Web 2.0 and “the new” innovation imperative

After experiencing PeopleAggregator (which, BTW, seems to have been dubbed “PeepAgg”) off-n-on for the last 24 hours, I was pleased by how it’s been architected to embrace and extend open standards, open formats and “hey…take your data with you if you don’t like us” approach.

Then this morning I was talking to someone about PeepAgg and extending it. The discussion came around to Typepad widgets and  a site that does widget aggregation for blogs, web sites, MySpace, etc., and how cool it was to be able to snag and place these widgets to add all kinds of functionality to what we each offer.

Then I had an “aha!” and a realization that’s obviously hit many others but finally sunk in to my thick skull: to innovative today doesn’t mean following the lead of Microsoft, Apple, IBM or any other monolithic computing leader AT ALL…but rather creating and innovating offerings that can be leveraged and consumed by lots and lots of other offerings and Web 2.0 sites!

Love the widget concept. They’re truly unique little code snippets that people understand, can copy-n-paste on to their own blog or site, and provide functionality that are truly useful.

But like Marc Canter’s old blog that had tons of widgets on it and took FOREVER TO LOAD (I once called him the poster child for Web 2.0 latency), I fear that self-contained widgets (that pull data from the same site vs. grabbing stuff that lives elsewhere on the internet hosted elsewhere) will make loading and surfing blogs a horrible experience.

Unfortunately most people don’t even think about page optimization, latency, file sizes or any of the other things that provide people with a halfway decent experience. Will any of the blogging or web hosting providers build-in load time analytic tools? I once had an executive at a hoster test my blog page and found it was 2.7MB’s! (I use lots of images, grab stuff from Amazon, etc.). Of course, most of the stuff on my own blog that I preview loads once, is cached locally, so it never seems that bad to me. I am now ALOT more aware and ensure that images are scrunched down as much as possible in file size so I can optimize my blog. Most people are clueless about what to do.

Maybe bandwidth will keep increasing so this will become a moot point…or maybe it already is. What’s your experience?

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3 Comments

  1. Ja on July 1, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    Wow, I’d visited this site once before by accident which intrigued me given the name of my site and the parallels/different takes. Then I came across it again via PA and didn’t even realize it until I paid your blog a visit. Strange.

    Anyhow, have you tried Pageflakes? It’s basically what you described. Personally I love it since it’s one of the few ways to aggreggate all your stuff into one place on the web that you can easily share with people in different ways.

    Check it out if you haven’t and let me know if it’s at all similar to what you were thinking of.

    Cheers!

    Jā



  2. steve borsch on July 2, 2006 at 9:29 am

    I have tried Pageflakes. It’s sort of what I want…but really what I’m describing is a way to publish or provide stuff.

    There are alot of ways to aggregate and deliver data…but I’m not quite there yet nor have I seen anything that’s right.

    Yeah…bizarre about your disconnecting them dots!



  3. Ja on July 3, 2006 at 4:07 am

    Hrm, still a little foggy on exactly what you want but I definitely have a better idea. I totally agree about keeping things lightweight in aggregation times/loads as well as the self-contained things.

    Bandwidth is something I myself often forget about since I know only one person still using dial-up. Most are still designing things to be accessible at 800×600 resolution but forgetting the dialup part which is still alive and kicking I’ve found.

    As far as aggregation solutions, I just started looking at SimplePie to see if it’s a decent way to save some time in building the types of aggregation and publishing I’d like… for example a simple way for friends to aggregate all my feeds (or selected ones) at once. With everyone being registered on so many services these days, I end up having to go around, find, and grab 24 different feeds for just a handful of friends. And that only gets me access to publicly shared stuff, but that’s a different matter.

    I must be the Anti-Steve if our blog names are any indication. 😉

    Jā



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