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Marc Benioff
Founder and CEO of Salesforce.com; San Francisco

“The future of the Web will all be about developer empowerment. We have seen the Web disrupt and dis­intermediate content and commerce, and now software development is next. Companies such as Salesforce.com, Google, and Amazon are making it possible to create and run powerful business applications in the cloud, and that will change the economics of the software industry forever.”

James Pearce
Vice president of technology at ­dotMobi; Dublin, Ireland

“The mobile Web. In 10 years’ time we will look back at those quaint few years when our online experiences required us to sit at a lonely keyboard and screen. You don’t have to sit by a hi-fi to listen to music in the 21st century. Why should you have to sit at a PC to use the Web?”

Mohit Hira
Director at ­Indiatimes.com; Gurgaon, India

“Web 2.0 and social networking are the latest fads in India, like the rest of the world. But here there is also a quiet–almost underground–movement to incubate new ideas specifically relevant to the Indian user’s needs. From languages to mobile applications, we will see adaptations of existing sites and platforms that will appeal to Indian youth. Cricket, movies, and music are likely to be the three cornerstones on which most of the Web will evolve.”

Erik Hersman
Cofounder of Usha­hidi and author of the blog Whiteafrican.com; Orlando, FL, and Nairobi, Kenya

“The future of the Web in Africa is the mobile phone. SMS and voice will be used to augment existing social networks, empower trade, and increase information sharing. While there will be continued development in the traditional Web space as data networks become more robust, the true explosion will only come on a ubiquitous and affordable device.”

Mohamed Nanabhay
Head of new media at Al Jazeera; Doha, Qatar

“In the Middle East, the Web has allowed a wider spectrum of voices to be heard in a region where the media has traditionally been tightly controlled by governments. I expect this characteristic of the Web–its ability to amplify the voices of those who could not be heard–to become more significant, and the Web’s impact upon society to grow, as Internet and mobile penetration increase and the online ad market matures. There will be an explosion of ­activity on the Web over the next decade, driven by the region’s youth boom.”

Jonathan Abrams
Founder of Socializr and Friendster; San Francisco, CA

“In five to ten years, we will all have chips in our brains. When you look at someone’s face on the street, your Google Brain software will automatically call up every embarrassing photo of them from ancient websites such as Flickr, Facebook, and MySpace; list all mutual friends; and remind you of the person’s annotated bio. As a response to the perceived slowness and verbosity of antiquated services like Twitter, people will send everyone they know nanobursts of information about anything they might do or think before they actually do or think it. Every website, blog, and social-networking profile will include an aggregated feed from every other website, blog, and social-networking service, resulting in an exponential and infinite length of repeated content on every possible site, overloading our brain chips and causing frequent nosebleeds and occasional cerebral hemorrhage.”

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Tagged: Web, Internet, social networking, startups, Web 2.0, technology

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