Return of the Platform

C. Enrique Ortiz writes:

Two things define the essence of Web 2.0: 1) social network software, and 2) services on the web. And the common denominator between these two is collaboration.

At the center of social networks software are human relationships and interactions that are facilitated through web portals, providing easy access and sharing to/with others – the ability collaborate with others. “Social networks” is the power behind the successes of virtual communities such as MySpace, Facebook and others. “Social networks” is also at the center of how services on the web are being produced and consumed, as seen by the current number of Mashups, and the new ones that come into existence almost on a daily basis.

Services on the web is the foundation, the engine, the platform that fuels today’s (and the future) web – this is software developed as services. And these services are the new platform…

Outdoor Ads Enhanced

WSJ writes:

Outdoor advertising, one of the oldest forms of advertising, is reinventing itself. The $23 billion industry is introducing digital technology to change ads faster, new ways of measuring viewers, and billboards that beam information to cellphones. As a result, outdoor advertising companies — which provide billboards, posters and video screens in public places — are now seeing bigger gains than many competitors.

Because outdoor advertising is much less expensive than TV spots, it still accounts for a smaller part of overall ad spending. But it has become the second-fastest growing form of advertising, behind the Internet, according to market-research and media-buying firms.

The Importance of Demographics

[via Sadagopan] Malcolm Gladwell writes:

The relation between the number of people who arent of working age and the number of people who are is captured in the dependency ratio. In Ireland during the sixties, when contraception was illegal, there were ten people who were too old or too young to work for every fourteen people in a position to earn a paycheck. That meant that the country was spending a large percentage of its resources on caring for the young and the old. Last year, Irelands dependency ratio hit an all-time low: for every ten dependents, it had twenty-two people of working age. That change coincides precisely with the countrys extraordinary economic surge.

Demographers estimate that declines in dependency ratios are responsible for about a third of the East Asian economic miracle of the postwar era; this is a part of the world that, in the course of twenty-five years, saw its dependency ratio decline thirty-five per cent. Dependency ratios may also help answer the much-debated question of whether India or China has a brighter economic future. Right now, China is in the midst of what Joseph Chamie, the former director of the United Nations population division, calls the sweet spot. In the nineteen-sixties, China brought down its birth rate dramatically; those children are now grown up and in the workforce, and there is no similarly sized class of dependents behind them. India, on the other hand, reduced its birth rate much more slowly and has yet to hit the sweet spot. Its best years are ahead.

Mobile Web Usability

Wap Review writes:

My fellow mobilist and host of this weeks Carnival of the Mobilists, Daniel Taylor at Mobile Enterprise Weblog has posted an interesting piece on mobile web usability or lack there of. Daniel’s article, Who Designs This Stuff? describes the difficulties and frustrations that he experienced trying to accomplish something on the mobile web that should have been easy – getting the arrival time of a airline flight.

The problems Daniel experienced are typical of the frustration that many users experience when they first try to use the mobile web. The good news is that the causes of some of these difficulties are relatively easy to fix.

Education and the Web

[via Smart Mobs] Judy Breck writes:

Education practice today does little more than toy with the emerging innovation of digital connectivitywhen, in fact, a new knowledge ecology it causes will have to become central to global learning for education as an institution to remain relevant into the future.

You may believe that education does not belong in the open chaos of the emerging Internet. But thinking that misses a wonderful new cognitive order of learning that emerges from the chaos of connected knowledge. Education should be right in there with the other major elements in the ubiquitous mix of the Web world. The openness of the content within the Internet is a change for learning that is as complete as the invention of phonetic symbols was for language.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: The Potential

This is what David Beisel wrote in March 2005:

For the past ten years, the web has been filled with static content using the HTTP protocol. Search engine relevance from for the past five years was derived from link analysis how many pages have linked to a particular page. The offline model equivalent of this structure is a yellow pages or encyclopedia.

Now, the web is becoming dynamic and ever changing. RSS is a more appropriate protocol to deliver this information. Relevance of content isnt just about how popular it is its about timeliness. So traditional search relevance is turned upside-down. The offline model equivalent is a newspaper.

The opportunity is so much greater than just blogging-related RSS and the Incremental Web will transform the way that all information is created, aggregated, and delivered. Individuals and corporations alike are now able to RSS anything. The key question: what does this mean for the creation of new content and the new enterprise value associated with that content?

Another related post in this context is one from Bob Wyman from February 2005:

The basic idea is to go beyond “mere” text in blogs and include structured XML that describes job-openings, events, new prices, press releases, updates to phone numbers and contact info, requests for proposals, etc. i.e. Using the now almost ubiquitous content syndication network to broadcast useful business *data* — not just prose or text commentaries. Blogging, or the more general idea of “syndication”, will have its most important and profitable impact on business by providing a new and effective way for businesses to broadcast data. The result is that in the future, we’ll see “blogging” built into corporate systems (ERP, CRM, etc.) that process data — not text.

Let me give just one example of structured blogging or syndication in business: If your business relies on building things with electronic parts, one of the problems you have is that the parts on your Bill of Materials (BOMs) are constantly being updated, repriced, replaced by new parts, etc. Today, it is very hard to keep track of all the announcements concerning parts that might impact all the BOM’s that your business produces. However, in the future, it is likely that what will happen is that parts suppliers will have “blogs” into which they will post “Change Notices” (using a structured form with fields for ‘part-number’, ‘Change-type’, ‘replacement-part’, etc.). Your company will then “subscribe” to the feeds generated by these blogs (either directly or via PubSub) and will send you notices when the Change Notices apply to BOM’s that your business relies on. As a result, you’ll be able to do a much better job of maintaining up-to-date BOMs and preventing production problems that result from parts-availability problems. The result is that some of the promise of EDI will, in fact, be accomplished via “blogging” or the use of syndication formats and systems. The future of business blogging is more than just text…

Astute readers would have noticed that most of the posts and thinking happened quite some time ago. Whats the connection between them, India and the present?

Tomorrow: India Scenario

Continue reading