Posts tagged Web 2.0

Youtube Crowned World’s Second Most Popular Website

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Video Search Marketing Comes Of Age As Youtube Crowned World’s Second Most Popular Website

YouTubeAccording to data at Alexa.com which ranks websites according to their visitor traffic, Web 2.0 video sharing site Youtube.com has now overtaken Google.com as the world’s second most visited website. Is this proof that video search marketing has come of age and is becoming a threat to traditional online search?


According to data at Alexa.com which ranks websites according to their visitor traffic, Web 2.0 video sharing site Youtube.com has now overtaken Google.com as the world’s second most visited website. Is this proof that video search marketing has come of age and is becoming a threat to traditional online search? “The proof is in the pudding,” claims one prominent internet marketer.

After noticing a massive spike in popularity and traffic at video sharing sites such as Youtube.com starting early last year, internet marketer and website traffic expert Kevin Riley decided to see for himself if online video had more than just entertainment value.

Is Web 2.0 a dud?

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At a conference that devoted much of its attention to celebrating the rise of collaborative platforms, media, and technologies, you had to wonder if the “Web 2.0” collaborative future would die before it really began. That was my takeaway from the Demo Fall 2008 conference in San Diego, which gave 72 startups six minutes each to show their stuff, usually in beta form.

Most of the startups focused on collaborative technologies, from the still-popular but overcrowded photo sharing and contacts sharing services to the more intriguing ones such as Qtask’s eponyous online project collaboration suite in the business space and MixMatchMusic’s self-named service for musical collaboration, which is meant to let artists work together and then share in revenues from their works.

I was struck by how obvious and redundant many of the startups’ ideas were. For many, the goal was to own a social channel — such as document sharing, photo sharing, contacts sharing, music sharing, or video sharing — and somehow ride the social networking/Web 2.0 buzz to profits, usually based on ads. Never mind that Web 2.0 stalwarts such as Facebook haven’t been able to do so. Or that such sites are a dime a dozen today, all vying to be your only hub for whatever information they store on your behalf. Or that they all seem to assume that people really do want to watch every video ever made or see every photo ever taken. Many of this ilk seemed like last-gasp attempts to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon before the VC community moved on.

In separate presentations, Demo executive producer Chris Shipley and AllThingsD.com co-executive editor Kara Swisher noted this gap, and both suggested that the “hanging out” type of Web 2.0 environments like Facebook and MySpace wouldn’t stay relevant much longer. In their place, Shipley predicted the rise of “collaboration for a purpose” sites and services that would come with lucrative business cases. Sites like Facebook certainly were critical for showing that the Web was about more than informational pages and transactions, but they wouldn’t have the same financial effects as either of the previous Web generations, she said. The purposeful sites she saw emerging would have that impact, Shipley proposed.

Swisher noted that two underpinnings of many of the Web 2.0 startups were in doubt: advertising and ubiquitous connectivity. She noted that the poor economy, which is likely to remain that way for some time, made advertising a risky basis for business success. And she said that poor wired and wireless broadband speeds and coverage, coupled with its very high price compared to the rest of the world and the moves by carriers to limit user bandwidth usage, made it risky to base a business on ubiquitous, fast, cheap broadband coverage to carry all that data, video, and audio.

Still, there were some indications of a change toward purposeful collaboration, Shipley predicted. Compared to two other project-collaboration services at the Demo Fall show, Qtask’s project service seemed to be viable, covering not just shared documents and messaging but actual project management tools to track schedules, approvals, and assignments. Given how much time people spend in e-mail anyhow, it’s unclear whether they can be convinced to use such a service and not fall back to sending out mass e-mails to project participants instead.

Another example was Cinergix’s Creately, an online business process modeling tool that, in Microsoft Visio fashion, lets you diagram processes such as network design or mortgage approval workflows, with embedded rules that let you validate the process as you diagram it. Such tools have long existed, but not in a collaborative Web environment in which users can propose their own business logic.

Mono helps Silverlight get closer to Adobe AIR

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Miguel de Icaza, who heads up the open-source Mono project, has provided an update on a project to create Silverlight applications that run out of the browser, moving a small step toward what Adobe Systems offers with AIR.

Mono is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .Net framework. It lets developers use Microsoft tools and languages, like C#, to write applications that run on Windows, Linux, or MacOS.

Part of the Mono project is Moonlight, an implementation of Silverlight that runs on Linux. Silverlight is a browser plug-in for rich Internet applications.

De Icaza said that some of the Moonlight work aims to let people write Silverlight applications that run standalone, outside the browser.

