Widgets, web and writing

More webby news. First up, if you have a Google website, you can now get to be a pre-beta tester of widgets, including games. Jenny is just so excited about this, and has already put several on her own Google website. As I know from Deblog, get a good game on your site, and you are guaranteed the punters (in her case, the Daily Set and me — Ian Hocking I curse thee for telling me about this game, though it is lovely to have met Debra, so I take it back — and Daily Set is a good game because you can do it in about 5 mins if you are me, 1 if you are Debra.).

While still on Google, anyone waiting to try Writerly will apparently have to wait until Summer.

Geeking with Greg has a posting about a talk by Tim O’Reilly in which Tim defines web 2.0 as "harnessing collective intelligence". So now you know. I’ve subscribed to Greg the Geek’s blog only for a few days, but so far it has been ace. Greg Linden is someone who used to work at Amazon but does no longer (all the details are on his blog), so he has a particular insight into goings-on there. These days his blog seems much more wide-ranging, though. On Web 2.0 and Tim O’R’s speech (to which Greg links), Greg says: " I like the idea we are building on the expertise and information of the vast community of the Web. I like the idea that web applications should automatically learn, adapt, and improve based on needs.
"I also like the idea that "Web 2.0" should include many companies that people were trying to classify as "Web 1.0". Amazon.com, with its customer reviews and personalized pages, clearly is harnessing the collective wisdom of Amazon shoppers. Google also is constantly improving based on the behavior of searchers.
"Web 2.0 applications get better and better the more people use them. Web 2.0 applications learn from the behavior of their users. Web 2.0 applications harness collective intelligence."

In another posting on his site, Greg discusses a personalised newspaper and personalised news, which of course is very Web 2.0. "Just read articles, that’s it. Findory learns from the articles you read, adapts to your interests, and builds you a personalized front page. Findory gets better and better the more you read."

Must check it out sometime….I think the enthusiasm is endearing. But I will keep on trying these innovations; eventually I’ll find one that I find useful and that works (or that I can work, at any rate).

If you venture out of the world of blogs and perform web searches, there is a useful article on Digg’s blog revealing the most dangerous search words. At this link are eight words or terms you are advised never to key into a search engine, as more than 64 per cent of sites that are linked to these terms will cause you trouble from adware, spyware or spam. I am not going to tempt fate by writing them down here.

Over at a site I keep on posting about, Problogger, is a nice illustrated posting "8 reasons why new media is growing." Here is Darren’s characteristically down-to-earth intro to his post:

" “Why is New Media becoming popular?” After being introduced to a friend of a friend as a ‘full time blogger’ the other night at a pub I was asked the above question by the friend of a friend. He accepted that ‘New Media’ is popular – but was at a bit of a loss as to the reasons for WHY it was." Darren goes on to provide the eight reasons, in nice bite-size chunks (see, I know all the revision jargon!) and a nice picture for each (yummy grapefruit). I really do like Darren’s style and his blog – I think it is one that Dave Lull first introduced me to, so thank you Dave, if so.

Moving slightly away from the purely technologicial and towards business applications, on InfoNeoGnostic there is a characteristically thoughtful post about new outlooks on publishing. Chris Armstrong "mashes up" a couple of articles he has read. The Caravan project is an experiment that will start next year; it "will offer customers the choice of receiving books in one of 5 formats: hardcover, digital, audio, print-on-demand, and by chapter", as publishers cannot continue to "print 10 books to sell 6". The other part of Chris’s own mash up is a piece of news from the National Academies Press: "to maximize dissemination, while remaining completely self-sustaining… to give away as much as humanly possible, while still selling enough books to survive financially." See the link to Chris’s article for more, and for the relevant links.

That’s my take on the tecchysphere for tonight.

4 thoughts on “Widgets, web and writing

  1. Oh, man. The world is passing me by. I didn’t even know Google *had* pages. Now they have them but I don’t have a gmail account and can’t get one and I’m stuck on system 9 on an old computer and I don’t get widgets! I want widgets.
    Anyway, what exactly is a punter? A gambler?

  2. Punter = gambler, in the sense of “innocent party prepared to take a chance”; but also in colloquial use as “a customer”.
    If anyone wants a gmail invite, let me know. I have lots.

  3. Gmail invites? I have a few too. I think that they think that I’m more popular than I am!!
    Thanks for the tec advice Maxine, it doesn’t mean a thing at the moment but I’m learning!

  4. Doesn’t mean a lot to me either, Minx, but it is all fascinating to a sort of “wannabe geek with her nose pressed against the window, looking in” like me (the eternal outsider).
    I was probably too succinct about the gmail invites. So far as I know, you can only get Googlepages (Google’s free website hosting) if you have a gmail account. That’s why I was offering gmail accounts, it was not as much of a non-sequitur as it must have seemed! Jenny loves those widgets but they do not look that great to me. However, on the “to be launched” part of the widget list is a sudoku competition so that might be worth the non-creatives waiting for 😉

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