Home Weekly Wrapup: Google Search Wiki, Semantic Apps, Mozilla Addons, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Google Search Wiki, Semantic Apps, Mozilla Addons, And More…

It’s time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the trends side, we pondered the future of YouTube, analyzed mobile messaging trends, looked into a new search innovation from Google, and more. On the product side, we checked in – one year later – with 10 Semantic Apps we are tracking, celebrated the 1 billionth Mozilla addon, reported on a new Open-Source Media Center, and more. We also have highlights from the Enterprise Channel and Jobwire, our brand new product that tracks hires in tech and new media.

The Weekly Wrapup is sponsored by SemanticProxy.com:

Web Trends

Is YouTube the Next Google?

Kids no longer learn about the world by reading text. Like the television generation, they are absorbing the world through their visual sense. But there is a big difference. Television was programmed and inflexible. YouTube is completely micro-chunked and on demand. Kids can search for what they need anytime. This is different, and powerful.

True, the current model of YouTube is still raw and still skewed to entertainment. But imagine online video 5 years from now, geared to kids, where entertainment, games, education, travel — everything for kids — is mixed and delivered via searchable channels. This would be a big change on the Internet and in the world. Just as we no longer think twice about Googling, kids of the future will be consuming huge volumes of information via video.

Mobile Messaging Reaches Record-Breaking Numbers

Mobile messaging is experiencing a period of record growth, according to some figures released from VeriSign earlier this week. Looking at the numbers more closely, some interesting trends emerge. Those include the use of messaging for social and political change, marketing, such as that done by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s mobile campaign, and the use of mobile messaging for charitable donations. Other sectors experiencing significant increases are the enterprise and financial institutions. In those two areas alone, mobile messaging has seen a 115% increase in only a year’s time, and much of that is thanks to the financial industry’s adoption of the medium for business to consumer communication.

Google Turning Search Into World’s Biggest Wiki

Google put on a full court media push this week for a major change the company is making to its search experience – a new feature called Google Search Wiki will launch soon. The feature will allow logged-in users to change the order of search results and mark up search results pages with notes. Only their own results will be changed – unless they click a link to view all Search Wiki notes on a search’s page.

Read the post for an explanation of what the feature will do and a reaction to the announcement from Ward Cunningham, the man who invented the wiki.

College Stops Giving Students New Email Accounts: Start Of New Trend?

Officials at Boston College have made what may be a momentous decision: they’ve stopped doling out new email accounts to incoming students. The officials realized that the students already had established digital identities by the time they entered college, so the new email addresses were just not being utilized. The college will offer forwarding services instead.

The A-Team

We like to report good news, not just because it makes us all feel good, but because when a company is doing something positive during a downturn, it indicates something pretty interesting about that company. That is why Jobwire reports on new hires when all the other news is about layoffs. In that same spirit, The A-Team will be a monthly wrap-up of all the Series A VC financing rounds in web technology. To close a Series A VC round these days, you have to be pretty special.

Read the full A-Team post for the Qualifying Rules.


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

RWW Jobwire

IRS Hires its First CTO

While the tech world eagerly waits to see who Barack Obama will appoint Chief Technology Officer of the United States, a similar appointment of more immediate impact to many people has just occurred. Terence Milholland began work this week as the first Chief Technology Officer in the history of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He enters an IRS that the General Accounting Office said last week suffers from technology so outdated it leaves the agency with inadequate integrity, reliability and security for sensitive taxpayer information.


Web Products

10 Semantic Apps to Watch – One Year Later

In November 2007, we listed and reviewed 10 promising Semantic Web apps. A lot can happen in one year on the Internet, so we thought we’d check back in with each of the 10 products and see how they’re progressing. What’s changed over the past year and what are these companies working on now? The products are, in no particular order: Freebase, Powerset, Twine, AdaptiveBlue, Hakia, Talis, TrueKnowledge, TripIt, Calais (was ClearForest), Spock.

Later in the week we published a list of 10 more Semantic apps to watch.

Mozilla: One Billion Addons Served – Here Are Some of Our Favorites

Mozilla announced this week that it has served its 1 billionth addon download since they started keeping track of these downloads in 2005. Currently, Mozilla’s users are downloading close to 1.5 million addons every day. Mozilla has cultivated one of the most active and interesting developer communities around its products and seeing numbers like these will surely give a lot of other developers an incentive to try their hands at developing new plugins for Firefox as well. In the post we list some of our favorite addons, as well as favorites of our community.

Amazon CloudFront: Outlook for CDN Is Cloudy (and That’s Good)

Two months ago, Amazon – which has taken to sharing some of its massive computing power with mere mortals as a means of developing additional revenue streams – announced that they were developing a content-delivery network (CDN) to complement their existing Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offering. This week, they unveiled the beta version of that service, named Amazon CloudFront. Boasting a now-familiar, pay-as-you-go pricing model, Amazon CloudFront promises to make CDN an affordable addition for any site looking to gain more efficient content delivery.

Boxee Raises $4 Million for Open-Source Media Center

These are clearly not the easiest times to secure financing for a startup, but Boxee, which makes an open-source media center application that works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and the Apple TV, just announced a $4 million investment from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Bijan Sabet from Spark and Fred Wilson from Union Square will join the Boxee board. Boxee, which is still in private beta testing, is a media center solution that allows you to play back content from third-party providers like Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, or Last.fm through a very slick interface.


RWW Enterprise Channel

Report: Millennials Will Route Around IT Departments

According to a new report by Accenture, a large number of Millennials (those born between 1977 and 1997), expect their companies to accommodate their IT preferences, including their preferred computers and applications. More than a third of Millennials also indicated that they were dissatisfied with the technologies their employers currently provide.

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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