Tag Archives: Mashable

State of the Web 2.0 Union

Joseph Smarr and Pete Cashmore
Caption: Joseph Smarr and Pete Cashmore “Partying Like it’s 1999”

I’m back in the office after two action-packed days and evenings in San Francisco for the annual Web 2.0 Expo. It was a huge gathering at an historic point. Are we on the cusp of the open Social Web or the brink of a “nuclear winter” — or both?

I loved this quip in a piece by CNET’s Caroline McCarthy regarding a pre-launch startup, Chi.mp, co-hosting an open bar party with Mashable:

“Amid the drunken revelry and pulsing electronic music, one prominent tech-industry veteran at the party was asked exactly what Chi.mp is. ‘I’ll tell you what Chi.mp is. It’s venture money getting set on fire,’ the jaded observer replied. Surveying the buoyant crowd, he added, ‘This feels a little like 1999.'”

But over-the-top partying aside, the vibe for me was tectonic. I could feel the strain of enormous tension built up along the traditional intersections of the industry’s continents. Microsoft introduces and demonstrated their bold “Mesh” initiative, which pits their cloud computing against Google’s. Yahoo! announced a sweeping makeover as on open platform, but is fighting for its independence from an unsolicited takeover bid by Microsoft. Will Yahoo! have the time to see its open efforts blossom. And if they become a part of Microsoft, how will such efforts “mesh”?

Tim O’Reilly reminded us all that there is something really big going on, and that we should not get distracted by the business headlines. I found his talk inspirational, and I agree with his thesis that the Web, especially the Social Web, is a driver of change in human capability that will have as dramatic an impact as the development of writing or the creation of cities. “Are we done yet?” he asked the crowd, with the fervor of a preacher or Presidential candidate. “No!” came the response.

And in what was one of the most well-received talks of the Expo, here Joseph Smarr of Plaxo articulates with great clarity one area in which we clearly are not “done yet,” deploying a new service layer that will remove the friction of the Social Web:

Here’s one of the key slides from Joseph’s talk that shows the Social Web services layer that we believe is about to emerge:

Emerging service layer for the Social Web

I also had the privilege of having meetings with most of the big companies, and I heard things that would have seemed impossible even a year ago. The commitment to opening up, to open standards, like OpenID, and to interoperability, is really quite amazing. 2008 is going to be an historic year, for sure.

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Another Vital Tool: Summize for Twitter Search


As you know, I’m a big fan of Twitter, and believe that is is becoming a core platform for any conversational marketer. But Twitter’s sprawling success creates the need for an ecosystem of tools to help us slice and dice the conversation cloud. Fortunately, the team at Twitter has provided APIs that enable a vibrant developer community to emerge, with new tools popping every week.

Today, I was excited to discover a new Twitter search tool that jumps ahead of Terraminds (now defunct) and Tweetscan (my go-to search tool in recent days). Summize is the first Twitter search tool that appears to be a commercial offering, rather than somebody’s side project. My thanks to Adam Ostrow at Mashable for the scoop on this new offering (which I learned about via a tweet from Pete Cashmore).

Summize is clean and simple, and has a professional look that inspires confidence. Let’s hope they can back that up with scalability and reliability. In addition, Summize provides RSS feeds for any search term, and one feature that I’m really excited about: search by language. Want to know what people are tweeting about your brand (personal or corporate) in French, German, or any other langauage? Summize to the rescue!

Over at Plaxo, where I head up marketing, that kind of granular search is really important. Our service is available in English and six other languages. Seeing what people are saying about the company or product in the languages we’ve localized in is invaluable. And seeing which languages that we’ve not yet localized in have a lot of chatter about our offering can influence localization priorities going forward.

Two other nice features of Summize: RSS feeds for any search term, and the ability to tweet any search result. My hunch, though, is that there is more to come. I plan to use this tool daily, and suggest you do, too!

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