That’s not something Microsoft offers right now. Many people expect the company to do that to compete with Adobe’s AIR, which lets people use Web tools to write desktop applications.

The “Moonlight desklets” from Mono run standalone outside the browser, too. But de Icaza made it clear that there’s quite a bit of work to make it easier to write them for all Mono-supported operating systems.

“We as a team can certainly create a Linux-only platform for these controls, and live happily with Mopen, but we would miss an opportunity of having something cross platform like AIR is.

“Ideally, Microsoft would follow our direction and implement and distribute the same Mopen functionality (the mechanism for creating stand-alone Moonlight desklets) that we have for Windows and Mac. This would ensure maximum adoption of standalone Silverlight-applications,” de Icaza wrote in his blog.

He said once Microsoft releases Silverlight 2.0 later this year, the task of writing standalone Silverlight applications will get easier. He also said that it would be a feature in Moonlight 2.0 while they are still working on the 1.0 version.

PHP IDE like VS for ASP.NET

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Seeking to make PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) development similar to developing applications with Microsoft’s ASP.Net technologies, CodeGear is upgrading its IDE for PHP, bolstering database and framework support as well as performance.

CodeGear’s Delphi for PHP 2.0 enables building of interactive Web applications through visual drag-and-drop design capabilities and a PHP component framework, the company said. The goal is to bring to PHP productivity akin to what is offered through Microsoft’s ASP.Net platform, said Michael Swindell, CodeGear vice president of products.

PHP, he said, offers benefits such as being open source, having millions of developers, plenty of free code and the ability to be deployed anywhere. “ASP.Net doesn’t have a lot of those benefits, but it does have productive, visual development, component-based development, great data access,” Swindell said.

Key focus areas in version 2.0 include the use of HTML templates with embedded dynamic PHP, letting developers work visually in Web 2.0 development while collaborating with HTML designers. Also, database support has been extended to Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Informix and Sybase. Developers can build data-driven Web applications without having to perform database connectivity coding.

Productivity and performance enhancements include new error insight, source code formatting, expanded code insights, and code folding. Version 2.0 features an expanded VCL (Visual Component Library) with support for popular PHP packages and libraries, including Zend Framework, CodeGear said. VCL features HTML templates that offer code separation.

“What [code separation] allows a developer to do is separate the visual layout of their application from the code that runs the application,” said Swindell. Developers and designers can cooperate in building applications.

Also, developers using Delphi for PHP 2.0 can profile applications to find performance bottlenecks and tune applications down to a single line of code, Swindell said.

A user of Delphi for PHP lauded its capabilities. “With Delphi for PHP, we can develop new routines more easily, and with the totally integrated debugger, we can easily test parts of our code,” said Ricardo Barros Mendes, CEO of Rbmweb.

CodeGear said the initial version of Delphi for PHP, introduced in February 2007, united PHP and rapid application development for the first time. The company has shipped tens of thousands of units of that product, according to company officials.

Delphi for PHP 2.0 is available for an introductory price of $249 through June. Afterward, it costs $299. Upgrades from version 1.0 cost $179.

Know more XAML

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Microsoft XAML

Microsoft on Tuesday made more technical information available for XAML, a language for designing the user interface of Web and Windows applications.

The documentation is aimed at other software companies and developers who want to make products that can “read” XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language).

The added technical detail will allow servers from other companies to send information to clients written using XAML, Microsoft said. Non-Microsoft client software will also more easily read XAML.

The information is covered under Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise, which is meant to protect third parties from patent infringement.

XAML is the markup language designers use to lay out an application’s front end. Microsoft’s Silverlight Web browser plug-in for displaying media can render XAML along with JavaScript and HTML.

It’s also important technology in Microsoft’s strategy to attract more application designers to its Expression line of products. XAML is a lingua franca that designers can use with Expression tools and developers can manipulate with Visual Studio.

The posting of additional technical information is part of Microsoft’s ongoing efforts around interoperability with products from other vendors, including open-source software.

In a statement, Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s general manager of interoperability and standards, said:

“Microsoft’s posting of the expanded set of XAML format documentation to assist third parties to access and implement the XAML formats in their own client, server and tool products will help promote interoperability, opportunity and choice across the IT community. Use of the Open Specification Promise assures developers that they can use any Microsoft patents needed to implement all or part of the XAML formats for free, anywhere in the world, now and in the future.”

On Tuesday, Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith is scheduled to talk at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco and the company’s open-source lab, led by Sam Ramji, is expected to make an announcement.

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