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Category Archive for ‘Tech News’ at Inside ontheinside.info

Archive for the 'Tech News' Category

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?

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.

Facebook opens up

facebook.jpg

Facebook opened their network to non-college users, and their platform to developers. Techies and companies alike are jumping at the opportunity to create applications for Facebook and their 24 million users. Beside the sheer amount of visibility, part of the appeal for developers lies in the ability to place ads within their applications, and collect direct revenue.

Critics argue that Facebook is making a mistake in that they will lose control of their interface and invite spammers to take advantage of the network, much like what’s happened with MySpace.

Here’s a New York Times article that describes Facebook’s ambitions to be a “social operating system”:

http://www.nytimes.com/…

Search Technorati

technorati.png

Technorati, the blog search engine, just launched new features and redesign with the purpose to be more accessible to the mainstream. Previous versions assumed a fairly tech-savvy user base that was able to differentiate between keywords, blog directory or tag searches (these features are still available in the advanced search page).

With this relaunch, searches are simplified. More importantly, they not only output blogs but also user-generated content including photos (from Flickr), videos (from YouTube) and even music (from last.fm). Technorati calls this the “Live Web”,

the dynamic and always-updating portion of the Web. We search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.) increasingly referred to as “citizen media.”

As we’re growing our Flickr page with our exclusvie photos of New York and local celebrities, we will also be more accessible on Technorati.

You can view our technorati listing here. It shows all the blogs that link to our homepage.

Family Network

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Geni is a social network for the family. Through an easy and intuitive online interface, you can add your family members, and include their emails so they can be notified and continue to build the tree. You can add photos and info about yourself to create a profile much like you would on a regular social network. You can also search to see if any of your relatives have already started a tree.

Nice idea and good execution. Most other social networks really cater to a young audience, but Geni is attractive to an older generation and doesn’t feel too tech-y or media heavy.

Apparently Charles River Ventures likes it a lot: they just invested $10million for 10% stake in the company.

Geni launched this past January.

Aggregate User Reviews

Wize is a site that combines expert and user reviews with a focus on consumer electronics (and a few other categories: Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Video Games).

They compile professional reviews with user ratings to come up with an overall rating.
wize.png

In their About Us section, they describe: “Because it’s based on user and expert reviews and rankings from thousands of independent sources, Wize Rank is completely impartial, and cannot be manipulated.”

Metacritic has also been doing this for a while in the realm of Music, Movies and Videogames.

metacritic.png

Tech Crunch calls it Aggregate Reviews and they have a roundup of companies doing variations of this here.

I haven’t seen this proposition for a city guide yet. We don’t intend to aggregate pro city guide reviews, but we do consider our roster of personalities to be expert NY insiders and editorial contributors. Coming up in our next layout (in June), we’ll enable user comments and ratings so our audience can also weigh in on the featured recommendations.