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Eric Schmidt on What the Web Will Look Like in 5 Years

Chinese language, Social media, 100MB+, User gen content

     
11:29 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt envisions a radically changed internet five years from now: dominated by Chinese-language and social media content, delivered over super-fast bandwidth in real time. Figuring out how to rank real-time social content is "the great challenge of the age," Schmidt said

[readwriteweb.com...]
1:16 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Not sure how Chinese-language sites will dominate anything when their govt. dominates what they get to look at in the first place.

Social media content already is taking over, that's a pretty safe bet there Eric. Disgusting user-generated content will be everywhere and will need to be evaluated in real-time!

1:21 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Social media is soon to be done, the novelty is beginning to where off.
1:50 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think the increase in Chinese language may have a lot to do with a rapid growth in the mobile web. You can get a lot more information into a small space with Chinese characters.

Mack.

4:51 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>dominated by Chinese-language

Don't think this one is going to come true - granted there are far more people in the world who speak Chinese, but at the same time English is spoken as a first, second, or business/trade use language in 115 countries and Chinese in only 13.

The number of people learning English in China is also now larger than the combined populations of the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. Add that to the number of people learning English in India and all other countries and I don't think Eric's right on this one.

I'm from the UK and I think it's a bit sad that over here we basically don't learn other languages (when compared to other countries), but English is essentially the 'world language' and its adoption is becoming faster and faster as China grows / develops, not the other way around.

5:06 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think it depends on what you mean by "dominated." If a significant percentage of the Chinese population is communicating on the Internet in Chinese, watching Chinese-language videos, etc., then the Chinese may end up having a majority share of Internet traffic. (Or maybe not--I'm not a demographer and don't play one on YouTube.) That doesn't mean everybody should be rushing out to serve the Chinese market, or that other languages will become less significant. It's like anything else: If you own a pizza chain in Montana, you needn't get upset because New York has more pizza eaters than Montana does.
5:31 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In 5 years, just as today, Internet will be dominated by p 0 r n and make-quick-buck websites.

I bet he's got a trick or two up his sleve, this Eric guy. He's telling everyone what has already happened. He's not telling the real trends Google plans to capitalize on. Nothing to see here, move along.

5:41 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't you think that Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, is in a better position than any of us to see the future of the web and the growth of Chinese language use on the www? I'm just saying...

It's not like he's a policy wonk. His company profits by following the trends, not making them. His job depends on seeing the trends early on, and so far they've been pretty successful.

6:13 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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correct, and his job also depends on not telling competitors which trends he's following.
6:21 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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maybe chinese content will grow like he says, created by people who can speak it, but i can't see the West creating much of it because we dont have chinese character keyboards. (i'm not even sure what they look like?). that would seem to be a major brake on the spread of chinese content.

if we went to a chinese language version of webmasterworld right now, how could we reply to anything? but if we went to a french or italian or spanish or german one then it would be no problem.

6:57 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Already now the chinese-language part of the web is quite large. Only that most english speakers never find or see any chinese site.

What does "dominate" mean? Each user will just continue to see pages in their own language (maybe with Google in between translating in real-time? Would be a nice add-on for Chrome).

> chinese character keyboards...
Just regular qwerty-keybords, typing latin characters.

7:05 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I predict that in 5 years Google will have launched dozens and dozens of new products, none of which will either make money or have significant market share. Also predict that 95%+ of their revenue will continue to be derived from one product, paid search.
7:56 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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We can index real-time info now - but how do we rank it?

Seperately like you do for news. Combining those with general search will be bad for all searchers.

It's because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources.

If I look up widget review maybe I'm interested in a random stranger's opinion, otherwise I'm probably looking for the official/traditional sources.

Today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years - they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.

What does this have to do with anything? Is he saying websites will become web apps? He better hope not because that's probably going to be harder to index and rank than real time information.

