Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The future of search - people power vs. Google

There is a great discussion thread on Om's blog about people powered search vs. Google. While Om is pessimistic, I think that the discussion thread and user comments are very well worth reading since they bring up some great points. So, spend some time with the comments.

However, I have to say that most people lack vision and are just too afraid. I guess the Google hype is to blame for this.
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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Blogging through Your Browser with "Performancing"

I writing this post using the new Performancing extension for Firefox.
It allows you to update your blog directly from your browser without
having to log into Blogger.com and deal with blogger's messy and
outdated posting system.

If you're a Firefox user get performancing from this link: http://www.performancing.com/.

This is yet another reason why you should be using Firefox. I'm looking forward to seeing more of such "social extensions" from the Firefox community. Will Firefox eventually start to resemble Flock? I for one, hope so!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The not so web 2.0, web 2.0 workgroup

What is wrong with the web 2.0 workgroup?

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with the web 2.0 workgroup. In fact, I have every single one of these blogs in my daily blog reader and love reading what these thought leaders are up to. Together, the web 2.0 workgroup is perhaps the single best source of content for what is going on regarding the future of the web. I read every single blog post by the likes of Scooble and TechCrunch and Read/Write Web.

However, I do think that the ideal vision of a web 2.0 workgroup could be so much more.

What is missing? A lot!

Lets just see how many of the key web 2.0 attributes actually apply to the web 2.0 group:

Foundation attributes

1) User contributed content - No (members only - best content could be excluded)
2) The long tail - No (members only - best content could be in long tail)
3) Network effects - Weak

Experience attributes

1) Decentralization - No (members only)
2) Co-creation - No (members only)
3) Remixability - Yes (RSS, OPML, etc)
4) Emergent Systems - No (value of service not driven by all users)

Ok granted, the web 2.0 workgroup was not designed and never claimed to fully embrace all of the things that make web 2.0 special. However, why is there no tool that makes it far easier for a true web 2.0 driven web 2.0 workgroup to emerge?

I have some ideas but the reason this problem has not been solved is because it is not easy to solve.

However, if anyone can do it, I can see the service become very valuable very quickly. Here at BlinkList we are certainly trying to do our part to surface information from the long-tail but I have to admit that we are still far away from the service that I envision here.

Until something better comes along, I will continue to get my web 2.0 news from the web 2.0 workgroup, memeorandum, digg, and of course BlinkList.


Blink It

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

BlinkList has new buttons!

Today we added another cool enhancement to BlinkList that I am very happy with. What we wanted to do is make our site even more appealing than before and one of the things that was bugging us for the longest time was the main BlinkList button.

It used to look like this:



As you can probably tell, our old button was functional but nothing much to look at. Well, since we are truly passionate about our product this has been bugging us for quite some time; in particular Jiangti. :-)

So, we asked Dani, who has been doing lots of amazing work for us and is very talented with web design, to come to the rescue. After many iterations, we are happy to present to you the new BlinkList buttons.



Now that they are even more inviting to look at and click on, I hope you will start blinking even more. :-)
Blink It

Monday, December 19, 2005

BlinkList adds ajax driven tagtree

I forgot to mention in our last post that the new tag trees are of course ajax driven. I guess around here that almost goes without saying.

That means that we load all of the information on the fly as the user requests it without having to reload the entire page. We are definitely big fans of how ajax is helping to make sites far more intuitive, responsive, and efficient on the bandwidth and database.

Here is the tag tree for ajax if you want to take a closer look.

Blink It

A new delicious way to navigate through tags

We just rolled out an exciting new feature on BlinkList that makes online discovery even faster and far more intuitive than before. Jiangti and Hannu, our two key developers are just amazing! Kudos to Jiangti for coming up with this idea and kudos to the two of them for pulling it off in no time!

What is it?

We call it a "Tag Tree" and it works much better than a tag cloud. Now, when you are on the main public page or on any discovery page, you will always see a list of the most popular / related tags and you can use that tree to very quickly find what you are looking for.

Here is what one user already had to say about the new navigation on BlinkList:

"I really like the new version of Popular Tags with the count beside the Tag. That is even better than having Size differences and much more informative too! Your team continues to come up with great new features and quick bug fixes. Keep up the GREAT Work!"

You want to see a good example. Just go to this public discovery page for web design.

As you will start to see, the BlinkList discocvery pages are starting to become a fun way to discovery new information online and the new tag tree of related tags gives you a very quick and efficient way to further refine your search results and find exactly what you are looking for.

Blink It

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yahoo! buys del.icio.us!

Well, the news is out, Yahoo! just gobbled up del.icio.us, another leading web 2.0, community, and tagging based site. I have to admit that what Yahoo! is doing is smart from their point of view.

They are starting to realize that community, as opposed to technology, could be the big differentiator between them and Google. That is why they first bought Flickr and why del.icio.us is a perfect fit if Yahoo! wants to continue to push into community and user generated content.

Yahoo! probably also bought del.icio.us because their Yahoo! MyWeb product was a big failure. Their product was a bad imitation of del.icio.us and failed to get any traction. So, they just followed an old mantra that when you can't beat em just go and buy them.

For del.icio.us, this acquisition makes sense because they were probably afraid of running out of cash. Their burn rate must have gotten quite high with 9 full-time employees, and the road to profitability is still very far off. So, I can see how they got nervous and wanted to cash out.

If anything, this also starts to further validate tagging as the future of archiving, annotating, retrieving, and finding information in the Long Tail. If you have been using sites such as Flickr, del.icio.us, or BlinkList, you already have an intuitive understanding of how much better it is.

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