Home Weekly Wrapup, 5-9 March 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 5-9 March 2007

Here is a summary of the week’s Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb.

Top Web News

Earlier this week we reported that Yahoo’s mobile social networking experiment Mixd had closed,
after two months of testing. Actually it had shut down at the end of February, but it
wasn’t noticed by bloggers at the time. What certainly caught peoples attention though
was the announcement of a new beta version of My Yahoo on Thursday. Our headline for this
was: My Yahoo!
Gets Web 2.0 Makeover
. Essentially it’s Yahoo finally upgrading its long-running
personalized homepage, with a new design more closely aligned to yahoo.com, splashes of
Ajax and dollaps of personalization. Ex-My Yahoo Boss and now Pageflakes CEO, Dan Cohen,
to the My Yahoo Beta
with a sharply-worded quote (great comments thread on that
post!). And some geek users remained unimpressed. Said digg user rishep:

“My concern is, there is no additional functionality. It is just prettier and

Fellow digger ‘space4thepoppa’ was more positive:

“I’ve been using my.yahoo.com for years … I stick with it because I am familar with
it. But, I can’t get the beta – it won’t let me. I’d switch in a second – I love the new
mail client.”

That’s not the end of the personalized homepage news. Another 1.0 vet, My.Netscape,
also re-designed this
with Ajax.

In other news, WordPress and 37Signals jumped onto the rapidly growing OpenID

Analysis Posts

R/WW’s authors came up with some excellent analysis posts this week. 

IBM has Many Eyes

First up we had a guest
by two of the researchers behind IBM’s Many Eyes app, Martin Wattenberg
and Fernanda B. Viégas. The looked at the first month of Many Eyes’ beta,
showcasing some of the best visualizations and discussing the future of “social data
analysis” on the Web.

Incidentally my initial headline for this post was: IBM Many Eyes After One Month.
This caused some confusion over at Slashdot (and a
lot of bad ‘eyes’ puns). So I edited the headline to something that made more sense!

Where is Technorati’s White Knight?

This week Emre Sokullu did an analysis of Technorati’s
Opportunities and Exit Options
. Some excellent comments to this post. Stan Schroeder wrote:

“The one thing that Technorati clings to is its authority, and that’s based on ranking
the blogs based on inbound links. If Google implements that (based on how Google Blog
search looks right now, they don’t plan it anytime soon), Technorati is superfluous,
unless they do some major changes to the service.”

Zoli Erdos also pointed out a
rather cruel (but all too familiar) irony about the post:

“Technorati was down again today. They clearly ar an IP company that cannot cope with
the infrastructure requirements of the growing Blogosphere. Need a
White Knigh
t to save them – and us.”

A few commenters felt that Yahoo is the ideal ‘white knight’ to buy Technorati. Check
out all the comments, because there’s some great “user-generated analysis” going on there

On a related topic, Alex Iskold published Technorati
100: What’s Hot in the Blogosphere
right at the end of this week. Good weekend
reading material!

IPTV Killed the TV Star

New R/WW author Josh Catone debuted with a detailed review of some rising IPTV stars:

Joost, Babelgum, Zattoo, and More
. Some comments… 

Mike Levin of HitTail

“These services are nothing compared to what will be possible after IPv6 with
IP-multicast really kicks in. It will allow services like this to broadcast, probably
full HDTV quality video, at a fraction of the bandwidth. There will be some rules about
when you can start watching a stream, but everyone will be tuning into efficient
simulcast streams with some local ability to displace time.”

Jeremy Toeman wrote:

“It’s taken me almost 2 years to understand where companies like Brightcove and
Minerva have a chance, and now I think it’s getting a little clearer.

In the IPTV world, the winners will be determined by content library, price, and video

In a related post, I shared some notes from my day at New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ,
where they are rolling out an ondemand service
later this month.

Amazon’s killer web services

Your favorite metaphor specialist John Milan was back in action this week, with
another compelling post called Amazon’s
Series of Fortunate Events
. It’s all about how Amazon is leading the way in web
services infrastructure. 

Commented gzino:

“Who would have thought an online bookstore would emerge as one of the most innovative
tech companies on the planet?”. 

Bruce Judson

“This is a terrific and important article. Although many skeptics remain, the world is
increasingly moving toward a “plug and play” model, as ever more sophisticated services
become accessible as low-cost subscription components in a business system.”

Not everyone thinks Amazon is the bee’s knees though. eamonn wrote:

“I just don’t see a mass market opportunity for amazon in this. Hardware is cheap and
bandwidth is cheap. Why would any company start off relying on an Amazon’s infrastructure
when they can build their own and not pay any rental.”

Startup Action

Some new web apps or services to check out:


Our poll this week asked, in the wake of the user dissatisfaction after the USA Today
re-design, should a
newspaper be a social network?
Here are the results:

Yes, newspapers will morph into social networks 32% (61 votes) 

No, leave the social networking to MySpace, Facebook, et al 15% (29 votes)

No newspapers won’t become social networks, but social software features are welcome 51%
(97 votes)

Bring back the old Netscape! er, I mean USAToday… 2% (4 votes)

It’s clear that most R/WW readers think social networking features are a good value add for
newspapers, with only 17% of respondents saying otherwise.

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

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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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