This Web 2.0 thing

Browsing around Dr Dobb’s, I read Mike Elgin’s take on the Web 2.0 malarkey. I liked his simple definition of Web 2.0 as “all the Web sites out there that get their value from the actions of users”. He also makes the interesting contrast between Yahoo’s “top news” page (stories selected by professional editors) and their “most popular news” page (stories selected by user email activity – very “Web 2.0”).

I suppose Simple-Talk is still pretty “Web 1.0”. I, as editor, try my hardest to select and commission articles that I think best reflect the community’s current interests and concerns. In part, this involves “going out there”, finding out what people are talking about in newsgroups, forums and so on, filtering it, and feeding it to Simple-Talk. Largely, I view this as the way it should be, but reading articles like Mike’s does make me wonder if Simple-Talk should go a bit more Web 2.0 – maybe a section where people could vote on suggested future topics, with the ones with the most votes “rising to the top”? What do you think?

I use some of this web 2.0 stuff regularly – digg, flickr, technorati, stumbleupon, to name a few – and thought I was reasonably “up” on what’s out there, until I read Christian Mayaud’s and Bob Strumpel’s “Everything Web 2.0” lists.

“Quite scary” is the only way I can describe it. I do have to wonder as well, just how many of these are aimed at IT professionals? Or even anybody over 20? According to Seth Godin’s Web 2.0 traffic watch, MySpace is still the king of the heap – but I noticed that some of the “equivalents” for IT people are getting popular: LinkedIn (of which I’m an invited member) and Orkut (of which I’m not). I’m really interested to know: which Web 2.0 apps are out there for IT (and maybe, specifically, SQL Server and .NET) people? Which ones do you use regularly and actually find useful (as opposed to diverting)?

I guess it comes back to the filtering. While interesting, I don’t really find the “Everything Web 2.0” list that useful. It’s quite an old article now, but Dion Hinchcliffe’s appraisal of some of the “actually useful” Web 2.0 software is still one of the best I know, and introduced me to a few free tools that I still use – particularly the voo2doo project management tool.

Again, I’d be really interested to hear your own take on this Web 2.0 thing – please add any comments below.

As a parting note: while I was writing this blog, an email popped into my inbox regarding the flickr photo archive of Red Gate’s very own usability expert “Mr. Flibble” (a.k.a “Dom”). If you page past the (very nice) shots of his recent trip to Dingle in Ireland, you’ll get to see some of his more “off the wall” work as well as some excellent clouds and sunsets. The man has talent in this area, if you ask me – and many of the flickr community seem to agree.