April 21, 2006

del.icio.us/dprecosk/web2.0

del.icio.us/dprecosk/web2.0:
This is a list of 30 online items that I've read and commented on (in the posts below).

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April 20, 2006

goowy media home

goowy media home:
goowy is one of many attempts to duplicate the computer desktop through a web browser. The idea is that one day you won't need software on your hard drive. It will all be available online, accessible from any computer with an internet connection. This particular site has a distinctive look, but limited functionality.
More interesting is writely, "the web word processor" which was recently purchased by Google, with the purported intention of making it a part of a "web operating system".

BitTorrent BitTorrent

BitTorrent
BitTorrent is a software product, but it has also become a generic name for a type of filesharing. The technology is difficult to encapsulate, but it involves sharing files that are housed on tens of thousands of personal computers. The shared files, called "torrents". The service is problematic because it is used by pirates to distributed illegally copied files, but also by legitimate businesses, including universities and publishers, to distribute materials.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices:
eBay is user driven online commerce. Buy and sell almost anything.
It is interactive, user focused, and people really do make money through it.
Click here if you want to buy a Porsche

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MySpace

MySpace:
MySpace bills itself as an online community. It is free and provides users with blogs, chat, photo sharing, classified ads, videos, and personals. It is immensely popular with the high school and college crowd. In the future MySpace will add "premium" (ie paid for) features. It could serve as a model for online educational communities.

Personal and small business information manager: Get organized, Backpack

Personal and small business information manager: Get organized, Backpack:
Backpack is one of many online productivity web sites. Backpack is my favourite because it offers its basic service for free. The service includes online to-do lists, an online whiteboard, wiki-like pages, and a reminder service that sends me reminders via email and text messaging to my cell. The free package is limited to ten active reminders at any one time, but I have never exceeded the maximum.

Skype - The whole world can talk for free.

Skype - The whole world can talk for free.:
Skype is a "free" voip service. You can talk for free (computer to computer) over the internet with anyone who has a skye account (accounts and enabling software are also free). You can also make calls to real telephones for rates generally below long distance.

Firefox - Rediscover the Web

Firefox - Rediscover the Web:
Firefox is the preferred browser of web 2.0. It is free, created by volunteers, and highly extensible. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. I have installed it on my home and work computers and use it on a daily basis.

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digg

digg:
Digg is a social bookmarking site specializing in technology news. It is fairly new and has enjoyed very large growth very quickly.

Excerpt:

Digg is a technology news website that employs non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.

Note the key web 2.0 characteristics of interactivity and of ceding control of the site to users. The "digg effect," whereby a web site that has been voted to the front page of digg by its members crashes under the weight of increased traffic, is much sought after by new web 2.0 enterprises. To be crashed by the "digg effect" is to be declared very cool.

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del.icio.us

del.icio.us:
Delicious is a free social bookmarking service. There are many such services available, but delicious is the most successful and most popular. It is a prime example of the use of folksonomy and is cited as one of the premiere success stories of web 2.0 application development.

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Blogger: Create your Blog Now -- FREE

Blogger: Create your Blog Now -- FREE :
A website where a user can sign up for a free blog. Very easy to use. Blogger has a huge number of members. It is particularly popular with bloggers who are not technically inclined. Its ease of use means that blogger lacks a lot of sophisticated features that professional blogs might require.
Wordpress is another free blogging service. It offers more features and is, therefore, a bit more difficult to learn.
Typepad charges for its services, but it gives you more features.
If you are a serious blogger, want total control over your blog, and have technical skills, then you might consider Movabletype. With Movabletype the blogger pays a license fee, downloads the blogging software, and runs it from his/her own server.

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Plan, organize, store and share. Get Zoho Planner

Plan, organize, store and share. Get Zoho Planner :
A free online planner. Allows todo lists and events.

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Wiki Hosting. Seed Wiki, web based solution for public and private Wikis. Affordable and free Wiki

Wiki Hosting. Seed Wiki, web based solution for public and private Wikis. Affordable and free Wiki:
You can go here and sign up for a free wiki.

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EDUCAUSE REVIEW | September/October 2004, Volume 39, Number 5

EDUCAUSE REVIEW | September/October 2004, Volume 39, Number 5 :
A lengthy and informative article on wikis in general and on specific uses of them for educational purposes.

