Web 2.0 and the Future of Pervasive Computing

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pete Cashmore Wins Thumbs-Up Award

As I was enjoying my daily dose of blogs this afternoon, I had a stunning realization. Pete Cashmore is by far one of the best sources for new information on Web 2.0 - period.

For his hard work and contributions to the blogosphere, the folks at Convergence (me) have unanimously voted to give Pete the prestigious "Convergence Thumbs-Up Award." Pete is the first recipient of this award. This award is intended to thank those few exceptional folks in the blogosphere with a virtual "thumbs-up" for their contributions to our daily blog read.

Seriously though, all you noobs that are jumping on to the Web 2.0 craze, check out Mashable. Read it, love it, and memorize it. Mashable is definitely up there with Techcrunch, Om , and Read/Write Web as one of the best sources for product dish on the Web 2.0 today. Keep up the good work, Pete.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Cyclical Transformation of the Web

Unbeknownst to most folks living "out there," the web is undergoing a massive transformation as it shifts from a publication mechanism into a platform for distributed web services.

The transformation of the web is inherently cyclical in nature. Functionality that was once traditionally trapped within the walled gardens of online destinations is being rapidly disaggregated. Enterprising developers are creating a new breed of software to aggregate this open functionality and deliver new user experiences. As aggregation software increases in popularity, web service providers are rushing to make a "land grab" for core services before they get locked out of the race. This land grab is leading to even more functionality being exposed. As we march onward towards the vision of the Web as a Platform, this cycle will perpetuate.

The end game of this metamorphosis has stunning implications for the world at large. The dream promised by the progenitors of service-oriented architectures will be realized. End users will be able to mix and match best-of-breed functionality using "Smart Aggregators" to create and share their own "long tail experiences." To end users, this functionality will come in the form of Widgets that leverage one, or more web services. Competition will abound for content services, content distribution, content aggregation, and monetization mechanisms (see Fred's excellent post for more thoughts). And all the while your set of services, or Personal Information Cloud, will follow you in different contexts. Sounds pretty nifty, eh?

In short, ladies and gentlemen, we are moving towards the Structured Web - fast. Villains will be fought. Heroes will be made. But, boy oh boy is it going to be a grand adventure.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

3 Steps to Increase Traffic Using MySpace

MySpace commands the attention of 74M+ users and is one of the most popular destinations on the planet. By definition, this achievement is out of reach for most players on the web today.

Realizing that the chances of growing their respective destinations to the cult-like status of MySpace are slim, many online service providers have opted to instead "Feed the MySpace Beast." This strategy enables the great unwashed masses that are NOT MySpace to capitalize on the massive success that the popular social networking site has achieved, without competing directly with them for eyeballs.

For those of you who live under a rock and do not follow the wise teachings of Pete Cashmore, I have summarized the "Feeding" strategy below.

How to Feed MySpace:

Step 1: Create Widget that uses your online service.

Step 2:
Enable Widget to be placed on MySpace, Blogger, etc. by end users.

Step 3:
Track Widget use and watch your traffic grow.

has executed this strategy rather brilliantly. Their photo widgets have become pretty standard fare on many MySpace pages, despite the fact that Photobucket is an independently owned and operated concern. If I were a betting man, I would guess that their strong presence on MySpace has played no small part in the tremendous growth they have experienced in the last 12 months.

The growing number of folks that are interested in capitalizing upon the success of MySpace has interesting implications in the long run. For now, online service providers that "Feed the Beast" have simply solidified MySpace's status as one of the premier destinations on the web. But as we all know, if you eat too much you are bound to get sick. How long will it be until this feeding frenzy turns sour?

Check out this post by media blogstar Steve Rubel for more thoughts on the mounting gold rush.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

For the Love of the Web...

At Clearspring we love the web more than anything.

Apparently, we love it even more than sleeping at night.

Cyrus you are the man...

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Om & Scoble Departures Part of New Trend?

As many of you have probably already heard, Microsoft's former blogstar Robert Scoble has left the building. According to this article from CNET:

Scoble, 41, said in a phone interview that he will join, a Menlo Park, Calif., start-up that earlier this year began podcasting video interviews recorded with technology industry luminaries.

Apparently Scoble is not the only one joining the exodus from Corporate America. Om Malik, one of the most popular bloggers on the net, is calling it quits with Business 2.0 and has taken seed funding for a new venture.

He will still be involved with the publication as a contributing editor, but will now be focusing his time on building a business leveraging his massively popular GigaOm property. According to Technorati, Om's blog is the 85th most popular blog on the planet. Not bad, eh?

As independent publishers gain further notoriety it will be interesting to see how the webscape continues to shift as a result. Are Om and Scoble part of a new trend in media? God only knows that certain folks have already started capitalizing upon the success of their blog. Welcome to Web 2.0.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Slashdot Goes 2.0 - Is that enough?

Slashdot, the website that has made its mark offering "news for nerds," has officially gone "2.0." The new version of the web site is chalked full of "Ajaxy" components that can be expanded and collapsed at will.

I love Slashdot and still use it regularly, but that upgrade was a bit weak and - frankly - did not add much to the user experience. It most definitely did not help differentiate them from their rapidly growing competitor - Digg.

As the market for news aggregators becomes more cluttered, I wonder what our heroes will do to stay alive. Hopefully, they have a plan because if they don't they may share the same fate as the boom from whence they came.

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Where is the Web Going Next?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tagworld Down - WTF!

Has anyone else noticed that Tagworld has been down a ton recently? I received a "Service Unavailable" message not once, not twice, but THREE times yesterday when I was trying to go to the site. Perhaps they have angered the Web 2.0 Gods. Or, maybe they just need more servers. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be fix-ed ASAP.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stalkerati - Formalizing a Phenomenon

Somebody is finally admitting what everyone else is doing on social networks - STALKING! Stalking is by far one of the single most popular activities on social network systems today. MySpace, for instance, has managed to achieve a massive network effect not only because their platform enables actionable communication via social networks, but also because the very same tools that enable communication with friends also enable "MySpace Stalking." In other words, since there are a ton of folks on MySpace, there is a much richer base of people to stalk. And because there is such a rich population of potential targets to stalk on MySpace, folks stick around - classic Network Effect, right?

You all know what I am talking about. Chances are that you have searched for someone (friend, foe, goat...) on MySpace, or some other social network like LinkedIn. And, chances are that you have kept up with the multitude of changes in their profile over time. Now you may try to tell yourself that you are simply keeping up with the crowd. And, if that let's you sleep at night, so be it. But let's be serious, you are stalking people.

Anyway, the folks at Stalkerati are apparently more than willing to admit that folks actively stalk one another on social networks. Accordingly, they have made a search engine that enables you to search for your potential "targets" across multiple sites. For example, imagine that for some insane reason you want to stalk me. Wouldn't it be nice to go to one site to find all my information, instead of visiting multiple several social networks?

This is a neat little idea. The bad news is that the folks at many social networks have closed the gates. You need a login to see others. As such, Stalkerati requires you to login to multiple sites in order to really get down and dirty.

Stalkerati has some fantastic and scary implications for where the world is heading. Apprently, it even made the front page of Digg. In short fan-boys, watch yourself - because someone else is most definitely already watching you.

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