This week: Microsoft's RSS Aggregator, mobile web 2.0, open source web 2.0 (stats, adverts, topics), Structured Blogging, ETech.
Well this week has been a blur of activity for me and my server. First off I launched an RSS statistics project with Jon Udell and Feedburner, then later in the week I had fun riffing on what Microsoft was up to with start.com, their sandbox development of a web-based RSS Aggregator.
Microsoft Makes A Start On RSS
When I read the short SiliconBeat post about Microsoft's sandbox development of a web-based RSS Aggregator, I immediately blogged it and took screenshots (which became a popular attraction when Microsoft briefly pulled the site). I thought it was big news, and still do, because of what the prototype revealed - Microsoft intends to integrate an RSS Aggregator with its MSN Search product. That's important because their main rivals, Google and Yahoo, are primarily search companies.
We all knew Microsoft would eventually come out with an RSS Aggregator product, but most of us thought it would be integrated into Outlook. Well it seems that search is instead going to be the platform from which Microsoft will challenge its main rivals in the RSS war.
Mobile Web 2.0
Scott Gatz, senior director of personalization products for Yahoo, emailed me (and others) during the week to break the news about Yahoo's new mobile RSS service. This is an extension of the My Yahoo! re-design which was launched in November. Scott said: "Basically we redesigned My Yahoo around RSS and now we brought it to the mobile world (and we have a desktop ticker too). Really all about getting whatever you want wherever you want." Interesting stuff and Russ Beattie has more details about how to actually use the mobile service.
Who else is doing mobile RSS? I've been aware of Bloglines mobile service for a while now and I've even tried to use it on my mobile phone. And I read in Susan Mernit's blog today that Google has a new mobile service. Susan says: "the deal is that Google's put up a new mobile start page with links to all their current mobile services--SMS, web and image search, imode interface."
No mention of RSS, but it wouldn't surprise me to see it introduced soon (ditto Google News).
Open Source Web 2.0
Bit of talk about open source things in the Web 2.0 world this week. Most importantly of course, there is my open source RSS statistics effort :-) But also Jeff Jarvis has a great idea for an open source ad network. And Marc Canter has been writing inspiring stuff about Open Topics. Plus for the geekier amongst us, there are now a heap of resources for Ajax web development (how GMail and other great web apps like it were developed). My favourite resource, for its claim to handle 99% of the development work for you, is SAJAX - Simple Ajax Toolkit.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Bob Wyman's (of PubSub) post on what he calls "structured blogging". As he described it then: "The basic idea is to go beyond "mere" text in blogs and include structured XML that describes job-openings, events, new prices, press releases, updates to phone numbers and contact info, requests for proposals, etc."
Now PubSub has come up with a new weblog called structuredblogging.org. It currently offers a WordPress plug-in to carry out structured blogging. It also has some XML schemas and further technical resources. Looks pretty interesting and I'll be following its progress. Would be great to get a Movable Type plug-in for this.
Finally, the coming week promises to be a good one for Web 2.0. The O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference is being held March 14-17 and the sessions sound like Web 2.0 Geek Nirvana to me :-) What a pity I can't be there... sob! However I look forward to lots of reports from the bloggers who do attend and I sure hope Heath Row (or someone as thorough as him) will be there to transcribe the sessions. Better yet, I hope IT Conversations records them and publishes them soon after. C'mon, I'm relying on the blogosphere to be my ears and eyes for ETech - don't let me down people!