Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 11-17 July 2005

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This week: The future of RSS, Amazon turns 10, Yahoo HotJobs, big bucks for blogging, techie post of the week – RSS systems.

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RSS Growing Up So Fast

A number of posts came out this week with thoughts on how RSS is evolving and the need
for new kinds of feed management tools. VC Fred Wilson thinks
centralised RSS Readers (like Bloglines) are on
the way out. What’s needed, according to Fred, is new ways to manage our feeds and make
them available to other apps to use. An example he gives is “applications and services
that can use the [RSS] infrastructure that Microsoft is building into the operating
system layer to add value.” 

Don’t miss the comments to Fred’s post, there are some excellent points. e.g. Charlie Wood says that Feedburner is a great example of a “value added
service” (they would be my prime example too). Heather Green then
comments “What I am interested in watching develop are the services that are created on
top of RSS, like maybe a service that parses for resumes or job listings.”

In a similar vein, Tommy Lee look-a-like Nivi wrote an interesting post entitled RSS is the
TCP/IP Packet of Web 2.0
. In it he asked: “will RSS become the fundamental building
block of Web 2.0 and the Internet Operating System?”. See also his
follow-up post
, featuring an analysis of Jonathan Aquino‘s “command line for the Web”
app YubNub.

Other thought-provoking posts on these themes include David Beisel’s
musings
, Heather Green’s
The Evolution of RSS, According to Yahoo
, and Michael Parekh’s theory
about “Broadband Content End-Runs”. All of this is head-spinning stuff, but well
worth pondering if you’re interested in finding out how RSS is beginning to outgrow its
blogging roots.

Oh and incidentally, Atom (an alternative RSS format) was all butofficially released this week. I’ll
review this further once the techies have finished their
latest
bout
of handbags at
ten paces
🙂

Amazon Turns 10

This week Amazon celebrated its 10th birthday.
Amazon is in a way is the quintessential Web 2.0 company, because they’ve been using the
Web as a platform for all of their 10-year existence. They recognized the power of the
Read/Write Web before most Internet companies, by inviting their users to contribute
reviews and rank products – amongst many other community-enabling features. They were one
of the first bigco’s to open up their data with APIs and they made it easy for
third-party sellers to become affiliates (currently more than a quarter of Amazon’s sales
are via a third party). Not to mention that Amazon sold products from The Long Tail long
before Chris Anderson
popularized the term.

And boy did Amazon celebrate in style! They ran promotions for a Hall of Fame, Wish
List Spree, Special Deliveries and finished up with A Show of Thanks – a live
concert with “Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Bill Maher, Hall of Fame writers, and exclusive,
behind-the-scenes footage from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.”

nb: I have a post brewing about Amazon’s future, which hopefully I’ll publish this
week.

Yahoo’s Job Search Engine

This week Yahoo
announced
a new “jobs search engine” – and it’s a shot acrossthe bow for the online
jobs market. Yahoo HotJobs crawls the Web looking
for job vacancies and automatically adds them to its index. Although this will probably

“cannibalize”
its paid listings, it’ll also take a big bite out of its two main
rivals in this market – Monster and CareerBuilder. 

Forrester
analyst Charlene Li predicts
that the next big thing in online classifieds is
social classifieds, “where the ability to connect people to each other will be the
hallmark of success.” This is actually already a feature of social networking sites such
as LinkedIn and niche market
blogs like PaidContent.org.

Professional Blogging Pays Off

My Australian cousin Darren Rowse
announced recently
that he got a Google Adsense cheque for “between $10k and $20k
($USD)” for the month of May. Holy Gamoly! Darren works extremely hard on writing content
for his 20 or so blogs, so full credit to him for the financial rewards.

The income
revelation led to a Slashdotting
and the inevitable blog-trashing comments from the /. community. But some commenters had good things to say,
like this one: “He [Darren] is just an info junkie who has happened to find a way to make
a living at his passion.”

Professional blogging is different things to different people. For some, it’s part of their day job. For me, it’s my way of trying to get a day job like those guys ;-). Reputation is my currency in the blogosphere and I’m hoping it pays off in the long run.

Techie Post of the Week: RSS is for creating systems

I’m still spinning my wheels on the future of RSS. Dave Winer wrote an interesting riff on this. Here’s an
excerpt:

“RSS is more than a format, it’s an approach to creating systems. […] The whole
point of RSS, Jim [Moore] argues (imho correctly) is to make connecting systems together
so easy that users can do it themselves, without any help from system managers or
vendors. This is a brilliant observation, in all my years thinking about RSS, I had never
approached it from this direction.”

I’m not entirely sure what that means yet, but if Dave says it’s a brilliant
observation – then obviously the rest of us need to think seriously about it.

That’s a wrap for another week!

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