Excerpt:

In many respects, the wide-open ethic of wikis contrasts vividly with the traditional approaches of standard groupware and collaborative systems. Access restrictions, rigidly defined workflows, and structures are anathema to most wiki developers. What’s unique about wikis is that users define for themselves how their processes and groups will develop, usually by making things up as they go along.

Wikis and blogs are often confused. A blog is generally a vehicle for individual expression which is organized chronologically. Blogs can be highly and attractively formatted. A wiki is generally a vehicle for group collaborative communication which is organized by topic. Wikis are very plain, bordering on ugly. They use stripped down markup language and require the user to learn some very simple markup basics.

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April 19, 2006

YouTube

YouTube - India Driving
YouTube is a web site where people upload and tag their videos. Click on the link above to see an example.

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folksonomies + controlled vocabularies. Many-to-Many:

folksonomies + controlled vocabularies. Many-to-Many
Excerpt from wikipedia:

A "folksonomy" is a collaboratively generated, open-ended labeling system that enables Internet users to categorize content such as Web pages, online photographs, and Web links.
Link to full article

Popular web 2.0 sites such as flickr and delicious employ folksonomies to catalogue their contents. That is, users contribute photos to flickr and web links to delicious and attach "tags" or labels to them. The sites are searchable by tag. The searchable terms are, therefore, defined by the users. Traditionally, searchable databases use "controlled vocabularies" that are created by experts. Both systems have strengths and weaknesses.

MIT SMR Article, "Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration" - Spring 2006 Andrew P. McAfee. Reprint 47306

MIT SMR Article, "Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration" - Spring 2006 Andrew P. McAfee. Reprint 47306
Web 2.0 is gaining notice in the academy. Here is the abstract of an article published in MIT's Sloan Management Review.

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Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership
An article on how corporations encourage employees to use blogs as forums for discussion.

Excerpt:

With the increase in thought leadership as a tactic to increase a company's perception as an expert, we are starting to see companies embrace a more public attitude toward publishing what they know. Big companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have embraced blogging, allowing employees to publish to a sanctioned space, as a method of creating or maintaining corporate thought leadership.

Microsoft publishes links (example of a tag cloud) to its employees' blogs.
I'm assuming there would have to be certain conditions set out to protect employers and employees.

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O'Reilly -- What Is Web 2.0

O'Reilly -- What Is Web 2.0:
The most comprehensive online article on web 2.0. Long, but essential reading if you want to get a handle on the topic.
O'Reilly likes to drop koans like "data is the new intel inside" and "users are co-creators".

MIT OpenCourseWare | Sloan School of Management | 15.269 Literature, Ethics and Authority, Fall 2005 | Home

MIT OpenCourseWare |


Sloan School of Management | 15.269 Literature, Ethics and Authority, Fall 2005 | Home

Not really web 2.0 technology, but an example of the kind of free sharing that lies behind web 2.0. MIT lets the world look at all of its course outlines, online materials, essay topics etc. The knowledge is free; the degree might cost a couple of bucks.

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Webosphere : Internet, RSS, web 2.0

Webosphere : Internet, RSS, web 2.0:
Yet another list of links to web 2.0 projects. This one seems comprehensive, but uncritical.

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the cluetrain manifesto

the cluetrain manifesto

The Cluetrain Manifesto was written (I believe) in 1998 or 1999 and is available in a free online version and as a commercially published book. Some commentators (see my previous post) claim that business demands will kill web 2.0. The Cluetrain Manifesto claims that the web will kill most businesses. Provocative.

Excerpt:

markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies


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Publishing 2.0 » Web 2.0 Is Not Media 2.0

Publishing 2.0 » Web 2.0 Is Not Media 2.0
Some contrarian reality checking here. The writer makes the claim that web 2.0 is doomed because it does not provide a venue for the sale of traditional media commodities (ie. commercial products and product commercials). All this interactivity and community building is great, he says, but it will not last unless somebody finds a way of making money from it.
Lots of bright young programmers are getting millions of dollars from venture capitalists to develop killer web applications, but one day those venture capitalists will want a return on their investment.

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Virtual Karma: Complete List of Web 2.0 Applications | Rian's blog

Virtual Karma: Complete List of Web 2.0 Applications | Rian's blog
Another extensive list of web 2.0 applications. If you are adventurous click on some of the links and explore.

