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Predictions for 2010 Worth Listening to, from Craig, Jimmy and Alec

It's the time of year when those of us in media love to make predictions about what will happen next year. While I don't have any of my own (yet), here are a few I picked up this week from people well worth listening to:

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, told the closing plenary at Supernova 09 yesterday that he believes 2010 will bring the "tipping point" for social media. He never really elaborated on this point, but he clearly believes that what has been only a remarkable phenomenon most of this year will become mainstream during the year to come.

Fair enough. If you check the numbers for Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, not to mention their host of imitators, social media sites area rapidly scaling to the stratosphere of online activity, rivaling Google and Yahoo for relevance and dominance.

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, told the same session that he thinks the most important changes ahead will be forged by the "next billion people coming online, mainly in India and China." He discussed the cross-cultural impacts as people from various backgrounds, cultures, and linguistic heritages "mix and match in amazing ways."

Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton's senior adviser on innovation at the State Department, told the same gathering that "mobile banking will be the breakthrough innovation in 2010," especially in the developing world.

If you put these three predictions together, 2010 promises to be a pretty exciting year in social media, global reach, and mobile computing.

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