10 stupid social media predictions for 2011

Will Facebook continue to rule? Will Twitter whither? Will we ever see GoogleMe? Is MySpace doomed? I have all the answers (as if).

As I write this there are but a few hours left of 2010, which I believe will be remembered as the year Facebook became the dominant force on the InterWebs, supplanting even mighty Google in its reach and depth.

What will happen in 2011? Beats me. But that won't stop me from offering up some predictions. Because it's cheap, easy, and nobody remembers when you get stuff wrong.

[ See also: A Nimble way to manage your social stream ]

Here are ten things that will almost certainly happen to the world of social media in 2011. Remember, you read them here first (unless they're totally wrong, in which case you read them on TechCrunch).

1. News Corp will finally find someone willing to take MySpace -- sorry, My_____ -- off its hands. The asking price: $5.  The buyer? Aol. of course. They will promptly change its name to My_____!

2. My____'s core user group of convenience store employees, adult entertainers, and recent parolees will leave and establish their own social network called MyTrailerPark. It will become wildly popular.

3. Facebook will surpass 700 million members. A Pew Internet and American Life Survey conducted next spring will conclude that Facebook is now more 36 percent popular than sex, and 78 percent more popular than sex with Mark Zuckerberg.

4. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss will finally give up their legal fight to own a chunk of Facebook and instead launch a reality TV show about the the lives of overprivileged chisel-jawed twins who are also Olympic class rowers. Mark Zuckerberg will promptly steal that idea and do a much better job at promoting it.

5. Google will finally launch GoogleMe, its post-Orkut social network. Bloggers will use the phrase "Facebook killer" to describe it 10,827,326 times. Nine months later no one will remember what GoogleMe is.

6. Twitter will announce an IPO in 2011. Would-be stockholders will be allowed to bid for shares via tweets. The share price will reach a high of $173 before a Fail Whale appears and brings the entire NASDAQ exchange to a screeching halt. Twitter will close the year trading for exactly 140 cents a share.

7. The US Congress will finally pass a law regulating the privacy of our personal information. It will be so warped by lobbyists for online advertisers and the data brokerage industry that we will end up worse off than we are now.

8. Yahoo! will reorganize itself again, and again, and one more time before the end of 2011, selling off more assets and laying off more employees each time. Eventually, the company parking lot will be empty save for the cars of Carol Bartz and her personal masseuse. You got a #@&!! problem with that?

9. WikiLeaks will launch a social network for people with absolutely no sense of personal boundaries whatsoever. No one will bother to friend Julian Assange.

10. Mashable will publish a list of ten blogs you absolutely must read in order to be truly in the know about social networks. This one won't be among them.

ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan still sniggers every time he hears the name "Winklevoss." May you enjoy a safe, happy, and social new year. Read even more of this silliness at eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild) or follow him on Twitter:@tynan_on_tech.

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