The Web Desktop – What It Is & What It Needs

The Google OS has been a popular rumor for years, and resurges every time they launch a product that mimics some formerly desktop-only functionality, like Google Docs. But is Google the only service that can offer an online operating system? What would one look like, anyways? Why would we want one (isn’t a PC with internet access enough?)? And assuming we do, how far do we have to go from here to having one?

What’s a Web Desktop?

What makes a computer your computer? I’d argue that it’s three things:

  • personalized preferences,
  • navigation arrangement,
  • and access to files.

TheImage of the web desktop on multiple computers. web … [Read the rest »]

The Future of Social Objects – SNSs of 2010 – Part III

Social objects are the vital concept for online communities. They are the focal point of the interaction, discussion, and sometimes even connection between users. I touched on their role in Social Network Strategy for Web Services. Now I want to briefly highlight a few trends involving social objects and the evolution of social network platforms.

Synchronous Socializing

So far, most interaction around social objects has been asynchronous: I post a comment about a video, you see it and respond later. Soon, social network services will offer the ability to simultaneously communicate while viewing pieces of digital content. Creating a … [Read the rest »]

How the Semantic Web Will & Won’t Work

People, places, events; our browsers (and other machines) should be able to recognize these things as easily as you and I can. That’s the promise of the semantic web. But users are not the ones who will make the semantic web work. Microformats extend existing XHTML tags to put human-readable information into machine-parsable form (@Argent Hotel, San Francisco, CA@). But as simple of a solution as that is, it will never have mainstream appeal.

Unlike text-formatting XHTML tags & classes like <strong> or <blockquote>, data-formatting XHTML tags have no immediate visible effect on their contents. Can you tell … [Read the rest »]

Your Users are Boring. Help Them Stand Out!

Your users are boring. They have no substance, no identity. Not on your site, at least. All they have are usernames. Or maybe a favicon-sized avatar, or a little profile picture. But guess what? If you have a lot of users (and you want to, right?), that’s not enough for most people to tell most people apart.

I’ve been thinking about online identity since discovering an excellent new (really new, not just new to me) blog on the subject, Own Your Identity by Josh Porter, of Bokardo, and some others who seem to be equally excellent writers/thinkers. While they’re talking … [Read the rest »]

Aggregation and Monetization – Profit From Making Markets More Efficient

My two startup co-founders and I recently launched a small side-project as a way of testing several tools and processes we plan on using in our actual venture. The project is meant to be a PopURLs of t-shirts, an aggregator of the newest cool shirts from popular t-shirt sites around the web. The theory is simple: there are many great t-shirts out there, from many great sites. But the consumer doesn’t want a great t-shirt site, they want a great shirt. And frequently, they don’t know what a great shirt is. Is it funny? Is it vintage? Is it geeky? … [Read the rest »]

Platform Predictions Coming True – Virtual World Access by Mobile Phones

Now you can be in two places at once. One of those places will have to be inside a virtual world, it’s true, but as connections between the virtual and the physical become more numerous, how long until that’s not such a big difference?

When I wrote about the Platforms of the Web, some of the potential connections I explored were between one platform, the mobile web, and another, virtual worlds. The first steps toward exploring those connections have now been taken, as efforts begun earlier than last year are being launched as consumer products.

Vollee Announces App for [Read the rest »]

True Social Software – SNSs of 2010 – Part II

The Amish are kicking our ass. They’re building large, complex, multi-use platforms using a process that requires a high level of expertise and many different skill sets, and they launch these platforms in a day. That’s something the we (technologists, tech users, and tech businessmen) still can’t do, in most cases. Why not? Because we are isolated, separated, spread out. Our communication tools have become more advanced, but they’re disconnected from the work processes we use them to discuss. We are delayed by the many small waiting periods that total together, because people aren’t working together, they’re combining the [Read the rest »]

Occasional Links: Android Demos, Future of Firefox, and Yahoo!-AOL

If you want to get the very first look at how Google plans to change the mobile web, pay attention to this week’s Mobile World Congress event, where according to Australian IT, several companies will be demoing the Android mobile operating system.

If you can’t wait for the next conference’s news, check out the big news from a conference that’s already happened: Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard presented at SCALE, and Ars Technica has great coverage of his talk on Mozilla’s goals and Firefox 3’s development.

Last, but not least, if you’re not sick of hearing speculation on Yahoo’s … [Read the rest »]

Yahoo!’s 8.3 Million Opportunity, That You Haven’t Heard About

While Arrington arrogantly declares that all the options are understood (even as Microsoft’s shareholders appear to be backing out), there’s an angle to the Microsoft/Yahoo! acquisition bid that I think no one’s considered. I think there’s more to Yahoo!‘s value than you may realize…

A Lesson from the Gaming Industry

If you don’t know anything about gaming, this anecdote will (hopefully) be very instructive. And even if you do, it’s a good reminder. Bear with me.

Pre-2006, the console gaming industry was in a slump. The consoles in existence (Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s Playstation 2, and Nintendo’s Gamecube) weren’t significant … [Read the rest »]

Social Networking Services of 2010 – Part I

The pace of technological innovation is continually increasing. The internet of today bears only a superficial resemblance to the internet of 5 years ago. And it’s very likely that the services still evolving today, now mainstream trends, will look very different even only two years from now. GigaOm took a brief, general look at the 20 years of evolution to today’s social networking services. While the past is a valuable guide, the ability to combine new technologies (mashups, the mobile web, peer-to-peer) with current ones will send them down paths impossible for the past to predict.… [Read the rest »]

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