2008 Will Be the Year of the Web Worker Because…

5 of our readers will be getting their Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 wireless mouse and keyboards that they won in our giveaway!

Congratulations to the randomly selected winners:

  • David Boileau
  • Celine Roque
  • Chris Gilmer
  • Theo Geer
  • Kathleen Duran

The winners have been notified and they should be receiving their keyboards soon. Thanks again, Microsoft.

Why did you think 2008 will be the year of the web worker? Read on for some of the entries we received.

Note: not every entry received is listed here.

Bala Pitchandi:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because of one quiet revolution that’s been going on in the world of High Definition Video Conferencing. One of the big obstacles to “Web Working” is the lack of an “one-to-one” relationship that you create when you work together in the same office. That relationship can be created by way of HD Video Conferencing. With serious advancements in the cameras (notice that almost all the major notebook manufacturers now ship them with integrated camera).

With Adobe & Apple natively supporting H.264 in their media player, phones & laptops getting more and more powerful to be able to encode & decode video and with people embracing the idea of video calls, it’s just a matter of time when you’d start having dual monitors – one to look at the person(s) at the other end and another to do your work on all throughout the day.

Jack Wolfgang:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because we were 2006’s Time Person of the Year, controlling the Information Age!

Gerrit Theule:

Individuals are just beginning to take control of all of the developer tools out there. 2008 will see, I think, a boom of user generated apps that people create to fill a need in their own organizations but end up sharing as they discover others need those apps too. This will start to free not only individuals, but also companies from the restrictions of pre-packaged licensed software which should in turn get more people out of a traditional office.

David Lowe:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because there are hundreds of online tools that have replaced traditional, expensive applications that tethered the worker to a single company. Now those tools, in addition to being developed by web workers, are being used and supported by web workers. The free flow of ideas online in the form of blogs, e-zines, screencasts, newsletters, and the like is astounding, and there is no reason to rely on networking and learning about products in person or via expensive conferences. Oh yeah, and have you checked out gas prices lately?

Brian Reid:

Why web work in 2008? Because gas is $3.50 a gallon. Because even my local hockey rink has free wi-fi. Because I currently have $200 of unpaid parking tickets. Because sit-down meetings are a waste of time. Because of Google Gears. And Writeboard. And using the cell phone as the only phone. Because its cheaper to live where the people aren’t. Because cubicles are cruel and unusual. Why live any other way …

A Swami:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because rising gas prices is making driving to work pricier than ever before. All the companies which can do it, should designate one day of the week, every week, as “work from the home” day. On this day, they should let all the employees who can work from home without adversely affecting business, to do so. That would save so much gas, reduce emissions, help the environment and make the employees very, very happy.

Hannah Beck:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because the price of petroleum products will skyrocket, leaving people to decide whether to heat their homes or feed their vehicles. There will be a definite trend towards working at home as a result.The preponderance of Web Workers will relieve the congestion on the roadways, leading to better air quality for everyone and a sharp decrease in communicable diseases. As a result, the price of petroleum products will eventually decrease but people will opt to continue to work from their homes. 2008 will be the beginning of the liberation of man from his addiction to petrochemicals.


2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because awareness of the possibility of working largely with aid of the internet has grown well past the limit for “Huh?”-responses during 2007.

More than that: It’s heading swiftly toward the limit for the honorable title “completely acceptable”.

Dipesh Batheja:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because we ‘Netlings’ will hold the key to get things done, ‘efficiently’. Growth of economies is very much dependent on efficiency of its infrastructure. Better roads, airports, communication networks has helped us to get more and bigger things done is lesser amount of time and cost. Internet has now evolved into a global infrastructure that web workers are leveraging to achieve higher efficiencies in productivity and information sharing. Web workers will be the ones who will raise the bar in efficiency even further.

William Tildesley:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because we will truly see a plethora of applications moving online from graphic design packages to complex database management systems.

Ryan Wagner:

…Office applications are going to continue to evolve into complete desktop replacements. We’ll be able to create and view our documents no matter where we’re at in the world.


Speaking for myself, it will have to be; I started this year in a job I didn’t like with the notion that I’d more than likely lose said job within the year – which turned out to be clairvoyant on my part…

All of my subsequent job leads have come via the web. What little money I have made in the last seven months (other than the checks I get from the State – and even those I apply for online every week) has been via the web; most infamously, even though the job didn’t fully pan out, my email submission of resume and letter to a local computer store in response to their Craigslist position posting yielded a job interview within sixty seconds of its being submitted. How’s that for efficiency?…

Beyond the personal realm, it’s apparent that 2008 will be the year of the web worker due to the fact that we are heading into an election year (finally) which will undoubtedly prove to be the most web-influenced national election in our history. Add to this the continued shift in our economy – devaluing dollar, continued march of manufacturing and production overseas – and we can see the growing attraction, if not need, for more and more American workers to generate income from their own homes using the tools and skills which are becoming more and more ubiquitous.


2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because people need content. People crave content. The web worker produces this content. There are too many users online looking for something to do online; blogs to read, videos to watch, friends to make, things to buy, etc. In 2008 more and more programmers, developers, businesses, and writers will be attracted to the web and fill this hole with high quality content. The demand is definitely there, in 2007 we saw the technology be developed (look how easy it is to start a blog today, to look at websites on your phone, etc.), and 2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because the content will be created.

(And then in 2009 the bubble will pop. 😉 But let’s not talk about that.)

