All posts by Kevin Baggs

What is Web 2.0

There have been several articles written about Web 2.0. Many have asked how can there be a Web 2.0 if there was no Web 1.0. Shel Israel (co-author of Naked Conversations) asks the question. “Is it already too late to rename Web 2.0?” This post is what I believe Web 2.0 is about. I believe it is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Web 2.0 is comprise of 2 elements. Social Networking and a Rich User Experience. This post will cover Social Networking. Social Networking really got attention with the creation of the Friendster network. This started a community where entry was by invitation only. It grew quickly and today has posted more than 27 million members. Friendster-like sites began to grow. LinkedIn, was the professional or job hunting site. Recently Facebook, for the students. Of course the most well known site is My Space. All of these site share the same thing. Like people, connected via the web, exchanging thoughts, files, photos, music…etc. This social networking phenomena was continued with Wikipedia. Imagine walking into Encylopedia Brittanica and telling them you didn’t need them anymore. That you were going to start a web site, that would allow everyone to add or edit information and create a better, bigger online encyclopedia. Completely moderated and edited by volunteers from around the world. I’m sure the laughter would have been deafening. But here we are today, with over 1 million articles in English, (there are 36 other languages). Anything you need to know is there. If you know more about the topic, then go ahead and add it. As the social networking spread Blogs were created. Blogs have become more than just daily journals. CEO’s are blogging at our company SYNNEX, Intel, General Motors or the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. They give insight into the people that was not previously available to the press.

 In the last 6 months, social networking has really taken off. A photo sharing service, was nothing new on the Web until Flickr came along. They took social to a whole new meaning. You could share your photos with people you knew, or the World Wide Web! They also started adding tags. You could use these tags to organize your pictures. Then you could go out and use these tags to search the archives to see if anyone else had the same tags, and what their pictures were. Now take that same concept above and apply it to Bookmarks and you have del.icio.us. Post your bookmarks, then pick one and see what other people have book marked with the same topic. See what’s popular. And again, tag to your heart’s content. In less than a year one site had sprung up as the people’s news. That is Digg. Taking a page from Wikipedia, Digg lists news stories posted by users. Then users “digg” the story. The more Diggs then a higher rating is given on the site. At the end of the week the hosts post a Podcast on the top stories. Every one of these sites has one thing in common. The user. The user is creating the content and deciding what is right and wrong. But not a single user can change the content for long if it is not correct. Someone said about open source programming code “with many eyes, the bugs are shallow”.

Bike Hoist

This device is on the low end of the technology spectrum. However, I have found these bike hoists to be great for storing bikes in the garage. It keeps them out of the way until you need them. It is simple enough to use. Our 10 year old can easily get her bike down. Best of all, no more dents in the cars due to bikes falling over.

I got mine on eBay. Just search under Bike Hoist. There are 3-4 places to get them. I think it worked out to about $35 each with currency and duty.

Lookout for Outlook

Along with 2Go SyncIt that I talked about in a previous post. Another one of my favorite utilities is Lookout for Outlook. It is an add in for MS Outlook that loads into the menu bar. It is the same a the Find function, but far faster. It actually indexes every word of every email as it is added. The first time you run the software it could take 15-20 minutes to index everything. But that is a one time occurance. After that it indexes on the fly. What is great about it is the speed. Just this morning someone asked me about a document I had sent them in Sept. ’05. I simply typed in one key word and had the results back in under 3 seconds. This product is so good, that Microsoft actually bought them to incorporate into future versions of Office.

UPDATE: Still available for download.

U3 for USB

I recently picked up one of those USB memory sticks. However, this one had the new U3 standard included. U3 allows you to run applications from the memory stick. There are several companies that are supporting this standard. McAfee, Skype, Trillian, Open Office, Firefox and many others. It’s a rather interesting concept. As more and more people want to take their data with them this idea could be promising. Do you take your 4 pound laptop with you or your 2 ounce memory stick? The price of these memory sticks is dropping quickly. I have seen 1GB for less than $50. Capacities have increased to 8 GB. When you sit down at a computer and plug in your U3 stick, you get a launcher window, similar to Windows Start menu. It allows you to run and save all your data on the memory stick. When you’re ready to move on, you simply hit the eject button on the menu and all of your data is saved on the stick. There is full password protection available.

GPS that talks to you

This device is perfect for the runner, cyclist, skier or any outdoor activity. Anything you do outside, you will want to have this with you. A company called Motion Lingo is about to release Adeo. This device has built in GPS and speech. You can plug your MP3 player or iPod into it. Then plug in your headphones. Let’s say you’re out running. While you’re listening to your MP3 player a voice comes on and says “1 mile, 6 minutes 37 seconds”. The device keeps track of speed, distance time and elevation. When you have finished you can upload onto your computer. Motion Lingo has a web site that will track your activities and even link to the weather of the day.

RSS Feeds

I mentioned RSS feeds 2 posts ago. They are an amazing way to save time reading about technology, or most any other topic. You can pick and choose what you want. Of course you will need an RSS reader. You can go here at CNET to find the one you like. I was pleased to see that my favorite, Desktop Sidebar, is the #1 downloaded reader. Then you can do one of two things to collect your feeds. As you surf the web, you will see little orange buttons with either XML or RSS. This means, that what you are reading is available as an RSS feed. You simply click that orange button and you will see a screen of what is called XML code. Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand it. With Desktop Sidebar, you click on the same orange button in the Internet Explorer bar and you have added that site to your feeds. The second method is to go to RSS sites and choose from the many topice. Here is an example of Yahoo’s . Another site is Syndic8.com. Many of the Home Page we bsites have the same feature, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. This will consolidate all the news that you’re interested in reading. And none of what you’re not interested in reading. RSS feeds are a big part of blogging. Rather that going back to check a site every day to see if there is a new post, you can add the blog to your feed. Then as new posts are added, you will see them in your reader. The marketing potential for RSS gets very interesting. Rather than sending what we think the customer wants, imagine them picking the feeds that they want. Every time something changes on the web site. It automatically changes the information for every single customer who has signed up for that feed.Â