It's time to review the week that was on ReadWriteWeb. On the product side we looked at Adobe's announcement of searchable Flash, checked in with online TV service Hulu, reviewed a couple of innovative new web apps (Gnip and and reviewed Firefox's recent world record. On the trends side, we analyzed Microsoft's acquisition of semantic search company Powerset, looked into the latest Yahoo stats, asked if email is in danger, and reported on a new Mobile Web standards initiative.

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Adobe Makes Flash Searchable

For years the big problem with Flash-based websites is that they could not be properly indexed by search engines. Flash websites have been favored by marketers and advertisers for a long time, because of the ability to create rich, interactive Web experiences. However for most other businesses, particularly those with a lot of information on their website (let's face it, that's everyone except marketers and advertisers), Flash has been nearly an automatic 'no' for website development. That may be about to change.

Hulu To Earn Up to $90M In First Year....But It's Not A Success Story Yet!

To the average user,, the free web site that offers high-quality streams of TV shows and movies in the U.S., looks like a runaway success: the selection of available content is more than decent, Hulu's Collections make browsing related videos easy, HD videos have been made available, embed codes are provided for re-posting the videos on the web, and the site gets a good amount of traffic, too. In fact, Hulu's CEO reported in March that 5 million visitors watched videos on the site during the past 30 days while the service was still in beta, and that number has been increasing ever since.

Gnip: Grand Central Station for the Social Web

Ping, ping, ping! That's the sound made day and night by the new social media technologies rapidly proliferating around the web... and the machines are getting tired. Polling for updates to user data streams, wishing they spoke the same language and dreaming they knew which accounts belonged to the same people across different services. Sounds like a great opportunity for an infrastructure provider, doesn't it? Enter the sexiest infrastructure provider we've seen in a long time: Gnip. Venture funded and built by exited MyBlogLog co-founder Eric Marcoullier, Gnip wants to serve as the grand central station and universal translation service for the new social web. May A Million Twitters Bloom is a new microblogging service that launched this week- but it's not just another also-ran. The service is an Open Source, CreativeCommons framework for a distributed network of federated microblogging services. If you've become interested in the paradigm changing model of communication popularized by Twitter but have been frustrated by Twitter's frequent down time or other shortcomings - then could be for you.

It's Official: Firefox Downloads Set Guinness World Record

We already knew that Mozilla had a record breaking day on June 17th when Firefox 3 was downloaded close to 8 million times, despite the download site not working for at least part of the morning. Now, Mozilla has announced that Firefox 3 has indeed made it into the Guinness Book of World Records with 8,002,530 downloads. Mozilla had set itself a goal of only 5 million downloads.

See also: Mozilla Releases Weave 0.2: Filling in for Browser Sync


Web Trends

Does Microsoft + Powerset Beat Google?

What can the plan be with Microsoft's purchase of hot startup Powerset? The 3-year old company, founded by Dr Barney Pell, recently launched a semantic search experience for Wikipedia. It is doubtful that Microsoft bought the company just to enhance Live Search. Possibly the plan is to replicate the Wikipedia solution, then incorporate Powerset into Internet Explorer. In this post we look at what the thinking behind the acquisition might be.

See also: Microsoft Releases Interop Docs: Is This What Data Portability Looks Like?

Yahoo Would be Just Fine Without Search

Hitwise Intelligence took an interesting look at the breakdown of Yahoo's properties this week. They come to the conclusion that, even if Yahoo sells off its search division, Yahoo's other properties probably wouldn't be too affected by this, as they get most of their traffic from Google's search anyway. Only Yahoo Image Search, Games, Maps, and News get most of their traffic from Yahoo Search.

Is Email In Danger?

Human history is one of progressive improvement in communication. From the 20th century mail was a fundamental form of communication. The invention of electronic mail (email) changed two things. It became cheap to send mail, and delivery was instant. Email became favored for both corporate and personal communication. But email faces increasing competition. Chat, text messages, Twitter, social networks and even lifestreaming tools are chipping away at email usage. In this post we take a look at what's happening and assess if email is in danger.

Mobile Web To Get Standards

A group of mobile operators have just unveiled a new initiative they're calling "BONDI" whose goal is to encourage development of new mobile web applications while not compromising customers' security. BONDI was created by members of the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), an industry group that includes participants from all parts of the mobile world and whose members include operators like AT&T, Hutchison 3G, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, T-Mobile and Vodafone.


That's a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.