Home Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 9-15 January 2005

Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 9-15 January 2005

Time for a look back at the week that was in Web 2.0. In no particular order…

1. Gizmodo‘s 4-part interview with Bill
ended with Bill
that DRM is a good thing because it protects your medical records (or
something like that). In
part one
of the interview, Gates mentioned blogging – said it was “super-important”.

Part two
was probably the most relevant to Web 2.0-watchers, because it covered the
topic of “Windows Post-Longhorn” (in Gizmodo’s words). I remember discussing a similar
topic with Tim O’Reilly in
November – Tim said that “Microsoft will continue to dominate on the PC, but the PC is
going to be a smaller and smaller part of the entire business.” Bill Gates in the Gizmodo
interview continued to hype the PC, but I think the following quote indicates that
Microsoft is at the same time branching out from the PC significantly: 

“From the SPOT watch, to the phone, to the set-top box, to the car—we write
software for everything

(emphasis mine) 

My take: in the Web 2.0 world, Microsoft wants its software to control as many
internet-connected devices as possible. While Web 2.0 companies such as Google and
Yahoo look to dominate on ‘the cloud’ (i.e. the Web), Microsoft is aiming more at the
device-level (PC, phones, set-top box, etc).

2. Talk this week of other browser-based RSS Aggregators – i.e. some
competition for Bloglines. Robert Scoble mentioned
two recent beta products: Lektora and Onfolio. Also someone in Robert’s comments pointed
out Pluck (which I must check out, because it sounds

btw whatever happened to
? In mid-2003, they were the only one apart from Bloglines building a
browser-based RSS Aggregator. But now they’ve fallen completely off the radar. Pity, because
their vision sounded very promising at the time (and Bloglines has of course since proven
it was the right strategy to do a browser-based aggregator).

3. The biggest Web 2.0 news this week was Feedburner’s
of their statistics for RSS Aggregator market share
, prompted by my post on the same subject in
December. I discussed Feedburner’s stats in detail here and here. Mainstream geek media
site Internetnews.com ran
a story
about it, quoting yours truly! SiliconBeat
also had a good take on it, focusing on how big Bloglines is getting. 

The upshot of it all? The stats are extremely interesting and clearly show that
Bloglines has a significant lead in the RSS Aggregator market, however there are a
number of caveats about the data. I think Dick Costolo, CEO of Feedburner, said it best in the comments on my
: “…it is still a young market very much in flux, and one shouldn’t draw
enormous conclusions from the single data point.” Dick also mentioned that they “will be
posting lots of other slices of the data over time” – cool!

4. Wired editor Chris Anderson is posting a lot of great nuggets about The Long Tail. If you want to get an
understanding of how niche markets are taking over the media landscape, I strongly
recommend you subscribe to Chris’ blog. He’s writing a book about it and the blog is one
method he’s using to gather information. Choice quote: “Practically every time there’s
been an expansion of access to a wide variety of goods, we’ve seen shifts in the demand
curve toward niches.” 

David Jackson over at The Internet Stock
also has some fascinating theories on this subject – for example he predicts that
the likes of CNET and Yahoo! are at risk from “niche, category-killing, advertising-supported Web sites that get high placement in algorithmic search engine results and, once discovered, attract repeat-readers.”

5. News of a promising new open source project called The Dojo Toolkit. It aims “to create a UI
toolkit that allows a larger number of web application authors to easily use the rich
capabilities of modern browsers.” Lucas
likes the sound of it. I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about yet, but I
found this
on the mailing list:

“Dojo isn’t necessarily about doing new things, but rather getting the DHTML community
all pointing in one direction and backing a single set of widgets, tools, and core code
which is liberally licensed.”

Sounds good to me! Well that’s it for another week. Hope you’re enjoying these weekly
summaries of Web 2.0 news, views and ideas. 🙂

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