Josh Bob:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because companies are finally starting to realize just how much value there is in giving employees the flexibility to work from home. As technology improves to new, undreamt-of capabilities, employers are seeing the value in allowing their workers to blend home and work – and that the two can benefit each other, rather than detracting from one another.

Also, working in PJs is pretty awesome. 🙂

theo geer:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because Generation Y is insisting on cultural Shift. As more and more of Gen Y enters the workplace, they are demanding that their desire for balanced, flexible working situations be met by stagnant corporate cultures. This year alone, I’ve already seen a major change in the way corporations move towards flexible arrangements, and I anticipate more.

John Lochridge:

It has been said that “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” I think in 2008, web-based productivity tools will become more evenly distributed. I expect collaborative tools will gain more traction and become used more frequently.

Adam Schlag:

2008 will be the year of the web worker because we are entering the perfect storm of:

— Ultra-portable devices that can render a full web experience (everything from the iPhone and Google’s Android platform to Ultra Portable Notebooks such as the Eee, and maybe even something coming from Cupertino…)

— Browser storage will become a norm between Google Gears, Firefox 3 and soon to come updates to Safari and Opera (either through upgrades or plugins…yes, this part is speculation) will enable true “desktop style” applications (we’ll see an unfortunate mix of desktop app clones and true web apps that max out the potential of our browsers). Watch for this esp. on mobile platforms.

— High speed wireless will become even more ubiquitous, allowing us to be online almost anywhere (via either WiFi or 3G)

Sal Cangeloso:

people might finally stop asking me if I am looking for a “real” job.

Steve Nolte:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because Google will purchase some 700 MHz spectrum, enabling Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and others to create phones using Android that enable high performance mobile web appz. Video will be reborn in hi-def on the web since Flash 9 supports h264 and youtube has more resources at their disposal than the US Government, not to mention HD camcorders are getting cheaper much faster than HD TV’s. People (at the office but more importantly home) are getting more and more comfortable with doing work through the web. So 2008 will be about creating better web appz, and providing services like RSS, Data API’s, and offline access that will create a high demand for web workers.

Taco John:

2008 will be the year of the web worker because while there were all the tools in 2007 for the web worker, it wasn’t until the end of this year, and into the beginning of next year, that people are beginning to really understand how to use them for business. Using social networks, for instance, to manage your work is a new sort of model.

Patrick Mueller:

the read/write web will become more of a reality via more and better read/write interfaces like Amazon Web Services, Google properties including relaunch of JotSpot, and disruptions like AppJet.

Michael Pennington:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because global competition is going to be forcing companies to implement cost cutting measures and tap into a much more geographically diverse knowledge worker base, in order to remain competitive. I think.

Paula Tusler:

…people are getting fed up with the 9 to 5 drag. They will revolt against the cubicle deprivation torture and come out into the sunshine.

Libran Lover:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because of several reasons:

1. There will be ever increasing and better WiFi options available in 2008 & beyond. Some of these are: 700 MHz spectrum, the so-called “white spaces” between the existing television frequencies, Wi-Max, 802.11n standard. These will bring connectivity and mobility to people like never before.

2. If there is a real big spike in gas prices, more people will want to avoid daily commute to far-away offices.

3. Computing hardware is becoming cheaper and cheaper.

While all of the above factors will assume greater significance in 2008, I feel that they will really become vogue in 2009-2010 timeframe. That is when the “web worker” concept will really gain prominence.

Chris Gilmer:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because…

Companies will realize that if they give employees the flexibility, they will work more, be more productive, and enjoy what they are doing much much more. Not to mention all the money that said companies will be saving on power, rent, furniture, heating, office supplies, and desktop office applications.

Josh Watts:

Microsoft keyboard click
wireless mouse runs up the clock
Comfy home office clack

Richard Woolnough:

…..more boomers will approach retirement age and decide to utilise the web to extend their areas of influence.

I did it a few years ago (a pre boomer) and have never looked back.

Further growth in web workers will come from the other younger generations who will realise that corporate drudgery is not the answer and would prefer to put all their effort into generating a life for themselves – not ‘the man’.

Tony Wright:

2008 will be the year of the web worker… because it makes financial sense for businesses.

The arguments against giving freedom to employees to work when and how they want are falling away. Pilot programs like those at BestBuy are showing that workers with freedom are more productive… and happier. Collaboration tools (from BaseCamp to SharePoint) and work-streaming tools (from Twitter to RescueTime) are helping management stay in touch with their teams and understand the ebb and flow of team production and output.

At the end of the day, it’s cheaper for employers in terms of real-estate, worker productivity, and employee attrition.

And it’s clearly better for the employee in that they are now tied to their own efficiency. It’s a beautiful world for workers when being more efficient/effective in their job actually gives them MORE FREE TIME (that is, when they are given tasks with deliverables rather than “punching the clock”).

John Swaringen:

The high cost of gasoline, coupled with the downturn in the real-estate market make it much easier to justify the cost of working from home. I know for me I probably saves $100-200 US dollars a month in fuel costs by working from home. Given the low cost of conference calls, and web based meeting software I think the time is right especially for knowledge workers to work from home.

James Varghese:

2008 will be the Year of the Web Worker because…more companies are realizing that productivity doesn’t necessarily stop when they allow their workers to work from home. Those companies will push and finance even more of a build out to make the “office” available everywhere and anywhere…and all web workers will really take advantage of the better infrastructure.

Thanks, everyone! Let’s see who’s right in 2008.