November 19, 2007

The Old Web = Ten Million Catalogs

Stowe Boyd always has something interesting and thought provoking to share on his /Message blog. If you are interested in the intersection of technology and society, I highly recommend giving a little attention.

Today's post is
The Old Web = Ten Million Catalogs (part of his The Social Web: What's The New Web Worth series) which looks back at the past ten years of the Web to draw out the distinction of what the new Social Web has become.

These services are based on a catalog metaphor, where sellers can offer goods or services, and buyers (generally consumers) can find them and acquire them. The volume and low overhead of online services hollowed out the markets in most areas thet they touched, for example, sideswiping brick-and-mortar bookstores, blowing up the travel agent business, and strongly cratering the head hunter marketplace.

I like where this is going - pointing out a 'catalog metaphor' for Web services helps me describe to people how my current company isn't just a directory of people - it's a way to add a social dimension to the Web, centered on people not pages.

November 17, 2007

Steve Vinoski’s Blog

Steve Vinoski is one cool dude. I've always had the utmost respect for IONA and even after leaving a while back, Steve continues to show the attitude of professional engineering that garnered that respect. With his measured explanation of his view of REST and Dare's theory and practice post I think I'm ready to walk away from cooling embers of the dying REST .vs. SOAP flame war. Time to unsubscribe from rest-discuss.

From Steve's blog, here are some good quotes:
People seem to get really upset when I say that the static typing benefits of popular imperative languages are greatly exaggerated, and when I say that developing real, working systems in dynamic languages is not only possible, it’s preferable.

Either way, no interface definition language is ever going to keep you or some other real live person from having to figure out what the service actually does and how to actually use it, and then coding your client accordingly.

Remember, REST is an example of applying well-chosen constraints to achieve desired architectural properties for a broad class of distributed systems, and so that’s what its constraints are all about.

Either way, anti-REST folks commonly claim that REST’s success is due only to the fact that there’s a human-driven browser in the mix, but that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

Having a solid thinker like Steve Vinoski blogging makes the Web a better place. Can't wait to hear the details of what he's working on.

November 15, 2007

Amazon PR: Neither Open Nor Social

Looks like there was a bit of a messaging snafu between Marshall Kirkpatrick and Amazon and the results are not pretty - ouch. There's messaging then there's messaging. Let's see what the 'go-forward strategy' is...

Is this just communication gone awry, or is there a culture clash looming?

From Read/WriteWeb
- Amazon PR: Neither Open Nor Social

Did you know that there's been no RSS feeds for top selling items in categories at Well, there is now - and they were so excited that they figured it out, that they wrote it up in a press release.

November 04, 2007

Nielsen on Generic Commands

I ran across this interesting bit from Jakob Nielsen's UseIt site about user interface design. It's about using the same few commands in a UI and is an interesting twin to the 'uniform interface' aspect of REST. Although a 'user interface' and a 'network interface' are very different beasts I can't help but wonder if there's some fundamental reason for the similarity.

Summary: Applications can give users access to a richer feature set by using the same few commands to achieve many related functions.

In application design, there's a tension between power and simplicity: Users want the ability to get a lot done, but they don't want to take the time to learn lots of complicated features.

OpenSocial - what? no logo?

Everybody has been commenting on the news of the week - Google and MySpace spinning out their own system for applets within social networks called OpenSocial.

It seems everyone has missed the biggest gap in the OpenSocial system - they have no logo! Rather than talk about the disappointing lack of open content in their 'extension' to Atom for profile data (anyone heard of hCard or FOAF?) or the lack of anything innovative like client-side includes (that might actually lead to social networks being spidered by a big search engine) I've decided to contribute my l33t grafx skillz to the community in the form of an OpenSocial logo. It includes the mandatory Web 2.0/startup color scheme of blue and orange. I need to figure out how to include the RSS radio waves into the design somehow...

or this...

Next, a motto : "Where do I belong today?"