Home Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 28 Mar – 3 Apr 2005

Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 28 Mar – 3 Apr 2005

Before I start: as this is a regular feature, I’m looking for a forward-thinking
company to sponsor the Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-Up.
I get a lot of very positive feedback
about the Wrap-Up and I know that a number of influential people read it. So if you’d
like to sponsor the Weekly Wrap-Up with a banner or similar (nothing inside the editorial
though), send me an email at [email protected].

This week: vertical search, delicious funding, minimedia, Bloglines Universal Inbox,

Vertical Search

It’s a current trend in the Web 2.0 world, as noted by PaidContent
amongst others. What is vertical search? In three words, it’s search for niches.
Or as Greg Sterling of the
Kelsey Group

“Right now, it’s naïve to challenge the established
“horizontal” search players. So anybody who wants to launch a
“search” site needs to do it in a vertical/niche, where there is still
potential opportunity.

There are a handful of verticals that matter, among them travel, shopping and local
(if you consider it a vertical). The traditional classifieds space has significant
traction too: jobs, cars and real estate.”

For other perspectives, see Ravi
, Om Malik and Dave

On the investment value of it all, the analyst firm PiperJaffray noted:

“We believe three key areas of value include content and search traffic, conversion
technologies and comparison shopping platforms, and local search and listings

Another interesting take: Richard
called Amazon’s new OpenSearch
initiative “My Yahoo for vertical search”.

My view: as I’ve
a number of times over the past few weeks, the intersection of aggregation
and search is a very exciting space right now. That’s where I think the real value of
“vertical search” is going to be found – when vertical search results are mixed together
and aggregated according to each user’s preferences.

More market news

del.icio.us creator Joshua Schachter got funding,
which I predicted (actually
I said delicious would get acquired, but give that more time ;-)). Jeff Nolan
has some thoughts on the potential business model.

Also interesting to see PaidContent getting
a rave review
for being a model “minimedia” business. Fully deserved too. Staci from
PaidContent followed
: “I can report that various options for expansion, including outside investment,
are being explored.”

Speaking of investment hints, Eric from Feedburner tantalized us over at Rogers Cadenhead’s blog
with this comment:

“We’re not going out of business anytime soon. I can’t elaborate on this right now,
but you’ll have to trust me on that one. (smile)”

In the interests of transparency I should point out that I’ve not received any offers for Read/Write Web yet. Disappointing. However, I will have some good news about my writing goals by the end of this month (smile).

Bloglines Universal Inbox

Bloglines is starting to ramp up its search/aggregation strategy. Not only did they do
a search-based makeover of
their homepage (to the point that reading blogs is no longer even listed as an
option!), they’ve released something called The Universal Inbox. From their press release:

“In addition to blog text updates and RSS news feeds, the Bloglines Universal Inbox
can track and aggregate many types of web and email based data that helps people stay
well informed.”

What this is all about is Bloglines moving from a blog-based RSS Aggregator into a
personalized information aggregator. They seem to be getting into the same territory as
PubSub, especially as they’re both interested in “structured blogging”
(although I suspect it’s more about structured RSS than blogging).

I find the email metaphor a bit odd (universal inbox), but I guess they’re trying to
appeal to more of a mass audience. Traditionally the easiest way for ‘normal’
non-blogging people to understand RSS is to compare it to email – and I think Bloglines
is using this tactic here. But it’s odd because Bloglines is the quintessential web-based
RSS Aggregator and I don’t associate it with email at all. But I guess that’s the kind of
perception Bloglines wants to change.

Web 2.0 techy post of the week

Terrific post by Seth Goldstein entitled Media Futures,
Part 3/5: API
. He notes that in 2005 the Internet has replaced the desktop PC as the
primary platform for APIs. Here’s a key passage:

“Virtually all of the major Web 2.0 platforms (GOOG, YHOO, IACI, AMZN, EBAY) recognize
how critical it is to engage their users in the act of media production, and therefore
are (in different ways) releasing APIs that stream their consumers’ meta data. […] the
value of a Web Service API is tied to its ability to convert granular feeds of individual
data into useful social media contexts.”

If you want to understand the value of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) in
the context of social software and new media, I highly recommend you read Seth’s


That’s it for another week. Remember if you’d like to sponsor the Web 2.0 Weekly
Wrap-Up, send me an email.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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