Home Weekly Wrapup: Mobile Web, Google RSS, Social Shopping, and More

Weekly Wrapup: Mobile Web, Google RSS, Social Shopping, and More

It’s time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the product side this week, Google said it would provide RSS feeds of search results, Yahoo updated its calendar app using Zimbra, Mozilla released Geode, Microsoft integrated its Live search into Facebook, and more. On the trends side, we looked at Google stats from recent political debates, investigated the trend of social shopping, and explored the latest in the Mobile Web world – including a RWW Live podcast on the topic, plus an in-depth look at mobile social networks. We also brought you the latest from our new Enterprise Channel.

Web Trends

Google Has Changed Political Debate Forever

When Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debated in front of one of the largest TV audiences in US election history recently, the two candidates might not have been Googling for facts during the debate, but millions of people watching the debate were. This week Google released some information about what kinds of things viewers were searching for as that debate unfolded, minute by minute. It is amazing both that viewers were able to do such a thing, in real time, and that we’re able to watch what people are searching for. The internet in general, and Google in particular, has substantially augmented this important part of public life.

Social Media and Shopping: A Growing Trend

Social media is evolving. What began as a way to “hang out” with friends online has morphed into an entirely new platform for communication, information sharing, and marketing. Businesses are quickly discovering that if they want to reach the youngest demographic, Generation Y (born after 1979), they had best get online. But maintaining a web presence alone isn’t enough anymore. According to new research from August 2008, web retailers are now actually trying to engage that demographic segment using social media.

And The Top Mobile Social Networks Are…

MySpace and Facebook, as it turns out. Despite the land grab by numerousstartups looking to become the number one social network for mobile devices, it’s becoming apparent that mobile social networking isn’t necessarily going to be the new frontier that everyone thought it would be. Instead, as consumers surf the “real internet” on their mobile devices, they’re also interacting with “real” social networks like MySpace and Facebook. Could it be that consumers don’t want new and separate social networks just for the mobile phone?

RWW Live: Mobile Web Development

This week’s episode of RWW Live, our live podcast show, was on the topic of Mobile Web Development. We had special guests from Microsoft, Pandora and DevelopmentNow. The show covered the state of the mobile application development market, focusing on Android, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and more. Here is the audio:

Download MP3

Will Google Use Chrome to Index Password Protected Web?

It’s now over a month since Google released its open source web browser, Chrome. An interesting theory we heard recently is that Google will use Chrome to index the password protected Web – a.k.a. the ‘dark web’. Right now the Chrome Terms of Service (TOS) prevents Google from indexing private data. But when you consider that Chrome was initially presented as a browser for applications, instead of just web pages, this theory begins to make more sense.

5 Great Books to Build Your Character

Tough economic times and
startups have at least one
thing in common – you need character and determination to survive.
Character is what it takes to win,
to believe and to persuade others. It’s a mix of passion, determination,
sleepless hours,
hard work.
Character is about crossing the finish line, about achieving dreams and
goals. In this post, we look at five very different books that share a
common theme – remarkable people.


A Word from Our Sponsors

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Web Products

Microsoft Stake in Facebook Begins to Bear Fruit

Almost exactly one year ago, Facebook and Microsoft were in the headlines when the Redmond, Washington-based software giant outlasted Google in a bidding war to garner a $240 million stake in Facebook. It was that investment that pegged Facebook’s valuation at a whopping $15 billion. In July of this year—following a generous amount of speculation on how the two companies would collaborate—Microsoft revealed plans for an integrated search and advertising deal that would incorporate Microsoft Live Search and advertising into the Facebook platform by fall. This week, we saw the first step in that integration with the release of Microsoft Live Search on Facebook.

Finally! Google to Offer RSS Feeds for Web Search Results

A rumor that’s been floating around the web lately is that Google will offer RSS feeds for new results in basic web search. This week Search Engine Land confirmed that Google will “soon” offer this functionality. Why is this big news? Because there’s no better way to keep track of new mentions of a company, person or concept online than through RSS. Google is the only major web search engine to not offer feeds for basic web search, as they do in blog search and news. We’d previously recommended Live.com for web search feeds, but who really cares about Live.com search results? They’re terrible. Google feeds are good news.

Yahoo Announces Major Update to Yahoo Calendar: Leverages Zimbra Technology

Yahoo this week announced a closed beta of a major update to its online calendaring application, which will feature a tighter integration with Yahoo Mail and other Yahoo properties. The new calendar is based on the Zimbra platform, which Yahoo acquired in 2007, and will support both the iCalendar and CalDAV standards for exchanging information with other calendaring services. Among the new features are the ability to enhance your calendar with photos from Flickr, a built-in to-do list, and support for drag and drop. Yahoo Calendar can now also send out reminders for important events by email, IM, or SMS.

Does Your Browser Know Where You Are? With Mozilla Geode, It Might

Today, the old real estate adage ‘location, location, location’ could just as easily be applied to the Web, where it seems that “where you are” is becoming as important as the information you’re seeking. Nowhere is that more apparent than with GPS-enabled mobile platforms that use location-specific information to simplify the way people access and share content on a daily basis. This week Mozilla released Geode, a Firefox geolocation add-on which will enable localized content.

Mufin: Better Music Recommendations through Algorithms?

Music discovery is clearly a hot topic these days, with large companies like Apple and Microsoft competing with smaller services like imeem, Pandora, and Last.fm. With the exception of Pandora, these services typically rely on the listening habits and recommendations of other users. Mufin.com, however, which launched this week, uses a fully automated system that only takes the actual sounds of a song into consideration. In our tests, Mufin often returned good results, but the fact that it doesn’t take genres or the quality of a song into account can make for a frustrating experience at times.


RWW Enterprise Channel

Why Some Traditional Enterprise IT Vendors Are Scared of SaaS

Some traditional enterprise IT vendors are selling the line that SaaS is a passing phase, that it is “old wine in new bottles”. They are telling their market that SaaS is really no different from the discredited Web 1.0 Application Service Provider (ASP) model or even that it is simply the ghost of the ancient mainframe Service Bureau come back to haunt us all. This post shows why their analysis is wrong. It also shows why some traditional enterprise IT vendors feel so threatened by SaaS and why the economic downturn just made this a major issue.

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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