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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Web 2.0 : The Way Forward

Bill Thompson in an excellent essay writes that the time has now come to decide whether to put our faith in Ajaxified snakeoil or to look beyond the interface to distributed systems, scalable solutions and a network architecture that will support the needs and aspirations of the next five billion users. Pointing out that we must not be fooled by the cool sites and apparently open APIs, he says that most of the effort is – literally – window dressing.As he sees it, Web 2.0 marks the dictatorship of the presentation layer, a triumph of appearance over architecture where Ajax is touted as the answer for developers who want to offer users a richer client experience without having to go the trouble of writing a real application, but if the long term goal is to turn the network from a series of tubes connecting clients and servers into a distributed computing environment then we cannot rely on Javascript and XML since they do not offer the stability, scalability or effective resource discovery that we need. He is spot on that there is a massive difference between rewriting Web pages on the fly with Javascript and reengineering the network to support message passing between distributed objects, a difference that too many Web 2.0 advocates seem willing to ignore. He warns that to realize the vision of network as the computer it is a real danger if we stick with Ajax as the mantra. While agreeing with Bill, i think that organizations need to study how to integrate web 2.0 initiatives with other value focussed IT initiatives. Nicholas Carr in an article titled "The Amorality of Web 2.0", Carr slammed overeager Web 2.0 proponents as hyper-hyped.The problems of Web 2.0 may have more to do with human nature, and less with the qualities of bottom-up, online media. After all, the postal system has junk mail, the phone system has 419 scams and telemarketers, and stock markets constantly attract cons. Earlier in response to his criticisms about Web 2,0, I wrote that Nicholas carr has rightly picked up the holes in the Web 2.0 hype - but cut the rhetoric, I do believe in the idea of Web 2.0 and that its time has come – for the simple reason that the web has to see advancements and it has to begin to impact normal life in more ways & means that what it is today and I do not subscribe to the media vs blog battle and that the media is losing the battle – the media may be seen to be losing as like other industries it has not looked in terms of cutting costs through means like offshoring, globalization – theres no one single global newspaper, global TV channel – also it has faced maximum technology changes in its ecosystem. – But to say that the web has threatened it to the extent of killing is wrong – as this note shows, adaptation is the key to succeed – online Wall street journal earns more than print version. So in essence it is just good models always win – with or without Web 2.0. I strongly beleive in the potential of Web 2.0. As I see it with mashups transcending known frontiers, Web 2.0’s impact shall be felt more with the emergence of platforms for the development of rich Internet applications and services. Ajax is enabling the creation of plug-in free Web apps that rival the performance of client-based desktop applications. These developments represent the very tip of exciting innovation to come — innovation that will require a new approach to venture investing led by a new breed of angel and venture investors that are able to successfully balance irrational exuberance with prudent funding to fuel the creation of new platforms for growth. But I agree with Bill that web 2.0 is not the solution to all issues and enterprises need to look far beyond in investing ad harnessing resources and efforts all around and integrate web 2.0 into these initatives.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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