Home Weekly Wrapup, 8-12 September 2008

Weekly Wrapup, 8-12 September 2008

Join us now for our weekly review of Web Technology news and reviews. This week we reported on the launch of Apple’s iTunes 8, analyzed AOL’s move to bring RSS and lifestreaming to the mainstream, and covered some of the best web apps to come out of DEMOfall08. On the trends side, we looked into what User Experience pros can teach us. Also we delved further into the impact of Google Chrome on the browser market. Listen to our podcast featuring a member of the Chrome team and other guests, and check out the results from our prediction question this week: which browsers will lose the most market share due to Chrome? Last but not least, we bring you the latest from our new Enterprise Channel.

Web Products

Apple Introduces iTunes 8 and New iPods

At Apple’s “Let’s Rock” special event this week, Steve Jobs introduced a new version of iTunes, the availability of HD TV shows for the American market, a new design for the iPod Nano and iPod touch, as well as a major update for the iPhone/iPod touch firmware. According to Jobs, Apple has sold 160 million iPods worldwide and now holds 73.4% of the market in the US. Check our post for more data points.

ITunes 8: The Genius in the Box

Music discovery services are definitely a hot topic right now, with Pandora, Last.fm, imeem, and others vying for users. This week, Apple joined the fray when it released iTunes 8 and its ‘Genius’ recommendation engine. After examining your iTunes library, iTunes uploads data about your library to Apple’s servers and returns back a set of information about how the songs in your library correlate to each other. Based on this, iTunes can now build playlists of similar songs and display shopping recommendations.

AOL May Try to Bring RSS and Lifestreaming Mainstream

RSS and centralized integration of activity data from multiple social networks are the kinds of technologies that only early adopters are interested in, right? AOL has the exact opposite kind of audience, does it not? Those assumptions appear to be facing serious challenge, because AOL is planning to put an RSS reader and a window for participating in multiple 3rd party social networks right onto its front page. This could change the lives of millions of people, so check out our analysis.

Also this week Yahoo! told the press that its home page will soon be home to far more content from outside the Yahoo! network than ever before. Could the era of the walled garden is over? See our post for more details.

DEMOfall 08 Coverage

Not too long ago, there were some grumblings about the state of the tech blogosphere and the industry in general. By spending so much time reading Techmeme, Twitter, FriendFeed, and the like it’s easy to get the impression that some of the most influential people in our industry today were less interested in the technology they were reviewing than they were in making a name for themselves as some sort of navel-gazing superstar. Not only that, the apps that people were fawning over were often not the kind of apps that had mainstream appeal or were solving real problems. It was as if the whole crowd was shouting at each other, trying to be heard over the noise and patting each other on the back for being so hip with all our shiny, social media-flavored toys.

Was this what the tech industry had come to, we wondered? No, that was just what the tech blogosphere had come to. This year’s DEMO conference proved to our reporter Sarah Perez that technology innovation is still alive and well.

Here is our full coverage from DEMO:


Web Trends

User Experience: Learning from the Pros

There are more startup tech companies launching this week than almost anyone can keep track of, but any time a new service launches – one thing is key to its survival. The initial User Experience has to be compelling or any new application is going to be passed up in favor of whatever shiny object is next in line.

What’s a company to do? Luckily, there are people who specialize in the field of User Experience (UX) and many of them share their best practices freely. We see applications all the time that are based on a great idea but are poorly designed in a way that leaves us frustrated and unlikely to return as users. In this post are some of our favorite resources for companies that want to smarten-up quickly about User Experience.

RWW Live: Chrome & Its Impact on The Browser Market

The latest episode of RWW Live, our live podcast show, was on the topic ofGoogle’s new open source browser Chrome and its potential impact in the browser market. We had 3 very special guests on the show to discuss this: Aaron Boodman from Google, a Software Engineer on the Chrome team; Chris Messina from Vidoop (formally of Firefox and Flock); and Alex Russell from The Dojo Toolkit.

Download MP3

RWW Predictions: Browser Wars 2.0

This week we ran a prediction challenge, on the topic of browsers. Google’s new browser, Chrome (our coverage), is sure to take market share from the existing players. So we asked: which of the following browsers will lose the most share (in percentage terms) between August 2008 and December 2008? Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or a tie or other? The results are on RWW Predictions and IE was most peoples pick to suffer, although many voted for Firefox too:


RWW Enterprise Channel

What do CIOs Think About Social Media?

The internal IT department, headed by the CIO, no longer acts as the gatekeeper for all new technology coming into the enterprise. IT may stand at the gate to the castle, but SaaS and social media startups are swimming across the moat. Internal IT can still set fire to the moat and otherwise make life difficult. But how do you make this a win/win relationship, so that they welcome your entry? Start by understanding how IT is thinking about social media.

Email us if you’re interested in writing for ReadWriteWeb’s Enterprise Channel.


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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