Services & Software

Please build these Web apps

Webware readers tell Web 2.0 architects what they want.

On Thursday, I put out a call for new Web 2.0 application ideas, telling readers the two best (according to me) concepts would win the two complete Web 2.0 Expo passes I have to give away. And the results are in.

First, I have to say that several of the good ideas have already been done. There are already aggregation services, like PageOnce, that roll up data from personal sites such as banks and social networks. There's an app, OopsImLate, that works with your GPS-equipped smartphone to tell people you won't possibly be able to make your meeting on time. And the commenter who wants a service to give them analytics on their e-mail behavior should check out Xobni.

But there were also some ideas I really liked that I haven't seen done yet. These are the two conference pass winners:

Wbl8w writes, "I would like a Web service that works with mobile phones that will map my way through large stores I visit regularly." My day was nearly ruined trying to navigate Costco last weekend (Lesson: cart traffic goes one way only; don't try to shop counter-flow), and I've had awful, frustrating experiences at Home Depots, so I can relate. GPS won't work inside stores nor at the precision necessary to locate a particular product, so I'd settle for paper store maps that point me to the products I'm looking for.

This would also require the service be tapped into store inventory systems, which is no small feat. But it would be a monetizable business to sell such a service to the stores themselves, to increase customer satisfaction, and perhaps do cross-marketing to other items in the store.

HaroldMann submitted: "File detachments--service receives all your mail, strips all the attachments and replaces them with links." This is brilliant, especially when e-mail threads get long and broad (lots of replies among lots of people), and each message has attached to it the original multi-megabyte PowerPoint that kicked off the thread. By replacing the attachment with a link to the file stored on a Web-accessible server somewhere (presumably with password-controlled access), you cut down dramatically on storage and bandwidth. Storage is, sadly, still an issue for people using corporate e-mail systems, like Exchange.

There is a new app that does some of this, cc:Betty, but it does not have the "detach" feature.

HaroldMann is right that IT managers would love this feature, and I bet they could find budget to pay for it, too. (Mann is co-founder of ClickTime.)

Wbl8w and HaroldMann win the two full conference passes to Web 2.0 Expo. You can see the rest of the submitted ideas here. For a discounted (not free, sorry) ticket to the event, use the code websf09btd45 on the registration site.