The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005

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The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005

It’s getting towards the end of the year and I’m feeling the need to take stock of where we’ve actually come with Web 2.0 in the last 12 months. So much has happened in this space recently and a tidal wave of innovative, high-quality software has been released this year. So much in fact, that it’s hard to keep track of it all. While many of us talk about Web 2.0 ideas, there’s no substitute for pointing to concrete examples. And this also gives credit where credit is due to all the hard-working folks building the next generation of the Web.

So in spirit of the holidays, here is a list of some of the best Web 2.0 software that I’ve come across so far. You may have heard of some of these, but hopefully you’ll find a few nice new Christmas presents under your Web 2.0 tree.

Finally, the usual disclaimer: This list is entirely subjective and any errors or omissions are my fault, you may not (and probably won’t!) agree with some of the software I’ve listed. But this isn’t a one-way web, I definitely encourage you to list anything you feel we missed or got wrong below in the comments. Please use the wiki link syntax ([url text_desc]) help to make sure you embed plenty of good links. Finally, a big thanks to Kate Allen for help compiling this list. Enjoy!

The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005

Category: Social Bookmarking

Best Offering: del.icio.us

del.icio.us

Description: Just acquired by Yahoo!, which already has a social bookmarking service called My Web 2.0, the exact future of this seminal bookmarking site is now a little up in the air. But del.icio.us remains the best, largest, fastest, and most elegant social bookmarking service on the Web. In fact, del.icio.us is the benchmark that all others use. And because del.icio.us appears to take the Web 2.0 ideas pretty seriously, they provide a nice API for others to build new services on top of. As a consequence of this, and because social bookmarking sites makes everyone’s data public, witness the amazing array of add-on services (or if you have 15 minutes to spare, look here) that mash-up or otherwise reuse del.icio.us functionality and content. If you want access to your bookmarks anywhere you go along with engaging and satisfying functionality, this is your first stop. I personally can’t live without my tag cloud of del.icio.us bookmarks.

Runners-Up
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Category: Web 2.0 Start Pages

Best Offering: Netvibes

Description: There are a rapidly growing number of Ajax start pages that allow your favorite content to be displayed, rearranged, and viewed dynamically whenever you want. But if the traffic to this blog is any indication (though possibly it isn’t) Netvibes is far and away the most popular one. Available in multiple languages, sporting new integration with Writely, and offering an extremely slick and well-designed interface that provides some of the best DHTML powered drag-an-drop organization, Netvibes has no major vendor backing, yet it has captured mindshare out of pure excellence. While many of the major Web companies like Microsoft and Google are offering competing products, none of them are yet very good.

Runners-Up
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Category: Online To Do Lists

Best Offering: Voo2do


Description:
Ever more of the software we use on a daily basis is moving online, from e-mail to feed readers. To-do list managers are no exception. I’ve used a variety of them and so far the one that’s resonated with me most is Voo2do. A one person operation run by Shimon Rura, Voo2do uses Ajax sparingly but very effectively to let you create and manage multiple to do lists. With an API available for you to access or export your data with your own programs, support for Joel Spolsky’s Painless Software Scheduling method, Voo2do is the embodiment of simple, satisfying software.

Runners-Up:


Category: Peer Production News

Best Offering: digg

Description: While not packed with Ajax, digg frankly doesn’t lack for it. And of course, Ajax is only one of many optional ingredients on the Web 2.0 checklist. The important Web 2.0 capability digg provides is that it successfully harnesses collective intelligence. All news items listed in digg are supplied by its users which then exert editorial control by clicking on the digg button for each story they like. The home page lists the most popular current stories, all selected by its registered users. And digg’s RSS feed has to be one of the most popular on the Web. Digg has been so successful that Wired magazine has even speculated it could bury Slashdot, which also allows users to submit stories, but doesn’t let them see what stories were submitted or vote on them.

