The New New Internet conference was somewhat interesting but I didn’t really learn anything useful. Towards the end there was a Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 discussion where the moderator asked something like “Can we agree that we are now web 2.0?”. I was drifting in and out of email so perhaps I missed the real question but with Zeldman’s “Designing with Web Standards” 2nd Edition still declaring that “99.9% of Websites Are Still Obsolete“, I would say that most of the web is certainly NOT Web 2.0. While standards like XML were discussed most sites still ignore the 1st standard that should be used in building any web site, XHTML.
Robin Miller chimed in at one point and said that not all web sites should be Web 2.0… Some people on the panel tried to tell him how his neighbor’s lawn service site might benefit from Web 2.0 community. I couldn’t disagree more. Not all web sites should use Ajax and most web sites probably have no need for collaboration. A simple business needs a simple page that is well written and relevant, so that search engines can do their jobs and return it… when relevant. Slapping Ajax on your site or putting it all in flash will just lessen your chances of showing up in search results. One of the panelist earlier in the day did try to make the point that Ajax hides information from search engines and that was dismissed as a search engine problem that needs to be fixed. I wouldn’t suggest waiting for that fix. If you need a simple site, keep it simple, and your customers will find you.
Jason Goldberg of Jobster gave and interesting talk about Web 2.0. It was mostly a sales pitch for Jobster but none the less it was interesting to hear the state of job search sites and how Jobster is doing them one better. I just hate the name “Jobster”. Sorry. Is it possible that he is related to Shawn Fanning?
Rajen Sheth of Google gave a good talk about various Google things, both consumer facing and employee facing. He mentioned that EVERY Google employee has a profile that is updated frequently. This allows everyone in the company to find out who is working on what and to track down experts. This is a really good idea. Another focus of his talk was about simplicity. Some of this was around keeping interfaces simple for consumers but as a developer his statement “The simplest, most useful, standard wins in the end.” the most interesting. In my mind this means REST over SOAP and even JSON over XML (for pages).
It was refreshing to see that many of the panelist appeared to favor REST over SOAP. Some of the discussions talked about SOAP being in the enterprise arena and REST being in the web arena. Michael Platt from Microsoft was talking about how consumer adoption of technologies drives the enterprise over time. For example PCs were for consumers and mainframes were for businesses. Now PCs are everywhere. In the same respect the technologies adopted by Web sites will eventually change the Enterprise market.
Ruby on Rails was mentioned several times in the conference. I must admit I have not had time to play with it.
The coolest of the vendors at the Conference (as voted by attendees) was notefish.com. They have a simple browser plugin that allows you to select random content from web pages and post it to your notefish.com page. Want to build a site about sightseeing in DC. In about 10 minutes you can steal content from 10 sites, drag it around and you’re done. The source of all the content is linked but I wonder what copyright issues are lurking here.
Here is a sample of some AIM Pages snags.
That’s all for now.