Top Tens, 2010 Predictions and Other Provocative Lists

alice through looking glass CUThis week everybody seems to have a Top Ten list to herald the dawn of a new decade. Never one to miss a chance to jump on a rolling bandwagon, I decided to chime in with my own list of the lists that caught my attention.

Did I miss one? Got a suggestion? I’d love to hear it. Post it in the comments, please!

1. NYT: Bono’s Ten for the Next Ten

Ten items for the next decade that captivate the Irish rocker’s imagination. Characteristically capricious and wide ranging. Bono zooms from the micro to the macro in this assortment of predictions.. See yesterday’s NYT.


2. Yahoo: Top Ten Searches of 2009

If you were too busy checking your Twitter feed on your smartphone while standing in line at the grocery store, you may have missed these “important” news items that graced the covers of US, People and Entertainment Weekly. Here’s your chance to catch up on the zeitgeist in ten seconds. Yahoo provides this handy roundup of the most “significant” pop culture milestones of the year, as reflected in search volume. What does this reveal? Our collective unconscious? Yikes, that’s really scary. Next year, I hope our collective unconscious can do better than ponder this lineup: MJ, Kim Kardashian, Twilight, WWE, Britney, Naruto, Idol, NASCAR, Runescape


3. IEET: Andrew Maynard’s “Ten Emerging Technology Trends of the Next Ten Years

I love to read about emerging technology in order to speculate about how it might affect us. If you appreciate a big bold vision, you’ll enjoy this list from a nanotechnologist. (Thanks to Alex Lightman for the link)


4. CNN: Ten Web Trends to Watch in 2010.

Peter Cashmore of Mashable offers his view on the evolution of the real-time web, AR + GPS, cloud computing, social search and more. Quick, concise and worthwhile.


5. Mashable: Google’s 2009 Moves and a hint of the next decade of the Internet.

Worthwhile roundup of Google’s 2009 product innovations and acquisitions on Mashable. Today every business is touched by the Internet: it pays to study the company that shapes the future evolution of the web.


6. TechCrunch’s Top Ten Digital Media M&A Deals for 2010

I don’t always agree with TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld but I find his posts provocative. Here he speculates about ten deals that would recast the balance of power in digital media. Whether or not these particular deals happen, what’s more important is the trajectory of change he foresees in each sector, and the moves that he anticipates each incumbent will need to make in order to stay relevant. Useful and mercifully brief.


7. Sam Lessin: Thoughts Re 2000, 2010, 2020

Insightful blog post from’s Sam Lessin. Not a “top ten list” per se but instead a really useful thought experiment that scales from the personal to the universal. How has your life changed from 2000 to 2010? And how might it change again by 2020? If you only check out one item on this list, make it this one. And then try it yourself! (tip of the hat to Alex Lightman, again for another useful link!)


8. Pew Research: Current Decade Ranks as Worst in 50 Years

Finally, research that dispels the commonplace notion that people always resist change. Turns out that some changes are quite popular. To cap a decade of accelerating social and tech innovation, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press offers this sweeping survey of opinions and attitudes across demographic segments. Some innovations and changes are perceived as largely positive: cell phones, ethnic diversity, Internet, green products, and even genetic testing. Other changes, well… not so much: tattoos, reality TV shows, gay rights, social networking and (yikes) blogging each tended to polarize the respondents into factions pro and con.


9. ReadWriteWeb: Top Tech Failures of 2009

A list like this is likely to annoy a lot of people. Either because they disagree with the analysis or because they feel like their pet “failure” was overlooked. Read the comments to get the full flavor and a more rounded perspective on this topic. Personally, I think the critiques of Google Wave, Bing, Twitter and Oracle /MySQL are misguided, or premature. I understand that the author, like many tech watchers, was dismayed by the enormous hype tsunami that preceded these launches. No argument there. But these developments are nascent and evolving.  It’s too way early to label them “failures.”


10. Susan Miller’s AstrologyZone

Not a top ten list. But since many of the previous items include predictions for 2010, it seemed somehow appropriate to include a link to my friend Susan Miller’s web site. It sure beats gazing into a crystal ball. Susan has been in the prediction business for decades and she has a big following of devoted fans who appreciate her ultra-positive outlook. If you are the sort of person who likes to know what the stars have in store for you at the dawn of a new decade, then cruise over to AstrologyZone and check out your January 2010 horoscope.


11. Break’s “Top Ten Fail List

America’s stupidest home videos? Possible evidence that Darwin’s theory of natural selection no longer applies to Homo Sapiens? Watch this and weep. Oh, the humanity. Oh, the brain damage!


Bonus: Top Scientists Share Their Future Predictions

Roundup story from the Times. Brain science, genetics, bio-engineered fuels, SETI and space. Worthwhile reading for a whirlwind survey of science and social trends, good and bad.

Now it’s your turn. Did you read a great Top Ten list or find a worthwhile list of predictions for 2010 and beyond? If so, post the link in the comments below! Thanks, and have a great new year!