If you're already using a Feed Reader, go ahead and skip this post. But if you're a fan of a lot of different websites and it's becoming too much of a hassle to constantly check them, then RSS subscriptions may be your answer.
A feed reader helps you out by checking your subscriptions for you and displaying the stuff you haven't seen yet. For those familiar with TiVo, it's like having a "Season Pass" (with subscriptions to web content) and viewing your new stuff in a sort of "Now Playing" list.
Getting started is extremely easy. You start by choosing a Feed Reader. There's a lot of good choices out there: some of them are standalone apps, some are Firefox browser extensions, but I like the Google Reader, which is a web-based feed reader.
Logging into this site lets it keep track of your personal set of subscriptions so you can get to them from different computers. You can also share your subscriptions with friends (this is the Social Networking aspect) or import / export your list.
If this is your first time, you need to start adding subscriptions. You are looking for some variation of this click-able orange square icon:
You'll find one at the top of the developerWorks page on which this blog resides. If you click it, you'll see the actual feed. Firefox will put a helpful "Subscribe to this feed using..." link at the top. If you want to add it to Google, just select Google from the drop-down list and click "Subscribe Now". That's it! You've added your first subscription.
Mashup fans will appreciate the elegant visualization. Mouse over the map to see the most popular titles for each zip code. Adjust the slider if you want to see beyond the top ten.
You can also choose a specific movie using the "Previous" and "Next" buttons. (Or use the Alphabetical slider). The title is displayed to the left along with thumbnail graphic and synopsis. The popularity of the selected movie is displayed as a heat map, with red spots being where lots of Netflix members have added this title to their queues.
They've cleverly integrated a link in the synopsis to point to movie reviews on their NYT website. And the NYT site has some nice Web2.0 features, like adding comments, sharing, etc. They've also improved their friendliness to casual visitors, as I was not prompted to login as the NYT site frequently did in the past.
There's clearly a massive amount of data behind this mashup, but rather than being overwhelmed, the UI allows us to make sense of it. That's a hallmark of a good data mashup, so we can all learn from their example.
So what else can we do with it? If you happen to live in one of the twelve available cities (or have lived there in the past), you can check out your neighborhood or old haunts by looking up your zip code(s). You might be reminded of some movie titles you missed in the theatres and might be tempted to see on DVD (great for Netflix). Maybe you'll check out a review or participate the NYT web community (great for NYT, particularly if new patrons are moved to register an account).
Getting back to the business side of things, Netflix could use this data to improve the efficiency of their internal operations, although they probably have a lot more data and a different mashup is probably better suited to this end.
As we move into 2010 and beyond, I think we will see well-crafted mashups pop up in more places. As they become commonplace, mashups may lose some of the novelty, but that's a good thing. Whipping out my flip phone in 2010 impresses few people, but it was not so long ago that such actions were the sole domain of Captain Kirk and his intrepid band of adventurers.
IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
We are the last generation of humans who will ever be able to say that we lived in a time before the Internet existed. Yet, for something so new, the impact of the Internet is undeniable. The world of advertising is not immune to this change and there are a lot of smart, creative people spending their days figuring out how to use the Internet for advertising in new and interesting ways.
TheFutureOfAds.com does an analysis of what's good and bad in new advertising strategies that push the envelope. I find the intersection of "Advertising" and "Web 2.0" interesting,especially the forays into Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I particularly enjoyed reading about their take on Honda's creation of an ad on Vimeo that could not be done on YouTube.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
IBM and Cisco worked together to create a video surveillance mashup application using IBM Mashup Center. This demo shows how a custom application can be easily created to satisfy the needs of security staff member. The mashup shows how video feeds from Cisco hardware can be integrated with other data within an enterprise. A video is available to show how a member of the security staff can manuiplate video feeds, chat via IBM Lotus Sametime, and send security personell SMS messages all within an integrated desktop view. A video of the Web 2.0 Summit presentation can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2. John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
Here's Part 1 of the Web2.0 Summit Demo: Live Video & Mashups:
Everybody's favorite technology guru, David Barnes, is back with another installment of his popular YouTube video series, where he explains and demystifies cool new web technologies. In this case, he demonstrates using BigSheets to sort through 300,000 Twitter posts.
IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
Recently, the IBM jStart Emerging technologies team created a mashup application which highlights how services from StrikeIron can be easily added to web-based applications.
This IBM Mashup Center mashup application enables a call center representative to capture a sales lead from an incoming call, enrich the information provided by the call with data obtained from a series of StrikeIron web services, then communicate information about the lead to a sales rep or business partner that is located close to the call using StrikeIron's SMS or IVR voice web services.
Even though your company might already have an existing call center application, how difficult or expensive would it be to modify that application to add additional content? By having an application built within IBM Mashup Center or by having services available in widget format, it is a fairly simple process to add widgets to a Mashup Center application or to an existing web page. For example, I can add the StrikeIron service widgets which provide Gale Web Domain or Midnight Trader Financial news to an existing web based application. These widgets would provide an application user with additional insight into a particular customer's company.
