Home Weekly Wrapup: Platform Blues, Web 3.0, Android Apps, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Platform Blues, Web 3.0, Android Apps, And More…

It’s time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the trends side this week, we analyzed why platforms such as Facebook and Open Social have been a let-down, we looked at a new (perhaps under-appreciated) platform from AOL, reported on the latest ‘web 3.0’ moves by Yahoo!, and more. On the product side, we checked out the new Android app stores and asked why are there so many of them, we wrote about the latest developments in Bloglines and Twine, and more. We also brought you the latest from our new Enterprise Channel and we have the recording from this week’s RWW Live, about online personal finance services.

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Web Trends

Why Platforms Are Letting Us Down – And What They Should Do About It

In good times everyone wants to
be a platform. But when times are bad and platforms are just an expense, the resources suddenly
shift away. The recent re-design of Facebook, the slow down of Google’s
Open Social, and Flock closing
its extension site – these are all part of the same pattern. Platforms that don’t
have monetization wired in are only good
for marketing. This is why the platforms of the future
need to think about not just short-term marketing and buzz, but
long-term sustainability
and monetization

AOL Quietly Launches One of the World’s Biggest App Platforms

AOL announced the new developer site for MyAOL this week to almost no fanfare, but at a time when some are declaring the Facebook platform “dead” – AOL’s new platform warrants some serious attention.

The new MyAOL platform is an OpenSocial container based on the gadgets.*API, meaning developers shouldn’t have to do much to get their widgets up and running on it. A fair number of MyAOL gadgets already have millions of users, so the new developer site seems like a real opportunity.

The Future of Web 3.0 According to Yahoo!

At the Web 3.0 Conference and Expo in Santa Clara this week, Dave Beckett (principal software architect at Yahoo!) and Tom Hughes-Croucher (technical evangelist, Yahoo! Developer Network), answered questions about the recent consumer release of Yahoo! Open Strategy (Y!OS) and discussed the company’s future plans to open up almost everything.

“The open source, hacker attitude has been part of our culture for so long; now we’re opening up the different pieces,” Hughes-Croucher told the packed room. “We’re taking data from across our sites and sharing it.”

Resisting Change: iGoogle and Yahoo Profile Updates Shock Users

Our review of the new iGoogle homepage was generally positive. For a large number of users, however, the latest updates, including the stronger emphasis on the full-screen canvas view, were simply unacceptable. Just this weekend, the New York Times reported about the difficulties of making drastic changes to popular web sites without alienating users. Judging from the reaction of some of iGoogle’s users, Google’s switch to the new iGoogle layout is a textbook example for how not to update a popular product. If Google had made these changes incrementally instead of foisting a completely new version of iGoogle onto its users without warning, it could have surely prevented the current outrage.

RWW Live: Online Personal Finance

You can’t turn on the TV, visit Yahoo Finance or pick up the Wall Street Journal without hearing about the economic crisis we’re in. It’s caused most of us to step back and look at our own financial situation. In this week’s episode of RWW Live, we looked at how you can use Web tools to improve your personal finances. We had executives from Mint, Wesabe and Tip’d on the show.

Here’s the audio:

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A Word from Our Sponsors

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Web Products

Three Places To Shop For Android Apps? How Confusing!

This week, T-Mobile stocked their stores with G1 handset, the first smartphone to feature Google’s mobile operating system “Android.” Along with the device itself, the Google Android Market also went live. There, developers are offering a number of applications for installation on the new phone. However, the Android Market isn’t the only place to get apps. Both Handango and MobiHand have app stores of their own. Will this open ecosystem be good for the “Google phone” or will it lead to consumer confusion?

See also: Android Goes Open-Source

Bloglines Returns to Challenge Google Reader – Thank Goodness

Popular RSS reader Bloglines says it’s solved the much publicized recent problems with feed updating that lead smaller services to pursue its users and Google Reader triumphalists to declare the RSS reader market all zipped up. It’s true that Bloglines has a lot of problems, but all software does and competition is incredibly important in any sector, including among RSS readers.

Despite its shortcomings, Bloglines is worth a look and when it works it works very well for many people. RSS is such a powerful media that it’s essential that the market leader, Google, be kept on their toes.

Twine Launches 1.0 Version – Eyes Facebook, Google Reader, Delicious, Digg, …

When Twine announced itself to the world exactly one year ago, it claimed to be “the first mainstream Semantic Web application”. However despite raising millions of dollars in its quest to bring the Semantic Web to the mainstream, Twine has been beset by usability and performance issues in its beta period. Our own Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote probably the most brutal review. The post title said it all: Twine Disappoints After Semantic Web Hype.

However Twine has just launched publicly, confident that it is ready for prime time. We spoke with Twine founder and Semantic Web proponent Nova Spivack this week to find out what’s changed, who’s been using Twine up till now, and where the service is headed in the future.

Make Your Own iPhone/Android Apps With New App Generator

Today AppLoop launched a mobile application generator which lets you turn any RSS feed into a mobile application for either iPhone (available this week) or Android (coming soon). The company, which competes with the analytics and advertising solution MediaLets, wanted to provide everyone with the tools to make a mobile app, even if they didn’t have any programming experience. To do so, they’ve created their new Mobile Application Generator, a tool which creates a mobile-ready application in less than two minutes.

Adobe’s Ichabod and The Headless Search of Flash

While Adobe Flash has remained popular with Web developers who want to deliver fluid user interfaces, database-driven content, and nonstandard typography on the Web, it has suffered from one glaring shortcoming: search engines have been unable to effectively index the content held within the Flash file. With Ichabod, Adobe is hoping to fix that problem for Flash.


RWW Enterprise Channel

Caspio: Gritty and Profitable In a Tough Market

As part of our Gritty Entrepreneurs series, we interviewed Frank Zamani, Founder/CEO of Caspio. Their pitch is “no more programming for custom web applications”. That is a tough market, which we will explore in this post. But Caspio is bootstrapped, profitable and can point to some real case studies. So they must be doing something right. Let’s tell you this entrepreneur’s tale and assess their future prospects.

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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