Web 2.0 - the way it seems to be...

There has been a lot of hype and hoopla over the term [Web 2.0](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0). I don’t know how many understand it. I, for one, am not a geek. So I won’t claim to understand it. But I am in the Web business. Therefore, I must try and understand it. When did things start moving? When did this trend get defined? Who are the players? What were they doing? What ARE they doing?First, the larger players: [Yahoo](http://www.yahoo.com/) started of with [Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/), a community portal, which was built to share images. Flickr was probably Yahoo!’s first foray into Social Software. Seems to me as if they were testing the waters. The real product had been hidden from the public. The came [Yahoo 360](http://360.yahoo.com/), a social networking feature from Yahoo!, combined with other Yahoo features. A one-page dash that made accessing any Yahoo service from the page easy. Groups? Click here. Mail? Click here. Private Message? Click here. Make friends? Click here.If you thought that was Yahoo!’s secret weapon, sorry, you are mistaken. The real weapon was held back until the trends could be clearly seen. And that happened with Tim O’Reilly’s conference titled [Web 2.0](http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html). Mean while, Yahoo! decided to take a bold step and released the beta (?) version of MyWeb 2.0, whether knowingly or unknowingly, no one knows for sure.

Google started off big, converting Usenet into Google groups. And then came Orkut. There was a time when Google said, it had no idea of taking over Orkut. on 15th of September 2005, however, Google turned on its words. There were a lot of debates on this action by Google, but it chose to remain silent as ever and sure enough, the debates died down. Then came Google Personalized Home and Google Reader beta, an RSS feed aggregator was recently released. It won’t be long before Google combines the power of its many

MSN cobbled together a few pieces and gave its users MSN spaces, but even MSN itself knew that was not going to work. So they closed their doors and came up with start.com – an AJAX based interface that defies the trend followed by MSN. All that MSN has doled out previously as products, suddenly seem cheap by comparison. Suddenly, MSN has this sexy look and feel attached to its products.

One thing I note is, every one of these giants has its own developer space. MSN has MSN Sandbox, Google has the much publicized Google Labs and Yahoo! has the secretively hidden Yahoo! Backyard (Just a guess, but like all secrets, everybody knows.).

And now for the interesting part. While the Goliaths have been resting on their laurels with these puny apps, the Davids have been silently chipping away shares in the market. Here are a FEW names:

37signals.com is an interesting collaborative tool.
Ups-Simple and ease of use.

People on the net swear by Zimbra & Kubisoft.
Positives – Contextualizing eMail

Prototype.com – Ajax implementation of your Workspace on the Web (Yes, Really.)
Positives. Drag and drop. Click and Save. Feel of a Desktop, work on the Web.

Blinklist – a Web2.0 implementation which allows people to share bookmarks with ‘blinks’.
Positives. – The collaborative approach

Technorati Tags – a Web2.0 implementation of collaborative blogs sharing with ‘tags’.
Positives – The collaborative approach

These are but a few examples of the many that I can’t even begin to count. Where were these players for so long? They were around, but suddenly they are being ‘discovered’. Why?

(To be continued)