State of Web 2.0

Dion Hinchcliffe writes about some of the trends:

– An Increasing Attention Scarcity: There isn’t enough atttention, or users that supply it, to go around. Particuarly there’s just too many channels vying for it or existing channels are still dominate the majority of attention. This will affect the viability of new online entries and force them to create innovative ways to acquire attention.

– Online Social Communities Are A Winning Model – It’s unclear what the monetization is (other than advertising) or the cost of successfully starting one, but many of the fastest growing and most popular places heavily use social software techniques to draw and keep users. And some begunnung are to acquire valuations in the billions. (Some Examples: SecondLife, MySpace, FaceBook.).

– The RIA Model Works – Ajax was just coined last year but it looks like it’s here to stay and then some. Using nothing more than what you find in the browser, Ajax can create great Web platform ready clients that are as good as native clients. To see the potential, check out the radically advanced Hive7 using nothing more than Javascript. Expect that XUL, WPF/E, and Flash will give Ajax a bit of a run for its money later this year though.

– Traditional Software Vendors Will Struggle in a Web 2.0 World – Microsoft and Google will likely figure it out, though it’s not a sure thing either. Microsoft has serious product line baggage and Google has healthy challenges in managing its growth and maintaining a sharp focus on strategy. Google’s latest products don’t seem to have their famous edge, for example. The smaller, nimbler Web 2.0 startups might continue to be a great source of innovation but it might make sense for Google to acquire startups and immedatiely spin it off to avoid the “big company effect.”

Howard Rheingold Interview has an interview with Howard Rheingold and Mizuko Ito. An excerpt:

Keep in mind that the original operators who enabled SMS, the killer app for teens and mobile phones, had NO IDEA that it would either be popular with youth or would be a revenue generator. The engineers build the SMS specification into the GSM standard, When young people got their hands on a medium that enabled them — for the first time! — to communicate directly with their peers without parents or teachers overhearing, they started using it. The ability to send a few words to a friend, instead of initiating a phone call, became both economically and socially attractive to others. But keep in mind as well that the whole 3G model was created by the same operators who formerly had no clue that people would use SMS for social communication. The PC, the Internet, SMS, and DoCoMo were all successful because the users, not the manufacturer or operator, invented uses for the technology. Handset manufacturers have been slow to catch on, as well — isn’t it weird that the first millions of cameraphones were sold without a single-click mechanism for sending pictures to your online gallery? You can be sure that the most important applications of the next generation of mobile culture will be those that are adopted or appropriated by kids on the streets of Shanghai or Milan or Rio, not those that are invented through focus groups in skyscrapers.