Home Weekly Wrapup, 16-20 July 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 16-20 July 2007


Here is a summary of the week’s Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb. Note that you can
subscribe to the Weekly Wrapups, either via the special RSS feed or by

Facebook Week

This week was Facebook Week on
. It was a huge success, even if by the end of the week a few people
were questioning the intense focus. But the aim was to do a deep drill on the most
popular Web company of 2007 – and find out if it deserves all the hype. We learned a lot
and I hope our readers did too. Josh Catone wrote an excellent summary post, entitled Is Facebook
Worth the Hype?

Josh concluded that although Facebook has built a compelling
development platform, giving third party apps access to potentially tens of millions of
users, Facebook hasn’t won anything just yet. Josh pointed out that if MySpace releases
an API in the next six months, Facebook’s platform advantage could be greatly minimized.
There is also the threat of platforms from Google and Yahoo!.

This week we found out firsthand how popular Facebook is. We created a Read/WriteWeb Facebook Group
on Monday – and after just 5 days it has nearly 600 members (as of writing). We haven’t
yet had a chance to integrate into the group some of the 50 Facebook apps that Josh wrote
about this week (see below), but that is next on the To Do list!

The highlight of Facebook Week for me was Josh Catone’s series of posts on the best
third party apps on Facebook. Currently there are nearly 1800 apps and the most popular
ten applications reach over 46 million users. Josh picked his favorite 50 apps, across 5
categories. Here are those posts:

Coinciding with Facebook
Week, the company itself announced its first major acquisition this week – buying
, a Web OS company founded by Firefox co-founders Blake Ross and Joe

Our other coverage included Emre Sokullu’s The
Impact of Facebook’s Platform
, which features an interesting couple of videos from
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a young Steve Jobs. Also check out my analysis of how open
Facebook’s platform really is
– you may be surprised at the results. I also looked at
use of Ajax
, which I first thought was an indication that Facebook is forsaking the
Page View statistics model. But proving the old blog adage that your readers know more
than you, a number of comments on the post explained that it makes no difference.
TDub pointed out
: “A background AJAX request is still regarded as a page view by the
webserver – all a page view is is a browser requesting a file from the server. In the
background or not, makes no diffrence”.

Analysis Posts

Our most commented-on post of the week was Alex
Iskold’s How Apple
Can Win The PC Battle
. There are over 140 comments so far and we may do a seperate
round-up next week of peoples opinions. Alex wrote that given Apple’s spectacular growth
in other areas (e.g. iPod) and their recent rise in computer market share, Apple just
might win the PC battle this time. The comments are still open if you want to give your
view on this.

Emre Sokullu wrote a compelling post this week entitled Competing
With Google Search
. It lists all the ways that Google has an advantage over its
search rivals, but there is also a suggestion that Google can be beat.

Another post to get a lot of comments was Top 10 Worst
Web App Names
. There was a fair amount of debate about our choices!

Other analysis posts this week:

R/WW Network Blogs

Our Digital Lifestyle blog last100 featured part two of their series
exploring Microsoft’s Internet TV strategy
. They also reviewed
(formerly known as Democracy Player) and posted an excellent analysis entitled

Google wants to do for TV what it did for the Web
. Also check out the week’s video
podcast review, Revision3’s
, a show all about gadgets.

Over on AltSearchEngines, featured posts include a
review of
Advertising Search Engines
, an overview of
charity search engines
and an Op-Ed piece by editor Charles Knight entitled
The 1% Solution (or “Who wants to be a Billionaire?”)

Startup Action

This week’s Startup of the
Week is Streamy, a
News Networking Service
. Phil Butler explained that Streamy is a beautifully designed
site with an intuitive Web 2.0 interface. Streamy users can share, view, filter and
drag-and-drop news stories, while communicating via a very slick chat module. On the
surface, Streamy appears to be a “next generation” news networking site – but is it? Read
to find out.

Also check out Lachlan
Hardy’s review of another hot startup, Pownce.
It’s self-described as ‘a way to send stuff to your friends.’ You can send links, files,
events and messages, each as a distinct type. The messages functionality has prompted
comparisons to Twitter, but this is no presence/status application. Lachlan concluded
that “Pownce has incredible potential as an application for sharing specific content with
particular groups of contacts”, although from a usability perspective there are also a
lot of flaws.

Other startups we profiled this week:


Our poll this week was of course Facebook-related. It asked: How many Facebook
‘friends’ do you have? As of writing, 1173 votes were cast over the week. Here are the

Over 2000 1% (14 votes)

1001-1999 1% (8 votes)

501-1000 3% (37 votes)

101-500 25% (295 votes)

50-100 15% (179 votes)

1-49 31% (358 votes)

Zero 3% (41 votes)

I’m not a Facebook member 21% (241 votes)

Most popular was 1-49 friends (31%), but a quarter have 101-500. 21% said they’re not
a Facebook member (avoiding the hype?). I wonder who those 14 people are that have over
2000 friends? If you’re one of them, leave a comment here and tell us how you got to that

That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

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