This week: Microsoft’s Web 2.0 strategy, Google Base, Yahoo! travel, Web 2.0
Humour, 2.0 Post of the Week.

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Microsoft’s Web 2.0 Strategy

There’s big news coming this week from Microsoft, on the consumer as well as business
side. It sounds like Microsoft is really ramping up its Web 2.0 strategy. 

Meanwhile, this week I wrote a few posts about Microsoft’s corporate “hosted services”
moves. According to InformationWeek,
Microsoft plans to offer hosted implementations of SharePoint, CRM and ERP applications.
From that article I jumped on a choice quote from an unnamed Microsoft source, who was
asked which other products and services Microsoft would host: “Everything. Hosted Office.
Everything hosted.” From that I extrapolated that a Web-based Office product may be in
the works. More details here, here and here. I also got quoted by
InfoWorld
.

Google Base

Google’s new database product was much discussed
this week. What is it? Well the official Google Blog was typically vague:

“We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which
we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps.”

In English then, Google Base is a way for people to upload anything from classifieds
to reviews. It’s being touted by many pundits as being a potential eBay killer and some
vertical search engines are feeling nervous (“all your
verticals are belong to us?”
).

But it may turn out they have nothing to fear. As TechCrunch put it:

“My prediction: when the dust settles, this will either be largely ignored or universally hated. Centralized content is boringÖso much is going on at the edge of the web, why would anyone try to put it all back in the center?”

Yahoo! keeps rollin’ em out

Not to be outdone, Yahoo! was as busy as ever releasing new products this week.
Firstly they releasedTravel Trip Planner, which will enable people to
“enter a single search and get a fully formed trip, courtesy of a fellow traveler, back”.
The Planner will have access to content from thousands of Yahoo! Travel users – reviews
and ratings of hotels, restaurants and things to do. It sounds very handy for holiday
planners, and will become even more so when Yahoo! integrates booking options and
perhaps promotional specials.

The business2blog
found
this very relevant Web 2.0 conference quote from Y! CEO Terry Semel, on the
topic of travel:

“In my opinion, travel should be mostly user-generated content. I don’t need
some [professional] to tell me where to go in Italy. I want someone to tell me who took
their family to Italy and to share the photos and the video.”

Yahoo! also released some Social
media action buttons
and video search features this
week. I don’t think the buttons are aimed at the tech community, but they’ll probably be
popular amongst the millions of mainstream users Yahoo! caters to.

Web 2.0 Humour

There’s been a lot of
excellent Web 2.0 humour this past week. Paul
Montgomery
has a wicked take-off of an AC/DC song, called Two
Point Two Oh Ain’t Web Pollution
. Here is the chorus:

Two point oh ain’t Web pollution

Two point oh ain’t gonna die

Two point oh ain’t Web pollution

Two point oh it will be flipped

And check out the picture! That’s Gabe Rivera, Scoble, Dave Winer, Om Malik, Mike
Arrington (who posted about it here). All
that’s missing is Richard “Ozzy Osbourne” MacManus – rumour has it I wear weird robes and
bite the heads off bats!

Other humour 2.0 of note: Andrew Wooldridge’s Create your own Web 2.0
Company
and The Silent Penguin’s TagTagger
the Web 2.0 tagging site that lets you tag tags. And if you’re really serious about your
humour, you should shell out for a Bubble 2.0
tee-shirt
(I expect at least a 20% commission for that advertisement, Charlie).

2.0 Post of the Week

Russell Beattie
produced
what is in my opinion the best anti-Web 2.0 post yet to emerge. Eat yer
heart out Nicholas Carr and TheRegister. For those “professional” writers out there
wondering what the secret is, here it is: Russ nails all that’s not quite right
about Web 2.0, but he stays optimistic and a believer in what is good about Web
2.0
(and there’s a lot of that). I call it passion – it’s what so great about
blogs.

Anyway, here’s Russ:

“It just seems that no one is trying to change the world any more. No one is aiming to
create “insanely great” products or do the impossible. Why not? Why are so
many people grasping at the low-hanging fruit, when there’s so much more goodness
for everyone if they just stretched a little higher?

That’s just on the product functionality side – I haven’t seen anything
interesting on the business side either. No one seems to be coming up with the next
interesting new business model. I’m not looking for anything wacky, but
there’s got to be better ways for your site to make money than waiting for Google
to send you an AdSense check every month.” 

That’s a wrap for another week!