January 20, 2011 2:18 PM | Posted By : Andy Beaupre Related Categories: Technology

As I watched The Office the other night (missing its original cleverness & quirkiness), I wondered: what’s jumping the shark in the world of tech?

Some are obvious: MySpace; cable TV subscriptions; brick & mortar video chains; Digg; flip phones, eBay and DVDs.

But what’s jumping the shark before our eyes? Consider the following candidates – some are unquestionably declining; others remain arguable in their pending sharkiness :

  • Delicious – word got out last month that Yahoo was shutting down its social bookmarking site. Then it shifted gears, talking about selling the service. Does this mean the world doesn’t need wide-scale storing, sharing and discovering web bookmarks?
  • Netbooks – the handwriting is on the tablet – netbooks from the likes of HP, Dell and Asus have been usurped by the Tablet Rush. (Thanks Apple for showing the way.) Now established companies like Motorola are in the game with the favorably reviewed Xoom and unknowns – like Notion – are garnering buzz with Adam. RIM skipped the netbook phase and moved directly to the tablet.
  • Virtualization – although it might be a tad early to make the call, there are some indications virtualization may be taking a hit as all things shift to the Cloud as companies worry more about taming management complexity issues.
  • Cloud computing – a harried, flight-delayed couple gets happy when they say “let’s go to the cloud” in a current TV commercial. Is cloud computing so mass market already that it’s jumped the shark? Some people think it’s already peaked.
  • Chatroulette – who doesn’t want a face-to-face webcam experience with an endless parade of strangers with a complete inability to manage the experience (find friends, trace your steps back, etc.). Evidently, a lot of people.
  • Twitter – a frequent knock against Twitter is “lots of talk but is anybody listening?” If Twitter usage hasn’t peaked, has its clout?
  • Large email service providers – several very capable small email service providers have proven themselves and are delivering a high level of functionality at far less cost. Why pay more when you can get it from vendors like Newsberry?
  • Quora – it hasn’t been around long (launched June 2009) and buzz is growing not declining, but some are already questioning its viability. If you’re not familiar Quora, it’s Search meets Wikipedia meets Yahoo Answers. Is it a retread or a valuable idea we’ll need more.
  • Facebook – some pundits are saying Facebook has peaked. With 500 million friends and climbing, it’s hard to make the case though. But maybe they’re right…The Social Network won a Golden Globe for Best Picture.
  • Augmented reality – there’s growing buzz that while it’s definitely cool, augmented reality hasn’t (and might never) find a useful purpose. To avoid jumping the shark, it needs to go from cool to practical applications.
  • Blu-ray – every year since it came out, marketers have prophesized “the year of Blu-ray” but it hasn’t happened yet. Blu-ray video now accounts for 11% of all movie sales according to Nielsen. The format appears to be growing, but the buzz has flattened. For example, there were fewer Blu-ray announcements at this year’s CES (except for the Star Wars trilogy news). Will 2011 be the tipping point year?
  • Blogging – last year’s Christian Science Monitor article (Has blogging peaked?) made a case for Twitter and Facebook now being the glue that keeps online communities together. There’s growing buzz that blogging requires too much work and diminishing returns. The biggest sharkiness sign may be that the majority of blogs are never updated.
  • Governance risk and compliance (GRC) – is this software being increasingly marginalized as more and more customers go SaaS?
What isn’t on this list that should be? What shouldn’t be on the list? Talk to me…