Home Weekly Wrapup, 7-11 May 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 7-11 May 2007

Here is a summary of the week’s Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb. Apologies for missing last week’s wrapup, due to travel.

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Top Web News

This week we saw a lot of action on the Web Office suite front. Firstly Comcast announced their SmartZone Communication Hub, essentially an online office suite based on Zimbra’s collaboration suite – plus Plaxo and HP. Perhaps more exiting was the launch of an open standards based Web Office suite the next day, in the form of ShareOffice – built using iNetOffice, EditGrid, ShareMethods, and salesforce.com. There are more components to be added, based on an open standards framework called OpenSAM (which stands for “open simple AJAX mashup”).

As I noted in our post about ShareOffice, creating a suite is fast becoming a trend among growing Web Office vendors, with many of them now attempting to either partner with others to create a suite (e.g. ShareMethods, Central Desktop) or build a suite from external best-of-breed solutions (e.g. Comcast). Some more established vendors are going it alone, but partnering where appropriate (e.g. Zoho with Omnidrive). Not forgetting the giants, Microsoft and Google.

Also in the news this week was ThinkFree launching the beta of its Docs service, which is focused on document sharing and social networking.

This week Facebook launched a Classifieds Service. As Josh Catone noted, this means that Facebook, which in the recent past rebuffed a billion dollar take over offer from Yahoo!, is serious about diversifying its revenue stream. Josh also pointed out that social networks are ripe for ecommerce.

Other news of note this week: Sun’s JavaFX and Amazon RSS Tags.

Analysis Posts

As usual, Google and alternative search engines was a recurring theme for Read/WriteWeb this week. Guest blogger Nitin Karandikar wrote a detailed analysis of the Top 17 Search Innovations Outside Of Google. He classified the innovations into four types: Query Pre-processing; Information Sources; Algorithm Improvement; Results Visualization and Post-processing. Emre Sokullu followed up later in the week with a post exploring the idea of a “Google killer” – a.k.a. an Open Source, Distributed Google Clone. Search Czar Charles Knight ended the week with an update to his influential list of the Top 100 Alternative Search Engines.

As the above posts indicate, one of our goals on Read/WriteWeb is to show you what is possible in search, besides just a simple search box and holiday logos. Having said that, Google is undeniably still King!

Alex Iskold wrote two articles this week on how information is consumed and presented. In his first post, Alex explored How Much Textual Information Do We Consume Daily?. He followed that up with The Art of Chart – Bringing Wall Street Ideas to the Masses.

At Microsoft’s MIX conference last week, Silverlight was the talk of the town. In our post this week, Silverlight Poll Results: Majority Impressed, But Not a Flash Killer Yet, we explore the ramifications of Silverlight on end users.

Widgets are another hot topic on the Web currently. David Lenehan wrote an excellent overview of Web-based widgets called World Wide Web of Widgets. Also be sure to check out the comments, which show there is a lot of excitement and potential in widgets.

Finally, we ended the week with a look at Mozilla and The Evolution of the Browser.

Startup Action

This week we looked at 15 Web 2.0 Startups in Europe, which it transpired many of us had not heard of. One Euro startup everybody has heard of though is Last.fm, which announced it will add video to its service – in fact they’re aiming to be the MTV of the Web 2.0 age!.

Another startup doing interesting things currently is RateItAll, which recently launched a read/write widget.


Our poll this week asked which of the 4 categories of search innovation that Nitin Karandikar identified in his post, do you think is key to the next generation of search? Here are the results:

Query pre-processing, to try to divine the user’s intent (e.g. Hakia, Collarity, Powerset) 36% (60 votes)

Enhancements to the underlying data sources (e.g. Retrevo, Rollyo, SearchMash) 17% (29 votes)

Improving the underlying search algorithms (e.g. Indeed, Spock, Riya) 20% (33 votes)

Results visualization and post-processing (e.g. Zilloa, Quintura, Trulia) 27% (44 votes)

So in summary, 36% of respondents think that query pre-processing is key, followed by results visualization and post-processing (27%).

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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