Runners-Up:


Category: Image Storage and Sharing

Best Offering: Flickr

Description: Also acquired by Yahoo! earlier this year, Flickr is the canonical photo/image sharing site par excellence. Sprinkled with a smattering of just enough Ajax to reduce page loads and make tasks easy, Flickr provides an open API, prepackaged licensing models for your photos, tagging, a variety of community involvement mechanisms, and a vast collection of add-ons and mashups. There are other sites but none of them compare yet. Flickr is one of the Web 2.0 poster children and for a good reason.

Runners-Up:


Category: 3rd Party Online File Storage

Best Offering:
Openomy

Description: As more and more software moves to the Web, having a secure place for your Web-based software to store files such as documents, media, and other data will become essential. There is a burgeoning group of online file storage services and Openomy is one that I’ve been watching for a while. With 1Gb of free file storage and an open API for programmatic access to your tag-based Openomy file system, and you have the raw ingredients for secure online storage of your documents wherever you go. There is even a Ruby-binding for the API. Expect lots of growth in this space going forward, especially as other Web 2.0 applications allow you to plug into your online storage service of choice and the desire also grows to offload personal data backup to professionals.

Runners-Up:


Category: Blog Filters

Best Offering: Memeorandum.com

Description: Gabe Rivera’s Memeorandum service is a relevance engine that unblinkingly monitors the activity in the blogosphere and appears to point out the most important posts of the day with a deftness that is remarkable. The growing attention scarcity caused by the rivers of information we’re being subjected to in the modern world needs tools that effectively help us cope with it. Blog filters are just one key example of what the future holds for us. Memeorandum covers both the political and technology blogospheres, and hopefully others in the future. There are other blog and news filters out there, but none compare in terms of simplicity, elegance, and satisfying results.

Runners-Up:


Category: Grassroots Use of Web 2.0

Best Offering: Katrina List Network

Description: I covered Katrinalist.net in a detailed blog post a while back but it remains one of the best examples of grassroots Web 2.0. Katrinalist was an emergent phenomenon that triggered the peer production of vital information in the aftermath of this year’s hurricane disaster in New Orleans. In just a handful of days participants created XML data formats, engineered data aggregation from RSS feeds, and harnessed volunteer efforts on-the-fly to compile survivor data from all over the Web. This led to tens of thousands of survivor reports being aggregated into a single database so that people could easily identify and locate survivors from the Katrinalist Web site. All this despite the fact that the information was distributed in unstructured formats from all over the Web with no prior intent of reuse. A hearty thanks again to David Geilhufe for help making Katrinalist happen.

Runners-Up:


Category: Web-Based Word Processing

Best Offering: Writely

Description: Easy to set-up, fast, free (in beta), and familiar to those with even a passing familiarity to MS word, Writely.com is an effective and easy to use online word processor. With its WSIWYG editor, users can change font and font size, spell check and insert images (up to 2MB). It also uses tagging and version control, both excellent features for any word processor. A very useful word processing tool, especially for those who can’t afford to buy MS Office. In addition to being a word processor, Writely.com also serves as a collaboration tool. Users invite others to collaborate on a certain documents via email. It is can also serve as a tool to help a user blog and publish. Built with an AJAX user interface, it maximizes many of the new features available with Web 2.o. It ends, once and for all, any uncertainty that productivity tools can and should stay online. Writely is the best out there but just by a nose. The others are very close runners-up.

Runners-Up:


Category: Online Calendars

Best Offering:
CalendarHub

Description: Online calendaring is a rapidly growing product category in the Web 2.0 software arena. The fact is that a lack of good, shareable electronic calendars is still a real problem these days. I’m fond of saying that the software world has vast collections of synchronization utilities and integration capabilities, yet it’s incredible that we still can’t routinely do simple things like keeping our personal, family, and work calendars synchronized. CalendarHub is the best online calendar I’ve seen so far, with Kiko a close second.

