Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Web2.0 - Whooza-Whatsit?

You'll notice a series of photos on my website now.

... I'll get to that.

Some of the tools I've been talking about in this space are starting to be commonly referred to as "Web2.0". I think the gist of what a Web2.0 tool is, is something that enables you to share data and information without needing to "program" (i.e be a programmer).

For example, I can post new entries in this blog without needing to know html, Java, XML, RSS, etc. But the more I know about these things, the more I can do.

It's also about open standards. I could design my blog in a particular way so it could also be automatically be republished - entry for entry - on some other site. However, with open standards I'm not hiding any pieces of the technology, so someone else can look at my blog, and decide to pull the entries automatically.
Lord no! It's copyrighted! It's mine mine mine!
Well, no. I really don't care - I mean, honestly, I'm not making a red cent publishing this here, and what I find I'm intentionally trying to share. So the more I can share it, the better, see? And if I don't have to do anything to share it, even more better better, yezno?

So that's the ... really basic gist behind tools that are collectively called Web2.0. Some of these tools are a bit more complex then where most of us are prepared to go.

Another example - if I take a "Web2.0" tool designed on open standards - like Google Maps - and then I took posted information on gas prices at various pumps around the U.S....
And then some magic happens here, where I'm pretty darn smart and I program a little interface to tie the gas prices to actual pump locations....
I'd have the Cheap Gas Google Map guide.

Now that's useful, particularly in these times. I know what you're thinking - "I wouldn't know how to design that interface!" Well, that's a high-end example.

So take those photos on my sidebar. (Actually, you should check the copyright for each photo before taking them). I went to Flickr, and followed the steps on their Flickr Badge pages. I selected a tag "theatre" and it created the necessary html for me. I then pasted it into the "Sidebar" section of my Blogger template.

If I was smarter, I could edit the html myself. (But I'm not - I'm lazy.)

By the way, here is a more specific theatre photoset. Maybe if I get trickier, I can use this one instead of just "theatre." In either case, what's Very Cool is that this set is automatically updates. Since I've played with this badge - adn since I've edited this entry - 3 new photos have bumped their way onto the sidebar, replacing the three I started with. So I get new content all the time, without doing anything!

More on Web2.0 tools to come!


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