Life, living and Web 2.0

Web 2.0 and more

  • Author: Amol Dalvi

    Amol Dalvi

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Archive for the ‘Democratization’ Category

Drive up your Blog ranking

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 5, 2008

My co-worker Luke forwarded a nice article.

Hey guys, 

Here is a great article I came across that really has some great ideas for driving web traffic. Many of these are tried and true techniques but there are also a lot of other innovative ways included in this article as well…. 

Some of the items on the list are questionable. But it does exemplify why it is hard to make your blog stand out in the mega-crowd of blogs on the Internet. Just posting blog posts won’t drive traffic; you have to do a lot of grassroots effort.


Posted in Democratization, Technology, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Google SocialGraph API

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 1, 2008

Google has launched an API around social networking. In the words of Google:

What is the Social Graph API?

The Social Graph API makes information about the public connections between people on the Web easily available and useful for developers. Developers can query this public information to offer their users dramatically streamlined “add friends” functionality and other useful features.

Now here is what I understand of it – 

We all know that Google crawls the web and figures out which pages link to each other. Google is also crawling the web to find out how sites are related to each other. This is done using –

 a) “XFN”: You can change the links on your page (the <a href=””> tags) to include a parameter called “rel”. “rel” basically indicates how is the linked site related to the current site – is it a friend’s site, or is it a colleague’s site, or is it another of my sites, etc.

b) “FOAF”: Include a series of tags at the top of your site page(s) to indicate who your friends are.

Google is basically going through the “rel” parameters and the FOAF xml tags and storing how one site is related to another. And they have now made this information available to everyone via their new API.

Take a look at the 3 minutes video here, particularly the scenario at the end.

Posted in Democratization, Integration, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Web 2.0 definition

Posted by Amol Dalvi on December 25, 2007

I was on the O’Reilly Radar home and clicked over to the Web 2.0 page: At the very top is an interesting and refreshing definition of Web 2.0:

“…..Web 2.0 is a transformative force that’s propelling companies across all industries towards a new way of doing business characterized by harnessing collective intelligence, openness, and network effects.” 

I really like that. Web 2.0 is not about technology or AJAX or video sharing or blogs. It’s about:

a) collective intelligence;

b) openness (which I think goes hand-in-hand with collective intelligence); and

c) network effects (a wide, easily available, easily accessible and open network makes the collectivness and openness possible).

Posted in Democratization, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Web 2.0 – the quick definition

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 20, 2007

The topic of Web 2.0 came up at work the other day . Luke and Jen, a couple of fine folks I work with, wondered what it really meant. They are really smart folks, are very tech-savvy and I respect them a lot; they are not developers. I explained them Web 2.0 by contrasting it with Web 1.0:

With Web 1.0, everyone published content on the web. With Web 2.0 everyone collaborates on the content, and more importantly, decides which content is good and which should be buried.

Posted in Democratization, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Web 2.0 and the business world

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 14, 2007

It’s great that Web 2.0 is all around us and is used by millions of consumers on the Internet. (Note – I said consumers and not users since I believe that we are now really consumers in this huge marketing channel called the World Wide Web; more on that in a future post). But how does Web 2.0 impact the business world? How do business take advantage of Web 2.0; or the question even before that is how does Web 2.0 apply to the business world?

I found a very good post about this on WebDiva’s blog. In it she talks about how business can adopt Web 2.0. In particular she uses a term “community-based buisness”.

I believe that is the biggest change that Web 2.0 brings about for businesses. Customers, vendors, suppliers are no longer outside entities for a business. Businesses have to accept the paradigm shift that everyone now expects direct and frequent communication with the responsible person at the business for the specific issue or item they have. For example, customers expect to talk to Product Managers directly without having to deal with an Account Manager as the go-between. Suppliers will want to talk to the engineer for his/her specific technical requirements without dealing with a procurement department. Prospective employees want to hear from current employees directly and not the HR dog-n-pony show.

All of this is happening because Web 2.0 is essentially the democratization of the Internet. To adopt Web 2.0, businesses should consider doing the following:

1. Allow a technical writer to write the first draft of the product manual. But make the manual a wiki. Then allow Customer Support and customers themselves to edit and update the product manual; as users they know the product better than anyone else. The tech writer simply becomes an administrator of the manual at that point, validating the changes made to the manual and making sure the manual is well formatted and accurate.

2. My experience has been that a bad hire is far worse than an open position. Allow employees to blog openly. Yes, some of them may say things that Marketing or Management don’t want said. But put control and compliance in place for that. Prospective employees will read the blogs and have real insight in to their prospective employer and their prospective job.

3. Provide APIs for your product. Your product will be extended in ways you never imagined. Suddenly your product will have “features” it never had before; you will be able to reach new customers and drive revenue.

4. Let the voice of many dictate your product roadmap. Allow for Digg style voting of ideas, product features, or even company picnic locations! You will be able to build what a majority of your customers want, not just what the highest paying customer of the month wants.

Posted in Democracy, Democratization, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Web 2.0 – definitions, contd.

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 6, 2007

As I look at the definition of Web 2.0 on Wikipedia, one thing that stands out most to me is the “social” element. All the technologies – blogs, social bookmarking, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, APIs, etc. – at the very essence bring about a “connecting of people”. For example –

  • Blogs help people post their thoughts and lives openly to others;
  • Social bookmarking helps one share what they found on the Internet with others;
  • Wikis let people document collaboratively.

Now, I will go one step further and say that these very Web 2.0 technologies allow a recipient of the information to quickly turn around and comment, reply or influence that original piece of information.

  • I can post my comments openly about any blog posts I read; this allows me to either agree, disgaree or present a different perspective than the one presented by the author. My comments are literally physically tied to the original blog post and literally physically very close to the original blog post
  • I can approve a social bookmark or bury it; my response is literally physically tied to the original bookmark and close to it
  • In a wiki, I am one of the many authors; or I can post comments and  influence readers of the original content

To me that is what Web 2.0 is all about – democratization of the Internet. It’s a step beyond what happened when web sites first came about. With web sites, everyone was posting content and was able to say things to a wide audience easily. Now, this next step in the evolution of the web is this: all the world wide users of the web decide which content is good and which content should be buried.

Posted in Democracy, Democratization, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Overheard in the office – Web2.0?

Posted by Amol Dalvi on January 23, 2007

Here’s a site: Do you think it’s a Web 2.0 site?

It’s a site that allows anyone to post something they have heard in an office. Others can then view the “quotes”. But the interaction does not stop there. You can vote and thus rank the quotes being submitted. If I am more of a passive user, I can just browse for the most popular quotes or the current favorites (although it is unclear what is “current”).

Another interesting interaction is a way to submit banners for the web site. They accept pictures you may have taken and want to showcase on their site. And of course, what has become a norm now is you can sign up to recieve quotes via email. Finally you can even include the quotes on your site.

IMHO, this a Web 2.0 site. It has a very interactive nature to it. The content is provided by the whole world, the content is rated by the whole world. The developers of the site don’t control or dictate what is good or bad; they let the consumers on the Internet decide that. They let you even participate in the look-n-feel of the site by accepting entries for banners from the whole world.

That to me is a classic Web 2.0 site – by the people and for the people. It is the democratization of the Internet.

Posted in Democracy, Democratization, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »