Home Weekly Wrapup, 28 Apr – 2 May 2008

Weekly Wrapup, 28 Apr – 2 May 2008

Here are some of the highlights from the week’s Web Tech action on ReadWriteWeb. On the product side: this week we took a look at our readers’ favorite web apps, we covered the social news space in depth (including posts on digg, Mixx and a new app called BlogRize), we brought you the latest news from Facebook, Adobe and YouTube. On the trends side: Bernard Lunn wrote a ‘must read’ 3-part series on the new Web, we analyzed Tim O’Reilly’s recent call for ‘big ideas’ on the Web, we celebrated RSS Day, and we interviewed a top Microsoft exec about Live Mesh.


Web Apps

The Favorite Web Apps of RWW Readers

A couple of weeks ago we held a competition, asking you to tell us what web 2.0 apps most excite you currently. We had a great response, with 113 comments. I decided to list each web app mentioned in a spreadsheet and count up the most popular. What surprised me was the number of web apps that got at least one mention: 161. No doubt some of those were left by the developers themselves, but many were left by seemingly passionate users. The most popular were the usual suspects: Twitter, Flickr, FriendFeed, Google Reader. See our post for the full list.

BlogRize: Social News Gets Personal

The idea behind BlogRize is that the “wisdom of the crowds” works best if you have the right crowd. While sites like Digg.com have chosen to go mainstream, BlogRize believes that finding the best content from the web should be a more personal experience. To achieve this goal, BlogRize’s solution is to build news communities based on the blogs you like reading the most…blogs like the one you’re reading now, for example.


Facebook Hacked Again

A report on BBC’s technology program, Click, has exposed yet another security flaw in Facebook – one that could comprise users’ privacy. This particular hack involves using a Facebook application to steal a users personal information – and the information of all their friends – without the user’s knowledge.


Adobe to Publish Flash File Format Specs

Adobe announced this week the “Open Screen Project“, which will seek to create a consistent runtime environment for rich media across a myriad of devices. In other words, Flash on the web, mobile, desktop, television, and other consumer electronic devices. As part of this initiative, Adobe will be releasing the file format specifications for Flash (.swf and .flv/f4v) and removing all licensing restrictions involved with the Flash format. In the future, the project will be expanded to include AIR.

YouTube Aims to Monetize in a Post-TV Era

Google CEO Eric Schmidt made big promises of mysterious, highly-interactive new methods of monetizing YouTube in a CNBC interview this week. “We believe the best products are coming out this year,” he said. “And they’re new products. They’re not announced. They’re not just putting in-line ads in the things that people are trying.”

As all established media (not just newspapers) face a growing challenge from the internet, with its on-demand, highly personalized and infinitely interactive social connections – can TV, and TV on the internet, learn keep up with the times?


Web Trends

Dancing With Gorillas: The New Web Era

This week we ran an intriguing 3-part series, by Bernard Lunn, on the new Web. Part 1 was The Whatchamacallit, Post Recession Phase Transition, Part 2 was The Emerging Main Street Web. Part 3, Dancing With Gorillas, is highlighted here — but do read the whole series!

The new Web era is about the mainstream. This is when millions of small businesses and digital free agents make a good living by providing better products to a much more savvy market. This is the point in the Crossing the Chasm model when all the innovation stops, start-ups get consolidated into a few mega players and it all gets a bit boring until the next wave of innovation hits us.

Nevermind The Recession, The Web Will Change The World!

Since the Web 2.0 Expo last week, two parallel questions are being asked about the current era of the Web:

a) Are we about to enter into a recession, and if so does that mean an end to the current ‘web 2.0’ era of innovation in web technology?;

b) Why aren’t we (meaning startups) tackling the “big, hard problems” with web technologies?

In this post we explore those questions. See also Sarah Perez’s post entitled Wanted: 5 Startups To Change the World, in which she commented on Umair Haque’s open challenge to Silicon Valley: find a problem to fix that will change the world for the better and he will help you do it.

Interview: How Will Live Mesh Integrate With Windows Live?

One of the highlights last week at Web 2.0 Expo was the launch of Microsoft’s new cloud computing play, Live Mesh. Mesh is a new development platform for syncing user data between the desktop and the Web, and across multiple devices (currently just Windows computers, but it’ll support mobile, Mac computers and other devices in the future). It can sync data for single users, as well as create shared spaces for multiple users. Currently Live Mesh is in “technology preview”, so it is not a finished product. Even so, we couldn’t help but notice the overlap between Live Mesh and a number of Windows Live products.

To find out more about how Live Mesh will integrate with Windows Live, RWW editor Richard MacManus interviewed Microsoft’s Brian Hall – GM of Development for the Windows Live Platform.

An Ode to RSS, On RSS Awareness Day

There’s just a few hours left in what should be an international holiday – RSS Awareness Day. Thought up by the good folks at DailyBlogTips.com and unknown until this morning to even RSS forefather Dave Winer, RSS Awareness Day is a fantastic idea. May 1st is a lot of things already but what the heck, let’s pile another one on. We’d like to take a few minutes to reflect on the world-changing tool that RSS is, and consider how different our lives would be without it.



AltSearchEngines Update

By ASE Editor Charles Knight:

This past week at AltSearchEngines was a very rich one for the quality and quantity of our Guest Authors. On Sunday, Erick Schonfeld wrote a post entitled Is keyword search about to hit it’s breaking point? On Tuesday, Stephen Arnold conducted an interview with Exalead’s François Bourdoncle. Wednesday Nitin Karandikar reviewed the recent Alternative Search Engines Day, and Kaila Colbin from Search Insider wrote the intriguing “We’re not a Google-killer” is the new Google-killer! Then we had a second interview when Susanne Koch of Pandia interviewed Venky Harinarayan, the co-founder of Kosmix. And finally Paul Heymann asked, “Can Social Bookmarking Improve Web Search?” We were very fortunate to have such a distinguished group of guest writers, and I hope you’ll have time to read some of their posts.

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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