Home Weekly Wrapup, 3-7 September 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 3-7 September 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.

Web Future Week

This week we focused on the future of the Web and here were our top posts:

10 Future Web Trends

What then can we expect from the next 10 or so years on the Web? In this post we looked at 10 trends to watch. There are a lot of excellent comments and we’ll do a follow-up post next week in response to those. The top trend on our list was Semantic Web:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for a Semantic Web has been The Next Big Thing for a long time now. Indeed it’s become almost mythical, like Moby Dick. In a nutshell, the Semantic Web is about machines talking to machines. It’s about making the Web more ‘intelligent’, or as Berners-Lee himself described it: computers “analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers.” At other times, Berners-Lee has described it as “the application of weblike design to data” – for example designing for re-use of information.

So when will the Semantic Web arrive? The building blocks are here already: RDF, OWL, microformats are a few of them. But it will take some time to annotate the world’s information and then to capture personal information in the right way.

Digesting the ‘Social Web Bill of Rights’

Josh Catone discussed a “Bill of Rights for the Social Web”, created by some tech bloggers. The document outlines how companies should treat the data they collect from (and on) users of social web sites. Josh wrote:

As we enter the digestion phase of the current wave of tech innovation, an important part of the reflection process is to figure out what we, as users, feel are our rights in the new tech economy. We need to lay down the ground rules the define how we think we should should treated by technology creators. […] Social networks collect two types of data about us: personal information and attention information. These two streams of information tell a great deal about who we are, so thinking about how we want companies to handle this data is important.

Web Products

Zoho Business Announced – Web Office Suite To Compete With Google Apps

At the Office 2.0 Conference this week, Web Office vendor Zoho unveiled a new Suite product that will be available in two versions – Free and Pro. Zoho Business is a set of online office applications, similar to Google Apps. It will probably undercut Google Apps in price – at $40/user/year, it would be $10 per user cheaper than Google Apps. Zoho Business will be available in private beta for now, then move into public beta next month. It will go 1.0 during Q1 2008.

As yet the features for the Pro version haven’t been confirmed. But Zoho told Read/WriteWeb that it’ll include additional storage, security, telephone support, additional apps, customization and more control, more flexibility and control in groups, and more. These features will evolve as the Web Office market evolves over the next few months, we were told.

Other Web Office products we profiled this week include ContactOffice, ShareOffice and MindTouch.

Silverlight 1.0 Launched, With Linux Support

Microsoft released Silverlight 1.0 this week, its cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering interactive apps on the Web. It’s often compared to Adobe’s Flash plug-in and is certainly a direct competitor of Flash.

Also Microsoft announced they’ll work with Novell to deliver Silverlight support for Linux, in a project called Moonlight – based on the open source Mono project of the same name. As CNET reported in June, work on the Moonlight plug-in was started in May, after Microsoft’s Mix conference – where Silverlight was first announced.

You can find many other startup profiles in our Startups category.


Google Custom Search: Setting The Bar For Vertical Search Engines

Alex Iskold wrote that Google already dominates the web search market, with between approximately 55% and 65% of the market depending on who you ask.
The company’s flagship product has been responsible for its phenomenal growth and everyone knows
that Google made its fortune by tying its genius search algorithm to advertising. It is perhaps less
known, however, that the web giant has opened its search engine for use on any web site, by any service. Dubbed Google Custom Search Engine
or CSE, the product exposes the API behind the world’s most powerful search engine. Why is Google offering this API?
How can it be used? And what is the connection to vertical search? Alex explored the what, how, and why of Google CSE in this post.

With the iPod Touch, iPhone-Specific Sites Suddenly Seem Smarter

Josh Catone wrote: When Apple released the iPhone in June there was a flurry of development from web 2.0 startups as developers worked to create iPhone-specific versions of their applications. There was some question about whether or not creating mobile sites specifically for a single handset — one which was unlikely to have more than a couple of percentage points of the world cell phone market any time soon — was a wise way to spend time and money.

This week, it seems like a lot of developers may have made the right move. At a press event in San Francisco, Apple announced the iPod Touch, which is essentially an iPhone without the phone.

You can find more R/WW analysis posts here.

R/WW Network Blogs


Check out a wrap of the week’s Digital Lifestyle news on last100. The biggest digital lifestyle news this week was Apple’s almost complete refresh of its iPod lineup. The iPod Shuffle got new colors, the Nano got fatter and support for video, the iPod Video became the Classic (with up to 160GB capacity), and Apple launched a brand new device: the iPod Touch.

Alt Video Search Engines

Our other network blog AltSearchEngines explored Facebook and Alt Search Engines this week. Everyone was buzzing about the revelation that in a month Facebook is going to allow search engines access to “basic information” about their users, unless the user blocks them via their privacy settings. ASE editor Charles Knight offered his take on this issue.


This week Sean Ammirati sat down with Biz Stone, the Co-Founder of Twitter. Biz talked about his background and how they came up with the idea of Twitter. They also touched on the importance of Open APIs to Twitter’s growth.


Our poll this week asked:Which Web technology do you think will have the MOST IMPACT over the next 10 years? Here are the results:

Semantic Web / structured data 19% (164 votes)

Mobile 15% (130 votes)

Web services / APIs 12% (100 votes)

Artificial Intelligence 11% (95 votes)

Rich Internet Apps 10% (87 votes)

Online Video / Internet TV 9% (82 votes)

Ajax / browser-based apps 9% (77 votes)

Virtual Worlds 6% (53 votes)

Attention data 3% (27 votes)

Other (please comment) 3% (22 votes)

Gaming 2% (16 votes)

Search 2% (15 votes)

The Semantic Web still holds a lot of appeal, but mobile Web is also poised to go mainstream in a big way over the next decade.

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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