Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fluffy websites demo

I am investigating a lot of fluffy websites, with AJAX, Web 2.0, Intarweb and social networking.

Here's the current list:

Social activities
  • MySpace is a social networking oriented site with focus on dating and friendship, interests and other typical teenager activities. For instance, my freshly created profile claimed by default that I was single and didn't want any children, and that I was friend with a guy named Tom. MySpace users customize their pages to really create their personal homepages, but linked in with other MySpace people.
  • FaceBook is a similar concept, but seems a bit more mature. I could set my relationship status to stuff like engaged, married or "It's complicated". FaceBook focuses on the networks you already have, like people from your school, city or working place.
  • Orkut is a highly connected social networking thing, where the main concept is really just showing off how many "friends" you've got. What started out as an interesting thing ("Ooo, I didn't know my friend A knew my friend B!") has now decayed into a Brazilian dating site.
  • LinkedIn is a business approach to the Orkut concept. Instead of friends, here the focus is on your CV and where you have worked, so that you can connect with old and current colleagues, and maybe find a new job.
  • LiveJournal is about the blogging, so you write small stuff in your own blog. Most LiveJournal blogs seems to talk about boring stuff such as what kind of food the kitten in the house is getting, or metablogs that links to other LiveJournal users and discuss further topics from the original blog.
  • Blogger is just blogging, and doesn't have an inherited system for linking up with other bloggers, but has a system for keeping track of other blogs.
Content sharing
  • YouTube is a video sharing community, where people upload their home produced videos. Very popular for "funny" and "cool" stuff among teenagers, for instance you could find the good old Mentos&Coke videos here.
  • Google Video is similar to YouTube, but more focus on searching and finding videoes than sharing and discussing them.
  • Flickr is a highly popular photo sharing site, utilising tags and groups for viewing similar photos, which can then be commented on.
Collaboration tools
  • Google Spreadsheets lets you do "Excel" online and share the spreadsheets. I'm not sure how many businesses are willing to save their budget with Google, though.
  • Google Calendar can share calendars with your friends and colleagues, and you can make multiple calendars, like one for your football team.
News & bookmarks
  • del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site, using tags and showing popular pages by aggregating the bookmarks of all users.
  • digg is similar, but looks very much more modern and more (technology) news oriented. There's even a weekly videocast showing the pages that were popular on digg during the last week. Users vote for pages they like, and add comments in a slashdot-ish way.
  • Blogmarks does bookmarking, the single feature I can see that makes it special is that you get thumbnail views of the different webpages.
  • furl also does bookmarking, but in addition can archive the website as it was when you "furled" it, giving you your very own wayback machine.
  • CiteULike keeps track of your papers and references, and can even generate a BibTex of your library. Tags and author names are globally clickable, so you can see similar papers submitted by other users. You still have to gain access to the the actual papers the old fashioned way.
  • Connotea is Nature's attempt to build a paper reference library, also including tags and its own wiki.
  • Google Scholar is not collaborative, but it can search and find most published scientific papers.
Knowledge base
  • Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, probably the worlds greatest and most popular wiki. Anyone can edit and add articles, extending and correcting the collaborative knowledge.
  • Last.fm keeps track of everything you play in iTunes and your iPod, and links in information about the artists and what kind of similar music people like you prefer.