TAG: Ajax

How to Prevent Valueless Design in Social Web Sites

How an over-focus on technology and visual design can hide the real value of social software.

In a fascinating piece on the amazing growth of the photo-sharing site Fotolog, Jason Kottke clearly articulates a growing problem in design:

Fotolog…relative to Flickr…has changed little in the past couple of years. Fotolog has groups and message boards, but they’re not done as well as Flickr’s and there’s no tags, no APIs, no JavaScript widgets, no “embed this photo on your blog/MySpace”, and no helpful Ajax design elements, all supposedly required elements for a successful site in the Web 2.0 era. Even now, Fotolog’s feature set and design remains planted firmly in Web 1.0 territory.”

How do sites with sub-optimal visual design and technology grow so big and become so successful?

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Web as Platform

Tim O’Reilly is returning to the definition he started with: Web 2.0 is the Web as Platform. This is the definition that got me interested in Web 2.0 in the first place. It makes sense, easily contrasts with “desktop as platform”, and is accurate: we are seeing a tremendous platform move to the Web. Unfortunately, […]

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Digg’s Design Dilemma

This past week’s Digg controversy is one in a growing number of incidents that suggest that a small group of users are having an undue influence on the promotion of stories. In response, Digg is changing the way that it handles votes by adding complexity to its ranking algorithm. I think that’s the wrong approach, so here’s another idea: change the actual design of the site…that’s the real problem.

The most recent controversy happened on September 5th, when someone named jesusphreak posted Digg the Rigged?, an in-depth article exposing some of the curious details of recently-popular stories on digg. Many of the stories, jp pointed out, were dugg by members of the Digg Top 30, or the 30 most popular digg members (popular being measured by number of stories submitted that were promoted to the frontpage). The Top 30 includes Digg founder Kevin Rose.

This was not the first time that someone has pointed out this phenomenon. On April 18 of this year Macgyver at ForeverGeek posted Digg Army, which included screenshots of who dugg two recent articles on the site. Each article had the exact same 16 people digging it in the exact same order. Of the first 19, 18 were the same. Included in that list of people was, again, Kevin Rose. ( for an in-depth history see Tony Hung’s excellent: A Brief History of the Digg Controversy)

These incidents, taken together, are more than coincidence…

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7 Reasons Why Web Apps Fail

A few ideas about why some of the web apps out there fail.

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More Flash vs. Ajax

Jonathan Bouttelle has an insightful post about the question that will only be asked more and more:

Flash or Ajax?

A Social Revolution by Modeling Human Behavior

It’s easy to assume that Web 2.0 is a technological revolution, with acronyms like RSS, APIs, Ajax, and XML floating around. However, I think though technology has a central role to play, the real revolution isn’t technological, it’s people-based. Web 2.0 is a social revolution. A common view is that technology drastically changes the way […]

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UIConf: Ajax Everywhere

I’m sitting in Hagan River’s session on web applications and something is explicitly clear: developers all over are using Ajax. Last week when I was at Web2Con everyone was using Ajax there, but that was expected because it was all about brand-new, first-time apps.

At UI10, the attendees aren’t working on start-ups. Most are working in entrenched applications for universities, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and other places that don’t need to be cutting edge. They just need stuff to solidly work. Usable applications are a must.

That’s why I’m surprised that so many people are talking about and using Ajax. In most cases when a new technology comes along, it takes years to get into the mainstream applications. Ajax, it seems, doesn’t fit that model.

Web-based Office Competition Heats Up

A major topic at the Web 2.0 Conference is the web-based office suite. The competition is getting heated, to say the least. Many companies are throwing their bets into the ring, and several have released word processor type applications recently. One recently one was the minimalist Writeboard, released by the 37signals crew, riding an always […]

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Web2Con: Emergent Tags

The following bit emerged out of the What’s in a Tag session at the Web 2.0 Conference. Closely related to the popularity decay idea is the idea of emergent tags. Emergent tags are those tags that become more popular over time. The interesting thing about emergent tags is that they’re rare, but hugely valuable. Why […]

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Web 2.0 as the Era of Interfaces, Redux

In this Era of Interfaces, we have many criss-crossing themes. Among them: Recommendation Systems are an end goal of Web 2.0 applications. This is done by collaborative filtering over user-supplied data. Examples of interfaces include Del.icio.us Popular, Movielens Movie Recommendations, and iTunes Music Store Top Songs. More semantic Data Formats. Joe Reger’s new tool highlights […]

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