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Rafe Needleman here, I'm ready to take on all Web 2.0 topics!
I'm a member of Grand Central, and back in April they posted on the blog that new features are in the works. Heard anything about what they are and when they might come out?
Grand Central was acquired by Google. When Google buys a company new features generally dry up for a while until they figure out how to integrate it and what they want to do. I think GCentral is still in that digestion phase.
By the way, fun link of the day is...
W2 in the Enterprise
In what types of (enterprise) industries are you seeing the most adoption of W2 technologies?
It's not so much industry, but function
Sales and marketing getting a huge boost from Web 2.0: online CRM, social networking, etc.
Retail can take advantage of Web 2.0 if the business is ready to deal with mass customization and closer ties to customers.
Transportation, energy, manufacturing: maybe less so. But networked logistics do improve efficiencies.
Crossover with phones?
I'm a HUGE mobile user, how many new apps will have not just a web presence but be fully mobile friendly (Google has several apps that they offer downloadable "widgets" for my phone (Blackberry)
Hopefully, all of them
But developing for mobile is difficult, since few mobile platforms are open, and there are a lot of platforms. There are some good apps for iPhone, Blackberry, JAva (some phones), Windows, etc. Android is yet another platform.
What we need is really good browser support on phones. Safari is ok on iPhone but doesnt support Flash. If you can get Opera on your phone, that's a good thing.
Zimbra Collaboration Suite
We've been using ZCS, a great Web 2.0 Exchange alternative, for about a year. Management is a bit concerned about the recent Yahoo! MS situation, and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on how MS would deal with Zimbra if they acquired Yahoo!?
Zimbra is big
I believe that Zimbra is a secret weapon for Yahoo: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-9893658-2.html. Microsoft could sure use their technology, and I would hope -- but not expect -- that Microsoft + Zimbra would be a very good thing for enterprises.
Web Future App
Hello. I'd like to know what will be the hot web2.0 app/Service in the near future?
What should be the hot things? Social Media? Video? What people are looking this days?
All of them!
Anything can be made "hot" if it gets enough users. That said, I am highly skeptical when I see a new social network -- we have enough of them.
One thing I find very interesting right now is real-time social and media products. Things like Qik and UStream, combined with mobile apps that know your location. That's pretty cool.
Starting a web 2.0 company
Rafe - it seems that we are seeing another "dot com" boom similar to the late 90's, with the difference being that actual monetization is occurring and viable business are being produced.
What advice would you have for the average shmoe that has an good idea, is not connected in the VC world, but wants to get into the Web 2.0 world?
People need to take risks
I see too many startups that are really resumes for the founders. They're not business and they're barely products. Advice is simple: Find a market that is underserved and that is *hard* to address. If it was easy to launch your business and get a few customers, then you don't have enough barrier to entry and maintaining margins and growth will be murder.
How much more popular can social networks become?
I mean, they're everywhere! What can we expect from social networks in the future? Will they become more complex and eventually integrate with each other or will they continue to stay independent?
Social networking as a feature
Social networking will be part of the fabric of the Web. Facebook Connect and MySpace Open Access will help these networks infiltrate other sites. OpenID as a unifying login will help as well.
Schools adopting GMail from Google Apps
Rafe: Below is a link to a PC Mag article about how many college & universities are opting to use Google Apps for Educators over other email servers like Exchange. Is hosting ALL of a school's email in "the cloud" a good idea? Thanks, Jason
Like to article:
I don't see why any business should sink scarce resources into commodity services like email when they can be had cheaply (or free) from elsewhere.
Web 2.0 Startup Question
What's your advice on how to get our startup web 2.0 company, http://www.hotelmapsearch.com covered in the technology press? We've had some coverage on the consumer side of things (Clark Howard) but nothing yet from technology writers.
Do most of your articles come out of a personal meeting or connection? We're cash flow positive, but is it better to seek funding just to create an industry buzz? How do you normally come up with ideas for your articles?
Thanks for the insight!
HotelMapSearch offers a nice twist on seeing hotels a map, but the online travel space is super-crowded. You don't have enough to stand out from the competition.
Your challenge isn't just features, its marketing. How are you going to get users? You can't rely on press coverage.
Web 2.0 Service Industry
I have seen alot of adoption from white collar with paper 2.0 invoicing, freshbooks, blinksale,etc. Could you see the same migration by blue collar workers, landscapers, electricians, plumbers.
I sure hope so
Especially for journeyman contractors, cloud-based invoicing and scheduling can save businesses time and money. But they're not going to go there until their customers are there as well.
How much is echo?
Rafe, as someone who doesn't live in the tech zone of California, it seems to many outside of the Web 2.0 space that I talk to (and I am a marketer) that Web 2.0 and social media is an echo chamber to the average person - lots of ideas, little substance or understanding what people actually need and would be useful.
How much is echo chamber - and how much and what might be the technologies/companies that break into the mainstream?
Yes, a lot of echo!
A lot of Web 2.0 commentary is only read by other Web 2.0 commentators. But there will always be breakouts -- Facebook, Scrabulous, My Yahoo, etc. They all start small.
What should the first steps be towards building a Web 2.0 platform?
I work for Grameen Bank, the world's largest micro-credit organization that lends money for the poor. Unfortunately, not many people know about micro-credit, and action and activism towards the issues at the bottom-of-the-pyramid is poor due to a lack of information and interaction for the average person.
I want to build an integrated, holistic Web 2.0 platform that would enable such information to be available, enable community interaction and online social activism, user-generated content from the poorest communities around the world, online microlending platform for organizations like Grameen or Kiva, a "social" stock market, etc.
How do I start? What are the "best practices" of Web 2.0 development?
Can you help out?
Your challenge is not technology, is it?
I think your biggest challenge is educating people (lenders) about this new type of financial instrument. Marketing loan products is way out of my expertise area! Might I suggest buddying up to some political powerhouses in the regions you're serving?
Where do you think web 3.0 will take us?
What is Web 3.0? What is Web 2.0? It's all an evolution. Here are some evolutions underway now.
* Mobile Internet is rolling out.
* The people of the world are taking control of information (wresting it from big media and corporations)
* Personal interactions are getting more interesting due to social networks
* Web sites and services are getting interlinked through standards like OpenID and microformats.
What are the best sites for Groups?
In light of Apple dropping the Groups features in the MobileMe transition, what are the best of the competing Groups online services? I've tried Google Groups and it's OK, but really bland in that Google sort of way. Yahoo looks the same. Any idea who else is offering this type of thing on Apple's level?
Lots of options
Would Ning fit your needs?
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