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Ten Ways To Take Advantage of Web 2.0 (web2.wsj2.com)

Ten Ways To Take Advantage of Web 2.0 (web2.wsj2.com)
Or, read another way, ten important characteristics that web 2.0 applications need to have to succeed. Stresses interactivity, social dimensions, user sense of ownership and involvement, and ceding of control.
The author alludes to "The Wisdom of Crowds" (James Surowiecki), a book that provides some theoretical underpinnings to the web 2.0 view of things. Here is a link to another blogger who discusses the interesting question of "who owns the wisdom of crowds".
Another book which provides a more theoretical explanation of the ideas influencing web 2.0 is "Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution" (Howard Rheingold). There is a blog devoted to discussing the implications of the book.
I should read these two books.

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April 18, 2006

BBC NEWS | Business | The world according to Google

BBC NEWS | Business | The world according to Google
Google is the mainstream web service that most clearly exhibits web 2.0 tendencies. Gmail, their free email system, is wonderful. It comes with two gigabytes of free storage, a ton of advanced features, and built-in chat. Google also has a free online calendar service and it owns blogger.com, one of the world's largest providers of free blogs (and the host of this blog). Google's biggest competitor is Yahoo. If Google and Yahoo continue with their software development and with their acquisition of leading edge companies (Yahoo now owns flickr and delicious) they will surpass Microsoft as dominant players in online technology.

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Try a Wiki - Lifehacker

Try a Wiki - Lifehacker
Lifehacker is a blog about using technology to improve personal and workplace productivity. This particular article is a recommendation for an online product called pbwiki. A wiki is harder to define. Basically, it is a piece of software that allows a user to create a simple web page, enter text and graphics into it, save it, and edit it, all live online. The pages created can be edited at a later date.
Wikis are excellent vehicles for collaboration because most keep a record of all changes/edits. There are many free wikis available. They range from single page html documents such as tiddlywiki which works brilliantly with Firefox (the best web browser available) to online services like the above-mentioned pbwiki, to elaborate systems that a user can download and run from a server.
Wikipedia is the most famous of all wikis and is one of the major achievements of web 2.0 thinking. Here is wikipedia's explanation of what a wiki is.

Emily Chang - eHub

Emily Chang - eHub
A site with information about and links to emerging web 2.0 sites. Source for further investigation.

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The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006 (web2.wsj2.com)

The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006 (web2.wsj2.com)
Another list of web 2.0 sites worth exploring.

The secret to Web 2.0

The secret to Web 2.0: what do Flickr, Ning, Kiko, Vimeo, Shadows, YouTube, Furl, NewsGator, Shutterfly, Mefeedia, Feedster, Planzo, Zazzle, Tailrank, Yakalike, Qoop, Lulu, Blish, Flagr, FireAnt, Odeo, Measure Map, EVDB, Gather, Oyogi, Last.fm... (kottke.org)
The entire posting is a list of web 2.0 style sites. I will comment on some of the more interesting ones (flickr, youtube, feedster, tailrank etc) in a later post, time permitting.

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Thinking in Web 2.0: Sixteen Ways (web2.wsj2.com)

Thinking in Web 2.0: Sixteen Ways (web2.wsj2.com)
A list of attitudes that should inform web 2.0 development. By inference, these are the attitudes of users. User centric thinking is stressed much more in web 2.0. Old style thinking put the burden on the user to "learn" the web and its features. Emerging opinion is that all features should be obvious and intuitive and that applications should be open and flexible enough that users can adapt them for purposes not thought of by the original programmers.

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April 17, 2006

Design for Web 2.0 (kottke.org)

Design for Web 2.0 (kottke.org)
This is an entry from a blog run by a web designer. The piece is mainly a series of thought provoking questions about design issues and, in a more general way, about the role of technology in an organization. also contains interesting reflections on management.

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Read/WriteWeb: Web as Platform Mash-Ups

Read/WriteWeb: Web as Platform Mash-Ups:
Good article on the web as "mash-up" platform. One of the many commentaries that speaks longingly of a web operating system or of the web as a platform for applications. Are we going full circle back to computers as dumb terminals? A lot of links to other web 2.0 articles.
The idea of giving up control in order to succeed has long been present in popular culture ("trust the force, Luke"); in the long run it's going to be hard for businesses to cede control to their customers.

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Web 2.0 has a local address / South Park, the neighborhood that fostered the dot-com boom, is back

Web 2.0 has a local address / South Park, the neighborhood that fostered the dot-com boom, is back:
A human interest story contrasting the excesses of the dot com boom and bust with the more restrained spending habits of the web 2.0 types.

