Social networking is quickly becoming an important category in mobile apps.
There has been much discussion lately, most of it negativeÂ (you can read more comments on Technorati), about the comeback of boo.com and once again, I find myself on the opposite side of the shared wisdom. Before I go into reasons as to why I think a comeback by Boo.com (a boo.comeback?) makes sense, let me first go into my unique qualifications to make such an assessment: I happen to have worked at Boo.com in the past and I was the insider who exposed some of the challenges the company had faced. I spent a fair amount of my time, in 2000 and 2001, talking at conferences about the lessons learned from this failure and I think that some of those are now fixed. Looking Back In the ensuing 6 years, I’ve been going over and over what went wrong and discovered more lessons along the way: the market conditions were wrong, we were young and arrogant, and, for the most part, we didn’t really understand the magnitude of what we were trying to accomplish: to remind people, our goal was to launch a website in 16 countries (15 EU countries + the US) on day one, localizing our site for…Read More
There’s an old rule in journalism that trends can be spotted when you hear/see the same item happening three times in a row over a short period. If that’s the case, the trifecta yesterday was: Yahoo! announcing native support for RSS and ATOM in the “my yahoo” page Bloglines announcing a new set of services to ease the load of distribution Newsgator announcing new partnerships to drive adoption Let’s review why those announcements herald the arrival of RSS into the mainstream. Yahoo! and RSS As Jeremy Zawodny said, it does something […]–something that Yahoo is in a unique position to do: bring RSS to the masses. Why is this significant? Well, quite simply, while geeks like myself and readers of this blog know, RSS is still something for early adopters. Every time a large player gets into that field, the concept gains a little more traction. With the arrival of RSS into the Yahoo! personal page, the format becomes a major new delivery channel for content creators. With this, TNL.net can now figures prominently next to Reuters feed, being given the same kind of weight. It represents a major shift in the way Yahoo! distributes content. In the late 1990s,…Read More
Over the past few days, I’ve been spending time covering what happens now that AOL and Microsoft have settled their dispute. However, one area that I have not covered is what could happen to Mozilla moving forward. With the new agreement, AOL has received a royalty-free license to use Internet Explorer for the next seven years. Since the browser has been sitting at the core of their online service client, it is doubtful that this will change in the future. As a result, AOL is now supporting an open source project which adds little value to its bottom line. The Netscape browser holds very little strategic value for the company moving forward. Considering its enormous debt, AOL Time-Warner might eventually reconsider its investment in the Mozilla project. In its initial iteration, a large part of the development for Mozilla was done by Netscape developers. In fact, the Mozilla browser is distributed under the Netscape Public License, which still ensures that the company has some level of control over what goes on there. While it is an open source, it is one with a clear sponsor. And that sponsor may now rethink its participation. So who will pick up the slack…Read More
The WTH Remix contest has ended and the winners have been announced, showing that sometimes, the net community can do better than standards creator. The grand prize winner is a visually arresting page (compared to the original) that has only a few small things missing in order to make it perfect. First of all, I would ensure that all the links have proper titles, something that a lot of people tend to forget when designing pages but which can be useful for disabled users. Second, I would replace the validation logos with a much friendlier CSS only alternative, similar to what some have done with the XML button. Second, I would put the A-to-Z elements in a list, as they should properly be. This would also take care of clearly differentiating them instead of using a CSS trick to hide special characters. The descriptive text about the consortium is needed on the page and could go above the news section in that design in order to match the existing information available on the page and the proper RDF tags would need to be reinserted in the page to ensure its continued progression with the semantic web. Last but not least…Read More