This week: Microsoft Live, Flash Maps and the Mechanical Turk, Web 2.0 meet-ups all over the world, 2.0 Blog of the Week - Supr.c.ilio.us.
Microsoft Live wrap-up
The big news of the week was Microsoft's announcement of Windows Live and Office Live. My post entitled Microsoft Livens Up Web 2.0 summarized all the news and my thoughts. Here are some extras and links, to wrap everything up for the week:
- On ZDNet, I compared the 'personalized start pages' of Microsoft, Google, Netvibes - and concluded that Netvibes can teach the other two a few lessons. Microsoft's live.com site in particular needs a lot of work.
- Mini-Microsoft was uncharacteristically generous in his/her praise: "To me, we're filling the Alpha Geek void for Microsoft technology. We're providing an alpha-geek portal and set of services for them to build new, interesting results on-top of our services and gadgets and all that other cool stuff."
- Markoff at NY Times echoed my own views: "... [Live is] an important step in extending Microsoft's reach beyond the desktop PC to smart phones and other Internet-connected devices."
- Om Malik mapped Microsoft's competition and his post comparing MS to Macys is also worth a read.
- A lot of designer folks rather unkindly compared Bill Gates presentation style to Steve Jobs (no contest, of course - and that's the way it should be).
- Finally a big thanks to Mike Arrington and Dan Farber for the excellent real-time notes at Microsoft's announcement, also Niall Kennedy for his outstanding annotated photos of the event (I borrowed some pics from Mike too).
Flash Maps and the Mechanical Turk
No that's not the sequel to the Jude Law movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It refers to the two other talking points of the week - Yahoo's new Flash-powered Maps product and Amazon's Mechanical Turk. TechCrunch had the scoop on Yahoo Maps and also covered the Turk. Mike's been on top of his blogging game these past couple of weeks!
Mechanical Turk is an Amazon.com web service that enables users to "complete simple tasks that people do better than computers [and] get paid for it." It took me by surprise because a) it was the first new thing we'd seen out of Amazon for some time; and b) what an innovative thing it is too!
Amazon was one of the first 'Web 2.0' big companies to emerge, in the mid-90's - if not the first. They were ahead of the curve in rolling out large-scale user-generated content systems, affiliate services, and APIs. So the Mechanical Turk may well represent the next generation of Web as Platform systems. We won't know for sure until we see if people actually use it, but I'm pleased to see that Amazon still has the developer edge to try new things.
Web 2.0 meet-ups all over the world
Gerald Bauer emailed me to advise of a free monthly Web 2.0 event series over in Canada (Vancouver, BC) organized by the Vancouver Web 2.0 Forum. Here are the details.
Over in the Valley, there's an upcoming BrainJams event called Making Web 2.0 Relevant. It's on 3 December at SRI in Menlo Park and the theme is translating human needs into web 2.0. These are the folks who brought you Web 2.1 in SF and they're sponsored by TechCrunch and Zazzle amongst others. I hope there'll be some serious podcasting going on, so I can listen in!
Closer to home, my cousins in Australia are getting into the Web 2.0 BBQ spirit. Ben Barren advises of a Melbourne BBQ on 11 November, as part of the Long Tail Camp. Paul Montgomery discusses the beer etiquette involved in this event:
"The most popular beer at the event will be a key metric for the eventual fate of Web 2.0 in Australia. VB: not good, a sign of it being dull and low key. Stella: not the best either, indicates too many dilettantes. Heineken: cripes mate, stick to Aussie beers ya galah. Foster's: stop pandering to American stereotypes of Australia, no one drinks Foster's here. Carlton Draught, Cooper's Pale Ale or Cascade Premium: now you're talking, champ... dot com 2.0 millions await!"
Strewth mate, I drink Stella Artois! I guess that makes me a dilettante. Oh well, put another shrimp on the barbie and save a place for me at a BBQ soon. Melbourne is where Web 2.0 is at in Australia, plus I've been there before and it's a great city. So I hope to visit again in the near future.
2.0 Blog of the Week
I'm going to do something a bit different this week. Usually I do a Post of the Week, but how about a Blog of the Week? This week I want to highlight Supr.c.ilio.us: The Blog. In a phrase, these guys are Snark 2.0. They keep us Web 2.0 pundits honest and make sure we don't take ourselves too seriously.
I first noticed Supr.c.ilio.us a few weeks ago in one of my vanity feeds, when they made some snarky remarks about me. So of course I had to subscribe. And I've since become addicted to their fine brand of snark. Here's one of their recent posts, a definition:
"user created content
Abbreviation. Refers to users that do not receive health benefits, steady paycheck or attend the company’s x-mas party, yet are able to use a networked computer. Tracing back to the days of AOL, the term has been made derogatory (wikipedia? that’s user created content!), only to be revived recently (we scale by aggregating user created content globally and presenting it locally). Often found on CL, social networks, and splogs."
Also check out their meta tagging site, Supr.c.ilio.us. Keep up the great work guys.
That's a wrap for another week!