Home Weekly Wrapup, 23-27 July 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 23-27 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 email.


It was a relatively quiet week in terms of Web technology news. Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen was an ‘old media’ organization using online video in a televised political debate – i.e. the CNN-YouTube Debates. Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls took the stage in South Carolina — a crucial early primary state — for a debate sponsored by CNN and YouTube, in which all of the questions were submitted by users of YouTube. It was mocked rather nicely on The Daily Show later that day (the hip-hop home dancing takeoff especially!), but still the CNN-YouTube Debates was a great example of how the Internet can be used in politics and mainstream media.

MySpace also got into the action this week, announcing a User Generated Video Contest allowing web content producers to compete for a possible development deal with Fox (and $25,000).

There has already been a lot of online advertising M&A activity this year, and this week Microsoft acquired AdECN Ad Exchange and AOL bought behavioral targeting firm Tacoda. The online advertising shake-out probably has more deals to come this year before it settles.

In Web tech acquisition news, Wikia acquired Grub from Looksmart and Nokia acquired media sharing startup Twango.

Web Products

This week’s Web Product of the Week is SeeqPod, a music and recommendation search engine, which Lachlan Hardy reviewed for R/WW. It revolves around a concept called “playable search.” SeeqPod trawls the web, indexing all the music files it finds, and then offers them for playback direct from that location. The company knows that because they are not hosting any music files, but are merely offering links to them, they can neatly sidestep copyright and legal concerns.

Read/WriteWeb had the first look at AideRSS, a new type of RSS filtering service that uses a proprietary system called PostRank to determine the best posts on each blog. Check out Josh Catone’s review and you can also see AideRSS in action in Read/WriteWeb’s sidebar – i.e. the Top Weekly Posts.

FormatPixel, reviewed by Andy Pipes, is a Flash-based app that mimics the functionality of a desktop publishing app. You can use the product to create a visually stunning web site, without the need to break the bank.

Other startups and web products we profiled this week:


Alex Iskold is currently obsessed with his iPhone. He wrote two Top 10 posts this week outlining both the pros and cons. Check out The Top 10 Things I Love About My iPhone and the sequel The Top 10 Things I Wish My iPhone Had Today. Excellent comments on each post too.

This week I reviewed the current state of RSS. Firstly I investigated why Atom’s Time is Nigh, With Google on its Side. Then I analyzed the mid-week poll results, that seemed to suggest that Desktop RSS Readers Are (Nearly) Dead. Note the comments to that post, and the update, because the stats were contentious and some people didn’t agree with my conclusions.

The Next Big Thing in Search is a topic we write about often here on Read/WriteWeb. For more on this trend, read new R/WW author Bernard Lunn’s From Search to (Re)Search: Searching For The Google Killer.

This week Josh Catone took a look at the trend of Web 2.0 clones. He also covered the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week embracing Web 2.0.

Aidan Henry wrote up The Web’s Top Takeover Targets.

The future of social networking is another hot topic on R/WW. Check out Pageflakes, Netvibes Take on Social Networks: What Chance Do They Have?.


If you’re looking to write and publish a novel entirely online, then Josh Catone’s Self Publishing Tool Kit is a must-have resource.

Bloggers are always interested in enhancing their comments, so if this is you then check out Read/WriteWeb’s New Comments Feature: SezWho.

R/WW Network Blogs

Our Digital Lifestyle blog last100 focused on the iPhone this week. In a four-part series, Dan kicked off by asking ‘Is the iPhone the most emotional product of all time?‘, and followed up with an in-depth review of the iPhone — one month in. Next last100 looked at the range of iPhone resources available on the web: blogs, reviews, applications, and iPhone-related podcasts. And finally, Dan explored the impact Apple’s iPhone could have on the U.S. mobile phone industry.

Guest writer, Ryan Jarret, wrote a great post exploring Internet TV offerings from the five major broadcasters in the UK: BBC, iTV, Channel 4, Five, and Sky. And in a post titled ‘Five Microsoft “digital lifestyle” flops, and why they failed‘, last100 took a look at five Microsoft products that never lived up to the hype, including a toy called ‘Interactive Barney’! and Bill Gates’ much touted ‘digital home’.

Also check out a recap of the Internet TV applications last100 has profiled so far in a post titled ‘8 Internet TV apps in 8 weeks‘.

Over on AltSearchEngines, featured posts include a look at financial search engines, a review of image search engine PiciShare, and an analysis of why Google may be the next CBS. Also check out ASE’s View from the Corner Office series, in which Alt Search Engine startups share their views on the search market. This week Lexxe was in The Corner Office seat.


Our poll this week asked: How Do You Primarily Read Your Feeds. It got a great response, with 1669 votes cast as of writing. Here are the end results:

A web-based RSS Reader (Google Reader, Bloglines, Rojo, etc) 56% (940 votes)

A desktop RSS Reader (NetNewsWire, FeedDemon, etc) 17% (288 votes)

Start Page (Pageflakes, Netvibes, etc) 15% (257 votes)

Social Network (Facebook, MySpace, etc) 0% (2 votes)

Email or email-based client (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird) 3% (43 votes)

Browser (e.g. Firefox Live Bookmarks) 6% (108 votes)

Other (please comment) 2% (31 votes)

As you can see, web-based RSS Readers are far out in front, with 56%. Desktop RSS Readers made a mid-week comeback, after being behind start pages for the first half of the week. This was probably due to the coverage our Desktop RSS Readers Are (Nearly) Dead post got. Desktop RSS Readers ended up with 17%, just ahead of start pages with 15%.

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

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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