8:43 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So, how much did he get paid to play captain obvious? Sorry to sound cranky, but I find nothing new, unique or particularly tantalizing about his vision.
10:53 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So, how much did he get paid to play captain obvious? Sorry to sound cranky, but I find nothing new, unique or particularly tantalizing about his vision.

It was a 45-minute interview that covered a lot of topics. Just because Engine quoted two sentences doesn't mean that's all the man said. :-)

5:35 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As CEO Mr. Eric could forecast anything he likes.But who knows he will remain as CEO in next 5.Who knows where the world is heading in next 5? There will be temendous advent in next 5. The world may see an end as predicted by some.
Let's wait & see. But hope for the best to come.
As far as Chinese dominancy- we see they are doing many things that the English spoken together are not attempting to do. So there is a chance we see the influx of Chinese around us day by day. That's a matter of concern as they are very intelegent we cannot think even their strategy.
9:47 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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social media to me is like reality TV, I don't care what average joes have to say.
10:49 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Chinese content will no doubt be dominant in China but nowhere else.

English will continue to be the dominant global language for both business and pleasure and I doubt that will ever change.

10:54 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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most of the words in the languages underlying the web, like HTML and PHP, are written in english and that's not going to change.
3:00 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance

LMAO!

6:14 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure whoever was CEO 5 years ago was also making predictions publicly - have they been accurate?
10:58 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Where are the flying cars? I WAS PROMISED FLYING CARS!
1:13 am on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Only members with 1,000+ posts get a flying car.

F flying cars, I want a clone with full memory retention. Then he can get the flying car.

[edited by: Khensu at 1:18 am (utc) on Oct. 30, 2009]

1:14 am on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Do you want egg roll with that?

Dang, now I want Chinese food!

1:12 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Any Star Trek fan already knows that in the future everyone will speak English.
1:38 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Can I get a job at one of those think tanks and make absurd amounts of money for making educated guesses (some not so educated)?

My resume is on all the major job sites.

Thanks!

7:10 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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By the middle of next year, Internet surfers will be allowed to use Web addresses written completely in Chinese, Arabic, Korean and other languages using non-Latin alphabets, the organization overseeing Internet domain names announced Friday in a decision that could make the Web more accessible.

NYT: Internet Addresses Can Use New Scripts [nytimes.com]

7:47 pm on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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this is the future: we'll all have chips in our brains that download information from google's central plexus, and their adverts will appear on heads-up displays five feet from our face.
1:20 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree with aleksl

Social media site's days are numbered as standalone sites, what they provide is quickly being integrated into every site thus... yawn.

Search is still the number one way to FIND what you want, especially when wanting to buy a product THUS being tops in search is still going to be a money maker AND spam sites/fancy new big money sites just cannot and will not be able to beat out small niche publishers who know their stuff (and their niche).

The net will not be very different in 5 years save for improved spam fighting techniques and more higher quality sites on page one of search results.

Quality is the future.

10:38 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Search is still the number one way to FIND what you want, especially when wanting to buy a product THUS being tops in search is still going to be a money maker.

this is the most worrying thing as far as us webmasters are concered, i think. because coming top in the serps is not what it was.
look at google's new comparison ads, which they've just announced. they are selling stuff themselves now. the serps are being swamped with links to their own content. those new place pages are another good example.

everyone talks about how important it is being above the fold. but even if you come number one in the serps you frequently find yourself below two lots of ads, ten local business listings, a map and links to recent news items.

people are going to google to find something, only to be served google's own content. the websites in the serps are being shut out because they don't make google any money.

i think the future lies away from the search engines, at least as far as us webmasters are concerned. we will have to rely on other ways to reach people.

if you think about it, it's not ideal for people to rely on just one company to serve up an index of sites anyway. it's like relying one just one newspaper for your news, or one TV channel for your programs.
so i reckon search will move away from one-stop company pages like google.com and move onto a more social kind of thing, where the results are drawn from the community's surfing habits, maybe built straight into the browser.

five years from now, the idea that everyone relied on just one company, google -- or yahoo, or altavista -- to tell us what the web consists of will be a bit old hat.

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