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2007 May Archive at Inside ontheinside.info

Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Our office on Google Streetview

Google Maps just came out with a new tool they’re calling Streetview. You can see detailed photo images from street level, 360 degrees. It’s available for San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, and New York. Pretty sweet way to point out an obscure location, or a place without a sign.

Here’s our office entrance on Greene Street in Soho:

81greene.png

Maybe I’ll roam around this virtual world (or is it virtual?) to see if I recognize anyone captured on streetview!

New OTI layout on the way

otitop.png

Frank is hard at work on our new design. Here is an early mock-up of the homepage.

Some problems we are addressing:

- Reinforcing the duality of the site, i.e. personality/recommendations. Currently we are seeing users browse personalities and often miss their recommendations below the fold.

- Accessiblity to photos. Our high-end exclusive photography is often missed by users.

- More information at first glance, especially city guide information to add immediate context to the recommendations.

- Introduce user comments and ratings and taxonomy listings.

We’ll be unveiling the changes in mid-June.

Marketing Dollars migrate online

According to Internet Advertising Bureau, web advertising had its best year ever in 2006, climbing 35% to $16.9 billion in overall revenue. Not a huge surprise but nice to note.

See the Brandweek Article here.

Your web browser is your operating system

Zoho has built a wide range of office programs for the web: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation. Basically a replication of the entire Microsoft Office suite. They even have a wiki program. Without any plugins or downloads, you can log on to create, save and edit documents, with all the usual tools and functions you’re accustomed to. You can make your docs public or private, or public within a private group. And you can still export the documents to word, excel and the like, if needs be.

Here’s an example document that I started: zoho.png

Google does this as well although it appears they only have a word processor and spreadsheet application.

Why would anyone pay for a Microsoft Office license anymore, between increasingly adaptable web-based applications and open-source software (if you don’t know, you can download the completely free OpenOffice, or order the software on CD’s by mail, here).

openoffice.png

Microsoft is losing ground in the web browser market too. Mozilla’s Firefox now has 25% marketshare and growing. So where is Microsoft going? Well, there’s been rumors the last few weeks of Microsoft attempting to purchase Yahoo.

Another web company, Wesabe, is going after financial software Quicken– with it, you can balance all your accounts online. And because it’s online, you can also share tips and advice with other users who shop in the same places you do.

Also, Picnik allows you to edit photos online, and apparently Adobe is building Photoshop for the web.

Some positive/negative implications of online progams:

Positive:
- Easy to share and co-edit documents. No need for attachement anymore.

- Saving to the server acts as an automatic backup system. With all your docs online, you don’t have to worry about your hard drive going bust. This in fact is what a lot of people are doing with their photos on Flickr– using it as back up system.

- It is free. Well, for now anyway.

Negative:
- Privacy: do you want a third-party to hold all your data, including word doc, excel sheets and financials? Not sure, but Tim O’Reilly made a good point in the podcast i mentioned a couple days ago: credit card companies have had this personal information for years– they know everything you purchase and even call you when they find an activity suspicious– and people seem fairly used to this.

- Security: If people can hack into your accounts, would you write biz and confidential docs online?

Central Park during the long weekend

Had a picnic with friends in central park yesterday and walked around the Bethesda Fountain, recommended by Jill Kargman on oti. It was a beautiful day out, got to love the beginning of summer. Nice contrast with the winter photos we have up on the site.

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2 dot 0

O’Reilly Media coined the term web 2.0 back in 2003. CEO and Founder Tim O’Reilly talks web 2.0, and the web as a whole, in this podcast on podtech. He provides a good overview of the Internet’s course and what we might expect in the future.

He discusses how early adapters of the web tried to imitate television media as a one-way communication, entertainment and sales platform. The only survivors of the dot bust (”web 1.0″) are the companies who harnessed user data and interaction. Amazon is one such survivor. They introduced reviews and user ratings very early on. They’re still going strong today, and moving into the digital music market to challenge Itunes.

Tim says Web 1.0 was really a gestation period of what the web is maturing to be:

Web 2.0 is really web 1.0 Everything that is happening today was implicit from the start in the web.

Tim also mentions latest buzz companies such as Twitter, Jaiku and Spock, tools that serve self-expression on the web.

Read more on Tim O’Reilly at wikipedia.

In the field with Amy Wilson

We went to shoot off-broadway writer and performer Amy Wilson this evening with our new photog Scott. We watched the play and hung out with the actress at home and on her way to the performance. Here’s a photo from my cell phone as she was tweaking her props before the show.

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