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April 16, 2006

Web2MemeMap on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Web2MemeMap on Flickr - Photo Sharing!:
This is one of the central pages in understanding Web 2.0 This is a "lightbulb" page: the one where the concept illuminates and redefines the landscape.
Notice:
-the map and what it says about web 2.0
-where it is posted (explore flickr)
-notice the comments from everywhere in the world; they go on and on.
O'Reilly's meme map has spawned a wide ranging discussion. See
here, here, and here,for example.
For a more theorized discussion look here. I'll probably do a comment on the last entry later in this blog.

Web2MemeMap on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Web2MemeMap on Flickr - Photo Sharing!:
This is one of the central pages in understanding Web 2.0 This is a "lightbulb" page: the one where the concept illuminates and redefines the landscape.
Notice:
-the map and what it says about web 2.0
-where it is posted (explore flickr)
-notice the comments from everywhere in the world; they go on and on.
O'Reilly's meme map has spawned a wide ranging discussion. See
here, here, and here,for example.
For a more theorized discussion look here. I'll probably do a comment on the last entry later in this blog.

Less as a competitive advantage: My 10 minutes at Web 2.0 - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Less as a competitive advantage: My 10 minutes at Web 2.0 - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals):
A quirky little article about one person's ideas on managing projects in the Web 2.0 world. Some of the points are worth considering in any management situation.
The article has proven quite controversial, as can be seen by the many, many comments appended at the end.
The author is a member of the "37 Signals" design group. Their main business is designing Web 2.0 online applications for personal productivity and corporate collaboration. I use their free Backpackit web application all of the time. The group has written a book outlining their ideas about work, design, and managment. It is available as a paid for pdf download here. I haven't read it yet.

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April 13, 2006

Levy: Digital Distractions Bad for the Workplace - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com

Levy: Digital Distractions Bad for the Workplace - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com
Steven Levy is possibly the leading historian of internet/online development. In this article he introduces us to the effects and dangers of "continuous partial attention," the situation where people (especially at work) are put in situations where they are required to divide their attention among living people, cell phones, Blackberries, and laptops.
Levy's "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" is a fascinating read. It's in the CNC Library (I think).

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April 11, 2006

2.0Culture

2.0Culture:
An article on web design traits of web 2.0 sites. Useful for web designers who want their sites to have the latest, with it, look. Front end stuff doesn't get much attention in writing about web 2.0; it's the AJAX and other programming tricks that get most of the accolades.

Web 2.0: A Pattern Library

Web 2.0: A Pattern Library
Author Tim Ziegler has written one of the more detailed descriptions of web 2.0 that I have found. Most importantly he has identified one of its most important attributes: the web as platform

Excerpt:

The web is beginning to be used as a "platform" rather than a host of websites. This means that you use hosted websites to get your business done rather than relying on software on your own computer's hard drive. Related to this is the notion that the best web apps are simple and useful and can be combined for extra usefulness, even if they are not run by the same companies.

Other topics covered in this detailed piece are

Ajax
SmartCMS
Dashboard views
Dynamicness and Interoperability
Folksonomies and tagging
Give away your secrets
Human filters
Information architecture (the importance of)
Internet hype
Iterative launches
Pattern libraries and patterns
Mashup-ability
Simplicity and modularity
Social networking models
Coda: My predictions


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April 10, 2006

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The amorality of Web 2.0

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The amorality of Web 2.0:
This article is atypical in that it is skeptical of the motivation of people developing sites and applications for Web 2.0 The mainstream line is that Web 2.0 is interactive, collaborative, user friendly etc. Carr's counterclaim is that too many people are heaping uncritical praise on the phenomenon as the next big thing to such an extent that it is turning into a cult. He wisely points out that if making a profit isn't a part of a web developer's business plan, then his/her product will fail. The "yearning for a higher consciousness" as he describes the motivation behind Web 2.0 is a good thing but, he warns, it can all be coopted by the profit motive. We're back to the old cliché that technology is neither inherently good, nor evil. It's the use that people put it to that determines its "morality".

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April 09, 2006

= openBC = Groups - "Web 2.0" - Board "EVERYTHING 2.0"

This very odd blog page contains lists of links to other lists of links to hundreds of web 2.0 sites, most of which are in beta form. It's a site with too much information for me to tackle at this time. Half of the beta sites have probably gone out of business since you began reading this posting.
"OpenBC" is short for something like "Open Business Club" and has no affiliation with British Columbia.

