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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Next Generational Shift : From Web Page to Web Platform

A decade back the advent of the web opened up vast banks of information to anyone with an Internet connection. Intellignet programs use data from public Web sites & uique solutions mix up that information to suit specific user needs. Often developed by third party/individuals, “mash up" programs, provide services beyond those of the base sites. We had been covering the rise of Web 2.0, the impact of mashup's in transcending new frontiers. We covered several important advancements related to Web 2.0 here, here, here, here. We also covered Yahoo and Google moves to
publish documentation
, making it significantly easier for programmers to link virtually any kind of Internet data to Web-based maps and, in Google's case, satellite imagery. Their uses have been demonstrated in dozens of ways by hobbyists and companies that includes display of instant maps showing the locations of the recent bombing attacks in London.

News.com writes, Web site owners will increasingly resemble software companies - To generate traffic and sales, they will encourage add-on products and Web services. They also portend big changes for site owners - at least, for those who want to take part in the next stage of the Web, called Web 2.0 by some. Instead of treating the Web just as a handy way to publish information, businesses need to start acting like software companies and encourage programmers to build services on top of their platforms. "Mash-ups" let people combine information from different Web sites and are reshaping the Web experience, allowing independent developers to better control and customize the information consumers can get. By mimicking software companies and encouraging coders to build upon their data, Web site operators can give consumers more-tailored services-and themselves richer products. Amazon.com touts its "seller platform" for letting third-parties sell through its Web site, and it has regular software product releases. Applications like BookBurro lets people compare book prices. This sort of Web service can be constructed pretty quickly: Instead of having to build a book search and e-commerce engine from scratch, one person can create something entirely new by combining Amazon's tool with other data sources. Inviting third-party developers to build on top of a company Web site-much the way Microsoft woos outside programmers to its Windows operating system- creates a new ecosystem and a now healthy business. eBay, for example, already gets more than 20 percent of its listings via programs created by outsiders to automate the auction giant's process. Mash-ups like these are emerging as a growing number of Web properties are releasing instructions, or APIs, on how to access their data. With these publicly available APIs-often published in standardized XML protocols-programmers get the documentation and tools needed to pull data from Web sites and to combine it with another information source to create something new. The effect is to put a great deal of power in the hands of outside individuals and to transform Web sites into programmable machines.Some Web start-ups are making developer involvement a central part of their business plan. For example, Flickr and social-networking service 43 Things both publish APIs. This all adds up to a shift in the Web. In effect, the nature of what a site can be has changed. Rather than being part of a publishing system, Web sites are becoming programmable, much like a PC's operating system. Business would be able to tap into the Internet "cloud" and procure and combine third-party Web services from a public directory, too.We are in the midst of an age of radical change & advancement of the web world - huge changes are clearly in store in the near future..

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"