CSI Web 2.0 conference

I delivered a talk today on 'Enterprise application of Web 2.0' in the National level CSI Web 2.0 conference.

The conference saw participation from companies like IBM, Yahoo, Google, AOL, Oracle etc. There were 4 tracks, each with about 4 talks and the speakers were primarily from Yahoo and IBM. There was a wonderful panel discussion on 'Dark side of Web 2.0' and I should say, it was the best part of the event.

I was also part of the program committee and having done Event management while in college (as part of CSI-SJCE), I should say that it was not quite different from the way we used to do it in college, except that it was far more easier to get contacts now, because the enterprises were driving it.

Guest lecture in Christ College

I had been to Christ College today as a guest lecturer. The students were fine arts students, mostly in their final or pre-final year.

This was the first time I was giving a talk to such an audience. The students were receptive and expectant. There were questions; and they answered my questions satisfactorily.

My talk was on Web 2.0. So I had to tell them about blogging, wikis and a whole bunch of other jargons. There were students who knew about blogging and a majority knew about Orkut. 🙂 That made things easy for me.

This was my first visit to Christ College. The campus is huge and the infrastructure seemed quite good.

Overall, it was a good experience.

Flock – a Web 2.0 browser?

I have been trying Flock for about a month now. And I am stuck to it.

What I liked:

  1. Blogging support – I am making this blog entry from within Flock. Also there is Technorati publishing support and all that.
  2. Flickr support – you get to know if someone adds new photos and you get to see them in a neat view.
  3. Delicious support – one of my favorite features here. There is a neat sync between your local bookmarks and your delicious bookmarks. You just click on the 'star' next to the address bar and you get a popup where you indicate whether the bookmark should be posted to del.icio.us.
  4. An improved search bar – there is live Yahoo search, local search history and the usual search engine support.
  5. Performance – somehow seems better than Firefox. Dunno why? 😐 (However, see hate point 2)
  6. Web snippets – I don't use this much, but there is a snippets bar, where you can copy snippets of your interest.
  7. News – This is where you get to manage your RSS feeds. But I don't use this either, not better than Blogbridge. 🙂

What I hated:

  1. I sometimes feel they should have gone with making an extension over Firefox rather than a separate browser. Some extensions might not work in Flock. Developers have to adhere to Flock separately. This is not good.
  2. Sometimes, there is some backend process which runs for a long time and results in a 'Unresponsive script' warning. This stops the working of the browser for a while.

Overall, I strongly recommend Flock for people who use the utilities mentioned and were craving for integration of these.

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Blogged with Flock

Google, Yahoo! and innovation

Google recently released “Google calendar“. Time and again, Google reminds me of Jeremy Zawodny's blog, Google is building Yahoo 2.0 – Google trying to re-build what Yahoo and others have built, but provide one killer feature that makes it irresistible.

Ok, if you search for comparsions of the Yahoo and Google services, you are bound to get thousands of entries. I don't want to do the same here. But there are some things that I would like to highlight from my own personal experience.

I have tried out a lot of the Yahoo services. Same is the case with Google. Although Yahoo has a lot of features, the innovation seems to have stopped. The mail, address book, calendar, note services are still in the pre-Web 2.0 phase. (Yeah they have been promising a new look and feel, but where is it??? I am waiting). Google on the other hand started off in the early Web 2.0 phase, and has added some product or the other to its portfolio, not to mention adding petty features to existing products.

Another striking difference has been the kind of integration that exists between the services. Yahoo started with lots of services. Each service was on offer individually, least bothered about what other services offer and how the 2 could be related. For example, Yahoo's calendar service seems disintegrated from Mail. Then there is a briefcase service to store files and attachments. The chat service is different; there are different kinds of searches. There are different kinds of bookmarking services. The list goes on and on.

Contrast this with Google. Google started off providing services one after the other, carefully keeping them tightly integrated. (Is this slow poison? 🙂 Get users to use one service and lure them into the rest?) Google seems to be building a 'single page interface'. “For all your requirements on the web use Google.”, that's what they seem to say. You can use the calendar from the mail interface, your chat logs are in your mail. You have ample space to store all your mail (you don't need a briefcase), the search is always there no matter where you are, search something, if you find it interesting save it, label it and search for it later.

This does not mean Google has done it all right. There is a lot still left to be done. The ultimate aim seems to be – get me all my information on demand – get me the information, wherever I want it, whenever I want it, get me only the information I want, and all the information I want, instantly.

All this translates to: A great expectation from Yahoo's new service. Do they have this kind of service integration? Or is it just old things in new clothing? I am waiting.