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10 websites and services to watch in 2010

These web firms could be household names by 2011

As every new year begins, analysts and pundits make predictions about what will be hot in the forthcoming months. We're no exception, so check out our list of 10 hot websites and services to watch in 2010.

6. Justin.tv

I've heard the argument that the next big deal on the web will be live video (not the stale old recorded stuff on YouTube) shot by connected mobile devices from the center of the action.

At Justin.tv you can find live video streams of all kinds, each being captured in real time by a Justin.tv member with a video camera.

Similar sites like Qik let you stream video directly to the sites from a smartphone.

The idea of people turning away from recorded video in favour of live stuff seems a little future tense to me, but I think it may happen, especially as wireless networks get faster.

I didn't understand the immediate cool factor of Justin.tv until a couple of weekends ago, when I went to the site to watch a live sporting event that wasn't broadcast on local TV.

Somebody on the other side of the country was streaming it directly from their cable TV to Justin.tv, and in high definition.

The site even puts a chat window right next to the video so that you can banter about the game with other fans while you watch. I watched and chatted for about three hours that day, and I had a great time.

Judging by the numbers of people watching with me that day, and the thousands more watching other streams, I think Justin.tv will have a big 2010.

Of course content owners aren't any too happy about Justin users streaming premium content live on the internet.

US law enforcement agencies recently held a hearing on the subject. And Justin is now working with content owners (such as Fox) to assuage concerns, but some have observed that Justin isn't falling all over itself to ban such live TV streams.

Whether or not Justin is forced into such a ban will say a lot about the site's future.

7. Clicker

Let's face it, online video is a mess. For a long time, the web had a dearth of premium TV shows and movies to choose from.

These days, video is moving online in a big way: Soon we'll have a critical mass of content, equal parts current and popular video, and the long-tail stuff that we want to be able to search for and find when we think of it.

The problem is, all of this video is spread out over a billion places on the web, much of it hard to locate.

Users need a good central directory to bring it all together, and Clicker does the best job I've seen of offering exactly that. The site finds the locations of the video you want to watch, and links you directly to it.

The reach of Clicker's search is impressive. The site has links to current and popular videos at sites like Hulu and TV.com, but you can find less mainstream stuff, too.

I punched in 'Andy Griffith', and Clicker found 125 episodes (in high quality, not YouTube) from around the web. Lots of people will discover this site in 2010.

Broadband speed test

NEXT PAGE: Yammer, Wikitravel.org and Postabon

  1. These web companies could be household names by the end of this year
  2. Bing and the Android Market
  3. Grooveshark and Google Voice
  4. Justin.tv and Clicker
  5. Yammer, Wikitravel.org and Postabon
  6. Honourable mentions

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