This week: Microsoft's Web 2.0 strategy, Google Base, Yahoo! travel, Web 2.0 Humour, 2.0 Post of the Week.
Microsoft's Web 2.0 Strategy
There's big news coming this week from Microsoft, on the consumer as well as business side. It sounds like Microsoft is really ramping up its Web 2.0 strategy.
Meanwhile, this week I wrote a few posts about Microsoft's corporate "hosted services" moves. According to InformationWeek, Microsoft plans to offer hosted implementations of SharePoint, CRM and ERP applications. From that article I jumped on a choice quote from an unnamed Microsoft source, who was asked which other products and services Microsoft would host: "Everything. Hosted Office. Everything hosted." From that I extrapolated that a Web-based Office product may be in the works. More details here, here and here. I also got quoted by InfoWorld.
"We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps."
In English then, Google Base is a way for people to upload anything from classifieds to reviews. It's being touted by many pundits as being a potential eBay killer and some vertical search engines are feeling nervous ("all your verticals are belong to us?").
But it may turn out they have nothing to fear. As TechCrunch put it:
"My prediction: when the dust settles, this will either be largely ignored or universally hated. Centralized content is boringÖso much is going on at the edge of the web, why would anyone try to put it all back in the center?"
Yahoo! keeps rollin' em out
Not to be outdone, Yahoo! was as busy as ever releasing new products this week. Firstly they released Travel Trip Planner, which will enable people to "enter a single search and get a fully formed trip, courtesy of a fellow traveler, back". The Planner will have access to content from thousands of Yahoo! Travel users - reviews and ratings of hotels, restaurants and things to do. It sounds very handy for holiday planners, and will become even more so when Yahoo! integrates booking options and perhaps promotional specials.
The business2blog found this very relevant Web 2.0 conference quote from Y! CEO Terry Semel, on the topic of travel:
"In my opinion, travel should be mostly user-generated content. I don’t need some [professional] to tell me where to go in Italy. I want someone to tell me who took their family to Italy and to share the photos and the video."
Yahoo! also released some Social media action buttons and video search features this week. I don't think the buttons are aimed at the tech community, but they'll probably be popular amongst the millions of mainstream users Yahoo! caters to.
Web 2.0 Humour
Two point oh ain't Web pollution
Two point oh ain't gonna die
Two point oh ain't Web pollution
Two point oh it will be flipped
And check out the picture! That's Gabe Rivera, Scoble, Dave Winer, Om Malik, Mike Arrington (who posted about it here). All that's missing is Richard "Ozzy Osbourne" MacManus - rumour has it I wear weird robes and bite the heads off bats!
Other humour 2.0 of note: Andrew Wooldridge's Create your own Web 2.0 Company and The Silent Penguin's TagTagger - the Web 2.0 tagging site that lets you tag tags. And if you're really serious about your humour, you should shell out for a Bubble 2.0 tee-shirt (I expect at least a 20% commission for that advertisement, Charlie).
2.0 Post of the Week
Russell Beattie produced what is in my opinion the best anti-Web 2.0 post yet to emerge. Eat yer heart out Nicholas Carr and TheRegister. For those "professional" writers out there wondering what the secret is, here it is: Russ nails all that's not quite right about Web 2.0, but he stays optimistic and a believer in what is good about Web 2.0 (and there's a lot of that). I call it passion - it's what so great about blogs.
Anyway, here's Russ:
"It just seems that no one is trying to change the world any more. No one is aiming to create “insanely great” products or do the impossible. Why not? Why are so many people grasping at the low-hanging fruit, when there’s so much more goodness for everyone if they just stretched a little higher?
That’s just on the product functionality side - I haven’t seen anything interesting on the business side either. No one seems to be coming up with the next interesting new business model. I’m not looking for anything wacky, but there’s got to be better ways for your site to make money than waiting for Google to send you an AdSense check every month."
That's a wrap for another week!