Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Please Don’t Read This Year-in-Review-Look-Ahead Piece

Just a few days left in 2010, which means you’re seeing a deluge of year-end look back/look forward pieces.

Please: Don’t read them!*

Do something else with your time instead: Spend a few minutes with someone you like. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Take a nap. Whatever.

Need convincing? OK. Year in review/New Year’s prediction stories are a waste of time because:

We know what happened in the last 12 months. Really. It wasn’t that long ago. No need to remind us.

We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 12 months. Why pretend otherwise?

When we do pretend to know what’s going to happen, no one’s paying attention anyway. You’re probably not reading this right now! I’m not — I’m off for the rest of the year, and when I do go online this week, I’m going to try very hard to avoid filler pieces like this.

Because no one’s paying attention, no one ever, ever holds anyone accountable for their errant fortune telling. Check out this guesswork/fantasy from five years ago, for example:

Don’t count out the newspaper business–particularly local papers. Yes, eBay and Craigslist are killing off the classified-ads business, and Google, Yahoo! and others are pulling readers away daily. But someone, somewhere will figure out how to take the one thing local papers still do that their competitors can’t–report on what’s happening in readers’ backyards and make money from it.

Still waiting on that one, Nostradumus. Except we’re not. Who cares what Peter Kafka predicted in a Forbes.com 2005 year-end piece? Certainly not Peter Kafka.

All that said, I do have one year-end thought I’d like to pass along for anyone still reading: Thank you. Thanks for reading what I had to say this year, and thanks for letting me know what’s on your mind, too. See you in 2011.

And enjoy the Specials video:

* If you are going to ignore my advice, please do check out the year-in-review/New Year’s pieces coming from my clever colleagues at All Things Digital, who are going to do some excellent work this week.