This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

What Lies Ahead
Jan 02 2001 12:00 AM PST

Internet Economy journalists dust off the crystal ball and see wearable computers and some odd megadeals.

A week ago Grok rounded up reportage surveying the biggest stories of 2000. On this first news day of the new year, the reporters of the Internet Economy are looking forward.

Carl S. Kaplan's survey of legal experts for the New York Times drew on some of the same opinion leaders that he tapped for last week's look back. The one issue most of the experts agreed on was privacy; 12 other issues got one vote each.

Writing for InternetNews, Carol King surveyed the prospects for e-business in the year ahead. She talked to senior execs from a number of consulting businesses and operational dot-coms, and the one thing all her informants agreed on was an emphasis on the customer in the year to come.

Jesse Berst looked out from his perch atop a ZDNet opinion column. Being a columnist, Berst had the opportunity to mix his own opinions on the future with those of his sources. His column grabbed the reader with a hook in the title - "Three Tech Trends You're Not Expecting" - and got around to delivering in the final three paragraphs: wearable computers, a tech-stock rebound and a Microsoft (MSFT) comeback.

The Los Angeles Times looked ahead to the media deals of 2001. This story is nothing if not gutsy. After a look back at how the paper's predictions for 2000 had fared, Sallie Hofmeister made some bold predictions, including the sale of Yahoo (YHOO) to Viacom (VIA), the retreat of AOL (dossier) from the cable business and the spin-out of GE from NBC. Heady stuff.

Writing for the Washington Post, Christopher Stern looked at how lawmaking that will affect the Internet Economy. Stern's three hot buttons are online privacy, Internet taxation and copyright reform. Stern singled out financial privacy for action next year, despite fervent opposition lobbying by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others. Stern quoted a spokesman from that organization: "We are realistic enough to understand that these issues poll through the roof."

The Wall Street Journal declined to make hard and fast predictions on company or stock performance over the coming year. Instead, reporter Kevin J. Delaney focused on a handful of bellwethers to watch in key industries, and the actions an investor should take. The Journal summarized these indicators in a handy table at the end of the article.

Declan McCullagh took a more open-source tack at prediction, asking readers of his private e-mail newsletter to sketch future trends and summarizing the response for Wired. What results is a fascinating if scattershot look at the future, from a cross-section of high-tech special interests. Looking forward to Microsoft merging with Sony? Some professor in Stockholm is. - Keith Dawson

Looking Forward
New York Times
(Registration required.)

2001 Bellwethers: The Road Map For This Year's Tech Investors
Wall Street Journal
(Paid subscription required.)

New Congress Could Tackle Important Internet Issues
Washington Post

Look Into Crystal Ball Reveals a Bevy of Media Deals Unfolding in 2001
Los Angeles Times

So Many Predict So Much
Wired News

2001: An EBusiness Odyssey?

Year 2001: Three Tech Trends You're Not Expecting