Runners-Up:


Category: Project Management & Team CollaborationBest Offering: BaseCamp

Description: Web 2.0 has terrific social collaboration models for two-way information exchange like blogs and wikis, open enrichment mechanisms like tagging, ranking, popularity, and organizing techniques like folksonomies. All of these provide a great backdrop for team collaboration and project management. Surprisingly, there aren’t many terrific Web 2.0 project management tools. Part of this is because project management tends to be very specific between different types of projects. Fortunately for Web 2.0 companies, this means there isn’t a lot of competition from traditional software companies like Microsoft and Primavera, which churn out somewhat mediocre products in the shrinkwrapped software space. This is why 37Signal’s Basecamp is such a pleasant surprise. It’s an excellent team-based project management tool that continues to delight me the more I use it.

Runners-Up:

The Story Continues However, As It Must!

No one person could accurately list the best Web 2.0 software of 2005. This is the wisdom of crowds bit of Web 2.0. In order to complete this list, I’ll need your help. Please contribute your selections below. Keep in mind that I haven’t worked with many of the terrific Web 2.0 software applications out there but many of you have. There are whole product categories I’m not covering here and I’m glad to keep extending this post if we get lots of feedback. Tell me about social spreadsheets, Web 2.0 project management tools, video versions of Flickr, additional grassroots Web 2.0 events, and whatever else you know of.

Web 2.0 is an exciting, vibrant community. Let’s show the world what Web 2.0 is made of…

Update: I added an online calendar section and put a few new runners-up. Also added project management and team collaboration.

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陈一舟:WEB 2.0的商业之道” 一文中提及了Semantic web和web 2.0的比较,把目前一些被认为是web 2.0的东西和semantic web进行了比较,分析了一些不同。 对此本人不敢苟同, semantic web的概念本身比较技术化和学术化,我不想去详细写大部分人并不感兴趣的技术部分,只是原文中对两个概念的比较存在误导读者的可能,对两个定义不同的概 念(有一个甚至没法给出概念),比较各自不同的方面,得出有区别的结论,有何意义?其实我相信大家看了半天,除了觉得有些高深并没有明白结论是什么。

所以,Tim-Berners-Lee在提出WWW不久,即开始推崇语 义网(Semantic Web)的概念。为什么呢?因为互联网上的内容,机器不能理解。他的理想是,网页制作时和架构数据库时,大家都用一种语义的方式,将网页里的内容表述成机 器可以理解的格式。这样,整个互联网就成了一个结构严谨的知识库。从理想的角度,这是很诱人的,因为科学家和机器都喜欢有次序的东西。Berners- Lee关心的是,互联网上数据,及能否被其它的互联网应用所重复引用。

但是,语义网提出之后,曲高和寡,响应的人不多。为什么?因为指望要网页的制作者提供这么多额外的信息去让机器理解一个网页,太难;简直就是人给机器打工。这违反了人们能偷懒就偷懒的本性。

我们看到,用户在互联网上的作用越来越大;他们贡献内容,传播内容,而且提供了这些内容之间的链接关系和浏览路径。在SNS里面,内容是以用户为核心来组织的。WEB2.0是以用户为核心的互联网。

那么,这种意义上的WEB2.0,和Tim Berners-Lee的语义网,有什么不同呢?语义网的出发点是数据的规整及可重复被机器调用,提出使用语义化的内容发布工具, 试图从规则和技术标准上使互联网更加有序。 Google等搜索引擎,在没有语义网的情况下,尽可能的给互联网提供了线索。 WEB2.0则是鼓励用户用最方便的办法发布内容(blog/podcasting),但是通过用户自发的(blog)或者系统自动以人为核心(SNS) 的互相链接给这些看似凌乱的内容提供索引。 因为这些线索是用户自己提供,更加符合用户使用感受。互联网逐渐从以关键字为核心的组织方式和阅读方式,到以互联网用户的个人portal(SNS)为线 索,或者以个人的思想脉络(blog/rss)为线索的阅读方式。WEB2.0强调用户之间的协作。WIKI是个典型例子。从这个角度看,互联网是在变得 更有序,每个用户都在贡献:要么贡献内容,要么贡献内容的次序.

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One Response to “The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005”

  1. Caiwangqin’s delicious bog » links for 2006-01-06 Says:

    […] TenderLover » Blog Archive » The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005 (tags: web2.0) […]

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