This week: Summary of Google Factory Tour, Recruitment 2.0, Rollups, Techie post of the week, Web 1.0 Summit.
Google Factory Tour
The Factory Tour and accompanying webcast received tons of coverage this week, so I won't re-hash all the details. I'll simply summarise the new things and add my comments. New? Google Personalized Homepage, Google Earth (a satellite mapping service), AdSense for Feeds, language translations.
My initial take on the Personalized Homepage was that Google, MSN and Yahoo are, over time, turning their portal products into RSS Aggregators. Of course these products will end up being much more than simple RSS aggregation tools - they'll integrate search, news, media, email and lots of other thing into the mix. But RSS is in a sense the key to a successful portal in Web 2.0. RSS enables users to subscribe to searches, news, blogs, weather, stocks, etc. In fact most of the elements that make up a portal can be subscribed to using RSS. That's what I meant when I said the Big 3 are turning their portals into RSS Aggregators.
Other views: Om Malik wrote a witty account of the Factory Tour itself. Marc Canter puts it into perspective of DLA trends, making the case for Google and others to support a "web of islands, meshed together by open standards".
Great post about how Web 2.0 is impacting the recruitment industry. It was written by a blogger from Indeed.com, which is a "search engine for jobs" that uses RSS feeds to deliver search results. According to the post, there are 3 key aspects to a Web 2.0 recruitment service:
1. Open Distribution (using RSS)
2. Open Communication (using blogs)
3. Open & Flexible Pricing - which means using "Pay-per-click search engine advertising" to source job candidates.
A 'rollup', in VC language, appears to be a synonym for consolidation. A site called VC Experts defines it as when an organization "acquires a series of companies in the same or complementary fields, with the goal of becoming a dominant regional or nationwide player in that industry."
A good example of a rollup occured this week when RSS aggregation firm Newsgator acquired Feed Demon, a smaller niche RSS Aggregator. VC Fred Wilson said that Newsgator's "venture rollup" is "a smart play because the big guys have figured out how important RSS is and are coming after the early entrants." Rafat Ali from PaidContent.org followed up with some more reasoning behind Newsgator's purchase:
"...what is increasingly becoming important is how do metrics get reported, how does optimization happen on the backend, how well do you inter-operate with other newsreaders in the universe, etc."
My take: Newsgator is promoting itself as a "platform" these days and the range of their product line (from personal to business to enterprise, and from desktop to email to web) indicates their ambitions in the RSS market. But it's interesting to note that most of their product line, including Feed Demon, is based on the Windows platform. So it wouldn't surprise me if a bigger platform - i.e. Microsoft - swallows their smaller platform in the not too distant future.
Structured Blogging Wrap-Up
Fellow kiwi Phil Pearson gets honoured with my prestigious Techie Post of the Week, with his excellent summary of recent structured blogging developments. Phil defines structured blogging as an "ongoing effort to make weblog content along specific lines machine readable and aggregable." I recommend you go read it - I don't award my Techie Post of the Week to just anybody you know... :-)
Finally this week, a recent funny thread about Web 1.0 made me chuckle. It started off as a witty Flickr post about a fictional "Web 1.0 Summit". The comments are priceless, e.g.:
"There are places where Web 1.0 is appropriate and flashy stuff is not and vice versa, but mostly the former."
"Anyone else going to the blink tag session?"
"...we have a few slots left in the "Green Text on Black background" breakout session."
"OMG! I hope I'm not too late to start a business based on this. . ."
That's a wrap for another week!