similar, I’ll buy for everyone on opening night.

8. Mayor RT Rybak will make a legacy-building move. He’s early in his term, but I think this will be the term where RT really starts to leave his mark on the City of Minneapolis. Since budgets are tight, I think his best choice would be to close the entire Grand Rounds to cars on Sundays.

Minneapolis Grand Rounds Map

This would cost hardly anything to do, and would bring people into Minneapolis every Sunday to experience the city and spend money.

9. More Minnesotans will have Health Insurance. As a reminder, here’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s legacy:

Health Insurance in Minnesota under Tim Pawlenty

This trend will be reversed. Not fully corrected in a single year, but at least people will be a bit better off.

10. NiceRide Bike Rentals will have a good year. More specifically, here’s what we’ll see: A big expansion in bike stations and bikes. Ridership will exceed the percentage increase in kiosks and bikes, showing that a network effect works because subscribers will be able to go more places. North Minneapolis’ NiceRide stations will underperform relative to the rest of the network where locations have been chosen more by market demand than political pressure.

10+1. The Year of the Common Man Concierge. Harder to quantify than previous predictions. I see 2011 as a year where non-wealthy folks come to realize that they benefit from outsourcing things they never get around to doing themselves. Examples include my Junk 86 Mail Unsubscribe Service where we’ll remove you from printed mail if you simply send in a picture of it from your phone. Someone could create a solid bill negotiation service where people will call Comcast on your behalf to get you the better rate you’re too lazy to spend 10 minutes doing yourself. A travel agency will come up with a pitch that makes online travel booking seem uncivilized (airport drop-off and pick-up with milk and cookies?).

Agree? Disagree? Have any you’d like to add? That’s what the comments are for.

13 thoughts on “2011 Predictions”

  1. There are a couple WP -> S3 backup plugins out there already. I’ve never used ’em, but they seem fairly well ranked. The trick is in the restore, though. I’m curious to see how VaultPress does and what the pricing is.

    A new restaurant on East Lake would be very awesome. I’d kill for a Brasa.

  2. I backup an encrypted tarball of my wordpress database every three hours to a GMail account via cron and Mutt. Easy to do and easy to restore from. If you have gmailfs installed it’d be even easier to do and clear the datastore when the account fills up.

  3. Great post Ed. As for Rybak, I would love to see him do something like that with the Grand Rounds, but I would highly doubt he would. I’ve heard him specifically say he’s against spending the money on things like a Ciclovía. He said he’d rather see the money spent on actual infrastructure then on one time events. I disagree with that statement though, I think getting people out on the roads in an effort to build the interest/excitement is as, if not more, important then the actual infrastructure.

    If that is going to happen the organizing is going to have to come from a different organization like has happened in Chicago the last couple summers. http://www.streetfilms.org/sunday-parkways-chicago/

  4. @Justin & Bill, it’s great to hear that I’ve predicted the past on one of these. I had a backup to Gmail routine going, but it stopped working when my MySQL got too big.

  5. @AdamBez, it doesn’t seem like the costs would be very high. Signs? Other communication? Leveraging the infrastructure that already exists in order to encourage more people enjoy the city by bike or blade seems like a smart choice.

    @Sank, large sections of the Grand Rounds are already shut down nearly every weekend during the summer for running races, charity walks, and triathlons. Why not turn it up to 11?

  6. I would like to see item 8 happen. However it would take the Minneapolis Park Board to get on board with the idea. I have pitched this idea to my Park Board rep on a smaller scale and she (Kummer) wasn’t real keen on the idea. Evidently it was tried years ago with mixed success.

  7. Ed, my WordPress’ database is about 12MB as a tarball. Using “split” you can divvy it up into 18MB portions (when I was using Drupal and my database was about 40MB I needed it to fit into GMail’s 20MB limit) and rejoin them later if necessary.

    Here’s my code:

    I have removed the encryption step for simplicities sake:

    /usr/bin/mysqldump –add-drop-table –all-databases -u user -pPass > backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql ; gzip backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql ; split -d –bytes=18m backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql.gz backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql.gz- ; for i in backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql.gz-*; do echo| mutt -a $i account@gmail.com ; done ; rm backup-$(date +%m%d%Y).sql.gz*; rm ~/sent

  8. BTW the tar comes about later with the encryption step if you’re wondering why I’m calling it a tarball when it’s just a gzipped file 😉

  9. I think the NiceRide bike rentals was a great idea. I love seeing people riding around town on those green bikes! When I was out one day last summer I saw RT Rybak out on one.

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