The Top 100 sites in the Web 2.0 world. (://URLFAN)

The Top 100 sites in the Web 2.0 world. (://URLFAN)
This site describes itself in the following way:

An experiment to discover what sites bloggers are referencing in real time.Reading 285,050 feeds, parsing 31,939,939 posts, ranking 1,230,303 domains.

In other words, it's a list of the top 100 web sites that bloggers are quoting or referring to in their posts. The list itself is an example of a secondary use of aggregation, the collection of web published materials through RSS and other formats. These 100 web sites all provide one or more RSS feeds that users can subscribe to and retrieve via an aggregator. The link a few lines above is to wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, which is one of the signature creations of web 2.0 technology.
Aggregation gives the user control over what she reads, hears, and sees and when she does it. For example, I can subscribe via RSS (using the aggregator of my choice) to the book review pages numerous online newspapers and read them all from one internet location. If I find one or two that I really like, I can tag it and save the reference in my del.cio.us account for later reference. You will notice that most of the posts in my blog have links to technocrati tags

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» What to expect from Web 3.0 | Software as services | ZDNet.com

» What to expect from Web 3.0 | Software as services | ZDNet.com:
Web 2.0 hasn't happened yet, but this author is predicting its demise and replacement by Web 3.0
Basically, the author sees web 2.0 as small potatoes because it is driven by individual user needs, whereas web 3.0, he predicts, will be driven by business needs.
Excerpt:
Web 3.0 isn't just about shopping, entertainment and search. It's also going to deliver a new generation of business applications that will see business computing converge on the same fundamental on-demand architecture as consumer applications.
Many web 2.0 projects are attempts to deliver on-demand business tools (word processing, spreadsheets, conferencing), so the point is confusing. Maybe he means it won't "get real" until Microsoft enters the arena with its Vista operating system.

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TechCrunch

TechCrunch:
TechCrunch is a blog that does nothing but report on Web 2.0 trends. The main impression I get from this blog is that there are tons of new ideas/web sites going up, usually in beta, every day.
TechCrunch has an RSS feed with about 35,000 subscribers. Community is a big feature of web 2.0 Web 2.0 sites are interactive and user focussed. The stories that this blog runs are only half of what makes it valuable. The other half is to be found in the comments that appear on the bottom of the individual stories. Click on the title of any one of the stories on the home page and you go to the story page. At the bottom of the story page are the comments. I'm looking at a story on music downloads that has 95 comments. Old style web sites are informational and owner centered. They put out the site owner's message and expect the visitors to be passive recipients of that message. They might have a clickable email link or two, but they aren't truly interactive. Dynamic web sites aren't the same as interactive web sites, although interactive web sites do tend to be dynamic.

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April 08, 2006

18 Lessons I’ve Learnt about Blogging: ProBlogger Blog Tips

18 Lessons I’ve Learnt about Blogging: ProBlogger Blog Tips
Blogs are incredibly popular because they are so flexible. Most blogs are done for hobby, work, or family communication.
A small number of blogs become very popular and make money for their authors. This article is by a professional blogger who claims to be making a good living. It's the next step in freelancing.
The trick is to figure out how to monetarize (jargon alert) your blog. You can read up on it in "Who Let the Blogs Out? : A Hyperconnected Peek at the World of Weblogs" (Biz Stone)
As an aside, if you click on the link and buy the book I get a few pennies. This kind of targeted link is an example of a monetarization scheme. Lots of blogs are plastered with clickable advertisements that could earn the blog owners money. Look at all of the clickable links on the ProBlogger page.

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Internet Alchemy Talis, Web 2.0 and All That

Internet Alchemy Talis, Web 2.0 and All That
A software developer defines Web 2.0 as an attitude and not a technology.

Excerpt:

Here's my take on it: Web 2.0 is an attitude not a technology. It's about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services. By open I mean technically open with appropriate APIs but also, more importantly, socially open, with rights granted to use the content in new and exciting contexts. Of course the web has always been about participation, and would be nothing without it. It's single greatest achievement, the networked hyperlink, encouraged participation from the start. Somehow, through the late nineties, the web lost contact with its roots and selfish interests took hold. This is why I think the Web 2.0 label is cunning: semantically it links us back to that original web and the ideals it championed, but at the same time it implies regeneration with a new version. Technology has moved on and it's important that the social face of the web keeps pace.

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