Om Malik’s Broadband Blog » What is Web 2.0?

Om Malik’s Broadband Blog » What is Web 2.0?

Om attempts to tackle the burning question. WTF is a Web 2.0?

I say you know it when you see it. "Dave Winer says, “Web 2.0 is a marketing concept used by venture capitalists and conference promoters to try to call another bubble into existence.”"

Happy birthday to Om.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

"Many online discussion sites were buzzing with reports from the disaster zones with some describing seeing "hundreds" of bodies lying in the virtual streets of the online towns and cities."

This is fascinating. A virtual flu wipes out an online game. Not the first time it has happened either:

"The "Corrupted Blood" plague is not the first virtual disease to break out in game worlds. In May 2000 many players of The Sims were outraged when their game characters died because of an infection contracted from a dirty virtual guinea pig." (otherwise known as the DVGP)

That has to be the acronym of the day.

iPod Nano Paranoia

Macworld: News: Apple responds to iPod nano screen concerns

So the little piece of electronica bling-bling arrived on Monday and it seemed so … little, so frail. I have fingers the size of Nathan’s hot dogs, big sausages and I didn’t want to touch the obsidian-black case and smear it up with finger grease ….

 I got over that, but still, the thing is very frail. No way it gets dumped into my overloaded knapsacks and scratched to death like the rest of my gear. Today I get a Denison Ice-Link for the car so I can finally listen to its through the speakers and get rid of the accursed Belkin radio gizmo.

I love how iPod owners just put up a website and start ragging on Apple until their demands are met. Remember the infamous Neistat Brothers taking on the batteries that resulted in a class action suit and settlement offer? (I like the Neistat Bros. other films too.)

Now I’m convinced that unless I buy my nano some cushioned shock case that its going to get trashed. Off to Best Buy to drop $30 on a case. 

The Greatest Stories Never Told — Why I subscribe to the Atlantic Monthly

 Alex Beam on the Greatest Unpublished Stories validates my decision to once again renew my subscription to that bastion of the Boston Washington Literary Establishment, The Atlantic Monthly. (I subscribe to four rags — the Atlantic, the New Yorker, VeloNews, and the Independent Rowing News).

This description from an unpublished piece on a Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon had me laughing outloud, alone at my desk at 6 am:

"Nobody causes muscular dystrophy, and almost nobody gets it. The day before the show, [Jerry] did a promo with a fat lady from Channel 8 in Honolulu and concluded it by yelling, "Watch the show and getta hunka nooky." Every Muscular Dystrophy telethon ends with Jerry’s singing "You’ll Never Walk Alone," a peculiar choice of songs to address to crippled people."

 And this Thomas Farragher parody of the Boston Globe’s copydesk having its way with the Gettysburg Address:

" Fourscore and seven years ago (can’t we just make it 87 years ago?) our fathers (WHO ARE THEY?? Any mothers???) brought forth on this continent (North America?? Northern Hemisphere??) a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men (people, men and women, what???) are created equal. (Why don’t we just say they founded the United States and leave it at that? Pacing’s better.)"

 

IdeaFlow – Renee Hopkins on Innovation

IdeaFlow

"And, going back to the CMO special report on innovation, one stand-out article I read was the one on the innovation paradox — you must be willing to fail in order to succeed. Author Ralph Keyes writes:

Genuine risk-takers know setbacks are part of the creative process. Any innovator worthy of that name accepts that success is the exception, failure the rule. That’s why those who are too focused on succeeding can’t innovate.

The pressure to be a risk-taker, or even to appear to be a risk-taker while not actually taking any real risks, is at the root of innovation burnout, in my opinion. Here’s Keyes again:

How can that [failure-tolerant] mind-set be encouraged? When I ask business leaders, most say that they urge workers to take more risks. This approach seldom has the desired effect, and for good reason. ‘They tell us to take more risks,’ one middle manager told me, ‘but you’re expected never to fail.’

 

Matt McAlister :: How changes in supply and demand for important content made RSS so relevant

Matt McAlister :: How changes in supply and demand for important content made RSS so relevant

"It’s no surprise then that people jumped to RSS to control information flow. We are telling the creators of information that we want filters, we want flow control, and we want those controls in our own hands. It’s the era of syndication and subscriptions. I’ll tell you what information I want, and then you come find me with the right data in the right place at the right time."

 

If you don’t read Matt and you obsess about publishing models, then you’re missing one of the smartest voices out there. 

ObjectGraph Dictionary – AJAX in action

ObjectGraph Dictionary

objectgraph 

This is an excellent demonstration of the power of AJAX coding for web services. (AJAX – for you sub-rock dwellers, is  Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, and the au courant technology du jour of 2005).

 Essentially, it’s an online dictionary that kicks the stuffing out of Dictionary.com. I stuck a quick launch link on my 11-year old son’s new laptop and within two days ObjectGraph passed the ultimate test when he said, "Dad, this dictionary thing rules."

So, next time you’re stuck trying to demo what Ajax is all about, and don’t want to quote the following explanation from the Wikipedia, show ’em Objectgraph:

From WikiPedia:

"Ajax applications look almost as if they reside on the user’s machine, rather than across the Internet on a server. The reason: pages get updated, not entirely refreshed.

“Every user action that normally would generate an HTTP request takes the form of a JavaScript call to the Ajax engine instead”, wrote Jesse James Garrett, in the essay that first defined the term. “Any response to a user action that doesn’t require a trip back to the server — such as simple data validation, editing data in memory, and even some navigation — the engine handles on its own. If the engine needs something from the server in order to respond — if it’s submitting data for processing, loading additional interface code, or retrieving new data — the engine makes those requests asynchronously, usually using XML, without stalling a user’s interaction with the application.”

Traditional web applications essentially submit forms, completed by a user, to a web server. The web server responds back by sending a new web page. Because the server must submit a new page each time, applications run more slowly and awkwardly than their native counterparts.

Ajax applications, on the other hand, can send requests to the web server to retrieve only the data that is needed, usually using SOAP or some other XML-based web services dialect. On the client, JavaScript processes the web server response. The result is a more responsive interface, since the amount of data interchanged between the web browser and web server is vastly reduced. Web server processing time is also saved, since much of it is done on the client."