David Tran has launched an Ajax driven route finder widget for London tubes, with Rails driving the backend. And it works pretty much as it says on the tin too!
Have you ever checked the weather online, only to find competing forecasts from different sites? Did Michael Fish's 1987 reassurance that a hurricane was
on the way leave you with a mistrust of meteorologists? If so, MetaWeather may be worth a shot.
Developed by two producers at British games content agency Ferrago, the site combines forecast data from multiple sources to round up the predictions to an average - and supposedly more trustworthy - outlook.
It used to be that there was this top down content pyramid in operation (operated by traditional media and the big online players), where the quantity and quality of news / content was controlled by relatively fewer organisations.
This is changing rapidly, becoming flatter and more diverse (we’re not really interested in the why’s right now), which can either be seen as an opportunity or a threat. Organisations that embrace this change are going to benefit (think Murdoch buying MySpace), so the question then becomes how one capitalises on the opportunity...
Let's look at some of the key strategic issues to consider.
There's an interesting piece of advice from
using sites like Digg for PR
. In short, don't!
There’s a pretty great post on
about the kind of questions VCs ask when you’re doing a startup, so I thought I’d highlight them here as there seems to be a profound lack of 'noisy' UK-based Web 2.0 startups, and maybe finding finance is one barrier for entrepreneurs?
Where are all the UK web startups? Maybe everybody is just being very quiet (to fail in complete obscurity), or perhaps things are as dead as they seem to be (more than likely). The UK seems almost entirely barren compared with what's happening in the US.
It’s probably worth noting that local VCs seem to be a little behind their US conterparts (two local startups that I can think of off the top of my head have been approached by US investors – names of the innocent withheld). This too could be part of the problem.
Web 2.0 isn’t all about rounded corners and social software – there are real benefits to leveraging the Web 2.0 philosophy and technologies in business, but the key is selecting the right entry points to start conversations with your customers, and then to grow from there, using the community you’ve developed as your sounding board.
Dozens of personalised homepages (aka "AJAX homepages") have emerged over the past 18 months as developers started to programme lovely drag and drop interfaces, allowing users to customise the layout of their personal homepage. Cool technology, great use of AJAX, but is there trouble ahead?