Home Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 26 Sep – 2 Oct 2005

Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 26 Sep – 2 Oct 2005

This week: Defining Web 2.0, Web-based office, Yahoo media/tv, Google Wifi, Techie Post of the
Week: Tim O’Reilly’s What is Web 2.0. 

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Defining Web 2.0

A lot of online trees were felled this week to write about what Web 2.0 means. Tim O’Reilly’s definition is a very
comprehensive one and is more satisfying than his valiant attempt at a compact
. Barb Dybwad wrote
an impressive social software-based definition, which is a good companion piece to Danah
Boyd’s twoposts
so far. Dion Hinchcliffe
and Ken
are doing sterling work rounding up the wide variety of Web 2.0 definitions
going on. TechCrunch as always is right on top
of the latest Web 2.0 developments. Then you have Josh Porter and yourstruly doing our analysis thing, as
well as smart people like Cristian
and Alex Barnett.
There’s a lot of great Web 2.0 explanations out there…OK there are a lot of posts questioning
the Web 2.0 meme too. I don’t mind that at all, as long as they’re constructive posts
like Jay Fienberg’s.

Web-based Office

My post entitled The Web-based
Office will have its day
on ZDNet got a lot of attention this week, thanks to a Slashdotting. In
the post I listed down a group of the latest Web-based Office apps (most of them
AJAX-based) and summarized:

“The time for the web-based office will come, mark my words. When broadband is
ubiquitous, web functionality is richer, issues of security and reliability have been put
to rest, and most importantly of all – when Corporates are ready to make the jump. It may
be 5-10 years down the track, it may be longer.”

I must stress that I don’t see web-based apps eating Microsoft’s lunch anytime soon –
5-10 years is a minimum. Also as Phil Wainewright pointed out,
web-based apps are most suited to be “collaborative, virtual workspaces” rather than
personal productivity apps like Microsoft Office. That’s a good point, although I still
think web-based apps will in the long-run usurp PC-based apps. But then I’m one of
those people who thinks everything will be handled in
“the cloud” in future – even identity. It’s not a particularly mainstream view, I admit

Yahoo! Media

Also in ZDNet this week I wrote about Yahoo’s media plans and in
particular the work they’re doing to converge the Web and television. There are four
pillars to their strategy: Search, Community (content contributed by “everyday users and
semiprofessionals like bloggers”), Professionally created content, and Personalization

I think there’s a lot of potential for interactivity and creativity to surface from
outside traditional quarters (Hollywood in particular) with Yahoo’s Web television.
Already we’re seeing users take control of their television experience with TiVo and Media Center. It
sounds like Yahoo! has plans to take that up another level, with even more Web added
to the TV (re)mix.

Google WiFi

Google’s plans to
cover San Francisco with free wireless high-speed Internet access was big news in the
blogosphere this week. The AP thinks this
will create “a springboard for the online search engine leader to leap into the
telecommunications industry” and will be “a testing ground for a national WiFi service.”
That view was denied by the Google spokesman in the AP article. Google does admit though
that San Francisco will be a test-ground for “new location-based applications and
services”. Note that there are also potential privacy issues

Malik thinks
this could have major implications: “The Google Talk implications on a
free network are quite far reaching, if you ask me, but then that’s just

Barren has an interesting take
on this: “Is search and wifi connected to one another
at google at the ‘operational strategy level’ ? I dont think so. Could they be connected
? Well g-duh, yes.”

Techie Post of the Week: Tim O’Reilly’s What is Web 2.0

Well it goes without saying, but I think the What is Web 2.0 essay by Tim O’Reilly is
significant. It’s impossible to summarize, so I recommend you take some time and read it
through. If there was one extract I had to highlight, it’d be this [talking about
“Software Above the Level of a Single Device”]:

“Of course, any web application can be seen as software above the level of a single
device. After all, even the simplest web application involves at least two computers: the
one hosting the web server and the one hosting the browser. And as we’ve discussed, the
development of the web as platform extends this idea to synthetic applications composed
of services provided by multiple computers.

But as with many areas of Web 2.0, where the “2.0-ness” is not something new, but rather
a fuller realization of the true potential of the web platform, this phrase gives us a
key insight into how to design applications and services for the new platform.”

That’s a wrap for another week!

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