This week: Wrap of Microsoft RSS news, reblog/reblg, Attention, Yahoo 360 go-live, Late Show style Top Ten for Web 2.0.
Microsoft RSS Wrap
The biggest story of the week, probably even the year, was Microsoft's bearhug embrace of RSS. They got Dave Winer's blessing and they made all the right sounds in their announcement at the Gnomedex Conference. Robert Scoble did a pre-Gnomedex video with the newly-named "Longhorn, Browsing and RSS team" (formally known simply as the IE Team), which illustrated just how much RSS means to Microsoft now - "RSS everywhere" was the mantra repeated throughout. In my coverage of the news, I surmised that Microsoft is betting on RSS being as important to Web 2.0 as HTML was to the Web ten years ago.
Reaction throughout the blogosphere so far has been positive, spinkled with caution about Microsoft's previous record when it comes to the Embrace and Extend strategy. The RSS techies have already got the spanners and wrenches out and are tapping away at the specs, so expect more of that in the coming weeks - and Microsoft is taking notice. There'll also be deeper analysis of the news and what it means for the Web, by Read/Write Web and others.
This week Marc Canter announced his latest development, a universal "Blog This" button called ReBlg.com. Michal Migursk, one of the developers of a similarly-named project called Reblog, admitted to being baffled. Marc responded to Michal's post and said that Reblg is "a 'universal' way of inter-connecting content to an editor". It's about keeping the structure of data and, at its essence, it's about aggregating all forms of microcontent (blog posts, reviews, events, etc).
It looks like Marc and Michal got together after that and nutted out some of their differences, because Michal posted a follow-up to that effect soon after. As Michal noted, Marc "really has a grand vision of a microcontent mesh, and it's both aspirational and achievable, so I'm into it."
Attention - buzzword of the moment
According to Steve Gillmor, no one is paying attention to Attention. Perhaps we need to understand the philosophical implications of why the concept of "attention" is is so important to Web 2.0 applications. O'Reilly Radar posted notes to a talk by Linda Stone at the Supernova conference, on what we pay attention to and what drives human use of software. Linda coined the phrase "continuous partial attention" in 1997:
"With continuous partial attention we keep the top level item in focus and scan the periphery in case something more important emerges. Continuous partial attention is motivated by a desire not to miss opportunities. We want to ensure our place as a live node on the network, we feel alive when we're connected. To be busy and to be connected is to be alive."
Yep, that describes my blogging experience! So as Linda explained, this leads to feelings of being "overwhelmed, underfulfilled, seeking meaningful connections." The solution?
"Trusted filters, trusted protectors, trusted concierge, human or technical, removing distractions and managing boundaries, filtering signal from noise, enabling meaningful connections, that make us feel secure, are the opportunity for the next generation."
Ah, so that's what Attention is all about! Still diggin', as Dave Winer would say...
Yahoo 360 go-live
A quick note on Yahoo 360, the social networking service that Yahoo launched at the end of March. About 3 months later, it's still in beta but has been opened to the general public to participate in (previously it was invite-only). According to this PCWorld article, it's going to be expanded to include "the capability to share non-Yahoo content".
Now that it's available to the general public, it'll be interesting to see how many of the millions of MyYahoo users register and use Yahoo 360. Blogging in particular is known to be a minority sport, so I wonder how many 'mainstream' people will take it up via 360. The social networking angle is perhaps how Yahoo will entice its users to try out 360. In any event, I'll be monitoring the user interest in Yahoo 360...
Top Ten Signs You Spend Too Much Time Thinking About Web 2.0
Here's my "dorky" (according to Noah) homage to David Letterman's Top Ten List. I'm republishing it, because I originally published it just as the Microsoft RSS news came out... so obviously people had more serious things to read at that time ;-)
Top ten signs you spend too much time thinking about Web 2.0:
10. When arranging to meet with your friends in town, you suggest a "point of presence" instead of a meeting place.
9. Your child asks you for a raise in pocket money and you tell him to monetize his feed.
8. When someone asks for your business card, you tell them your FOAF URI and say "ping me".
7. You have bad dreams about slipping off the end of "The Long Tail".
6. Your favorite pickup line: "You show me your API, I'll show you mine."
5. When shopping for bleach, you always choose Ajax. [groan!]
4. You wish Michael Moore would do a documentary about "roach motel" websites that lock-in users data.
3. You buy a new parakeet to replace the one that flew away and you name it "Joey 2.0".
2. You send a snail mail letter to your Grandma, but attach a Creative Commons license to the end of it.
1. You go red in the face and start stammering when someone calls it Web 3.0.
That's a wrap for another week!