Home Weekly Wrapup: Open Social Networks, Education 2.0, Nokia N97, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Open Social Networks, Education 2.0, Nokia N97, And More…

It’s time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the trends side, we took an in-depth look at the emerging world of open social networks. We pondered: which of Facebook Connect and OpenID will be more successful? And we explained why “distributed social networking” is a trend to watch, with projects such as DiSo and OpenSocial. Also this week we examined the latest in online anonymity and education 2.0. On the product side, we began our ‘Best Products 2008’ series with our selection of the top 10 Semantic Web products of the year. We also told you about some of our favorite apps to show new users and we reviewed the latest Nokia internet phone. Last but not least, check the latest from Jobwire – our new product that tracks hires in tech and new media.

The Weekly Wrapup is sponsored by SemanticProxy.com:

Web Trends

Facebook Connect vs. OpenID: Who Will Emerge Victorious?

Facebook Connect, the system the company has long discussed as “Facebook on sites all around the web,” entered general availability this week and we had one big question – should website owners use Facebook or OpenID to authenticate and learn about their users? Will Facebook become a dominant identifier online? Will the OpenID community lose out to the company’s proprietary system or will this challenge breathe new life into the movement for open source, standards based, federated user identity?

Open Source vs. Proprietary technology isn’t just about desktop software anymore – now it’s about our identities and social connections, all around the web. We published a mind map in our post, displaying our understanding of the contrasts between these two identity systems. If you’d like to add our thoughts to that map, you can.

See also: What if Amazon and iTunes Implemented Facebook Connect?

The Distributed Social Networking Puzzle: Putting The Pieces Together

Distributed social networking – where users can connect their profile, friends and other data across multiple sites – is still a relatively new concept and not fully developed. There are plenty of companies and projects vying to be a major piece of the distributed social networking puzzle. The big Internet companies have initiatives such as OpenSocial (Google), Facebook Connect, MySpace Data Availability, Yahoo! Open Strategy. There are also smaller company and open source projects such as DiSo and Noserub, which we explain in our post.

The End of Online Anonymity

It seems we’re approaching a new age here on the Internet. Instead of being anonymous, faceless IP addresses; social computing and changing technologies have allowed the lines between the “real” world and the “virtual” world to blur. Web 2.0 helped create a world where your identity is revealed in bits and pieces as you share snippets of your life online – a photo here, a Stumble there, a tweet, a Digg, etc. However, the rise of social media is only one of the changes that is busy shaping the new web.

Education 2.0: Never Memorize Again?

Memorization is a waste of time when Google is only a a few clicks away. That’s what Don Tapscott, author of the bestselling books Wikinomics and Growing Up Digital, believes. Tapscott, considered by many to be a leading commentator on our Internet age, believes the age of learning through the memorization of facts and figures is coming to an end. Instead, students should be taught to think creatively and better understand the knowledge that’s available online.


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

Techmeme Hires Megan McCarthy to Edit Site

Freelance tech writer Megan McCarthy just landed one of the coolest jobs on the new web, editing semi-automated news aggregator Techmeme. The hire was made last month but just announced this week by site founder Gabe Rivera. Rivera explains in a post that Techmeme has always been the product of some human intervention, primarily on the part of the bloggers whose links power it, but that “interacting directly with an automated news engine makes it clear that the human+algorithm combo can curate news far more effectively that the individual human or algorithmic parts. It really feels like the age of the news cyborg has arrived.”


Web Products

Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008

In 2008 we saw the Semantic Web gain traction, giving us plenty of choice when selecting the 10 best Semantic Web products of 2008.

This is the first in a series of posts we’ll publish over December, listing our choices for the top web products of the year. Then at the end of December, we’ll post a Top 100 list – which we’ll be promoting over 2009 and opening up at some point for public voting. Check out our picks for the top 10 Semantic Web products of 2008, by clicking through to the post.

A Taste of Magic: The First Apps We Show New Users

Whether it’s with your family, your co-workers or your clients – many of us like to share the excitement we have about the new, social web with others. What do you show other people to demonstrate how powerful, and yet easy to use, this new world of technology really is?

We asked our staff and a number of other advanced social web users what the one thing is that they like most to show people who are less experienced with the web than they are.

Nokia Challenges Apple and Google with New N97 Phone

This week Nokia unveiled its new flagship phone, the N97, which is clearly meant to compete with the iPhone and Google’s Android platform. Unlike the iPhone, however, the N97 has a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. In terms of its other hardware features, the N97 also clearly outperforms the iPhone. The N97 supports up to 48 GB of storage, including the 32 GB that are already built-in. The phone has a 5 megapixel camera and its GPS is capable of giving turn-by-turn directions. The resolution of the phone’s 16:9 touchscreen is 640×360.

Join the YouTube Global Symphony, Play Carnegie Hall

Always wanted to play in a symphony? Here’s your chance – without even leaving your living room. YouTube has announced the “world’s first collaborative online orchestra” – the YouTube Symphony Orchestra – a one-of-a-kind experiment that provides individual musicians with an opportunity to collaborate with other musicians all over the world. But that’s not all. If you play well enough, show some creativity, and exude passion, you may find yourself seated in the famed Carnegie Hall, performing live with other YouTube musicians.


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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