The mashup application implements the following scenario: 1. The call center rep enters some information captured from the user (his/her name, his/her company, his/her company's stock ticker symbol and main web site URL and clicks the "Submit" button.
2. Other widgets located within tabs on the page are invoked to gather additional information about the caller's company. Below is a screen shot of Gale Web Domain and Midnight Trader Financial News widgets. These financial information services are available from StrikeIron's web services catalog.
3. The location of the caller's company and the call center firm's sales reps and business partners who are located in the state are shown on a map. The user clicks one of the sales rep or business partner map icons to get more detailed information about the sales rep or the business partner. At this point, all the information is now available in order for the call center rep needs to make a decision such as "assigning" the sales lead to a business partner or one of the firm's reps by sending them an SMS message or by sending them a voice message using the StrikeIron IVR web service.
Here's a video which shows the entire demo in action:
If you want to know more about how to utilize the StrikeIron widgets that have been built for IBM Mashup Center, please contact the IBM jStart team.
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
Happy 2010 to everyone! Since it's a new year, I thought it would be a good time to showcase a new emerging technology from the IBM Emerging Technologies team. The technology is called Big Sheets and it is an insight engine for line of business professionals that allows you to get insights from web-scale data (really large data sets.) The "Big Sheets" name was derived from the thought that users can use a "spreadsheet metaphor" in a browser to analyze large sets of data. In essence, it provides a big data worksheet and thus the name "Big Sheets" came about for this project.
The web is exploding with data and business professionals want to access that data to get better insights to their business. Customers have lots of structured data stored within their enterprise, but customers also have the desire to access unstructured information on the web. By building on top of the Hadoop infrastructure, Big Sheets is able to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. Here's a video which provides you with a closer look at the Big Sheets technology.
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
This trial technology preview allows users to easily create views of feeds they create without writing code. Users can customize widgets
such as changing colors, size, feeds, and data feeds. The widgets created using this tool can then be posted on a variety of platforms such as on the Mashup Center palette, OpenAjax runtime, blog pages, or web pages by simply using the "Get This" button which is by default at the bottom of each created widget.
Here's a few screen shots of the Widget Generation Plug-in so you can get an idea of what is offered with this technology preview.
The first screen shot shows that there are a wide variety of widget types to choose from (Feed reader widget, Photos widget. Java applet widget, etc.) It is possible for you to add your own widget template to this list that your Business Users can use as well.
Once you have selected a widget type for a particular data feed that you want to visualize, you can easily customize the widget by changing colors, titles, widget size, and data feeds. These changes require no programming ability at all. A business user can easily create a widget that he/she could then propagate to multiple web pages.
A lot of enterprise information exists in mainframe applications thatare currently accessed using 3270 or 5250 consoles. If this mainframedata could be available in a format that allows it to be easilycombined with other data, either within the enterprise or available onthe Internet, business users could have the ability to harness thisdata to help solve business issues using a feature-rich, modern browserinterface
So wouldn't it be great to have a way to take some of your legacy "green screen" 3270 mainframe applications such as
and convert that data into a data feed which can be used within a loan officer dashboard like the following:
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies DevelopmentManager
IBM jStart Webinar-- Mashup Patterns for Your Business using IBM Mashup Center If you missed the webinar that was held on April 30, 2009, a replay is available on the IBM jStart webcast web site. A copy of the charts are available on the Lotus Greenhouse web site.
During this webinar, Mashup thought leaders Mike Ogrinz, author of Mashup Patterns,and John Gerken, a Senior Architect for the IBM jStart Emerging Technologies team, discussed:
Why mashups have become popular solutions for solving every-day business problems and have evolved into patterns.
How mashup patterns allow you to quickly discover and build upon mashup solutions that others with similar business goals have already demonstrated.
Understand how your business can implement mashup patterns to maximize the value of mashups for your business needs/challenges.
How mashup patterns highlighted in Mike’s book can be implemented with IBM’s Mashup Center.
Mike and John demonstrated real mashup solutions and the associated patterns that reinforce them to help new users understand these concepts and experienced users to gain additional insights.
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies DevelopmentManager
March was the 1st month of the Roman calendar. The Caesars, Julius and Augustus, were honored with the naming rights to July and August relegating October (#8), November (#9) and December (#10) to their current slots of 10, 11 and 12 in the lunar batting order. Unquenchable ego, sloppy derivatives and hapless government intervention pre-dates the year 0.
As I prepare for a banking conference presentation (feel free to add your own punch line), I observe the following which could be extrapolated to a variety of industries: media, telecom, retail, transportation.
Bank of the Future predictions: let's keep copies of these in the files along with our stash of 'companies long-gone' memorabilia. IMO, banking in 5 years will be ubiquitously mobile, provided by highly trusted and broadly recommended sources (other customers) and regional in size and behavior.
Bank branches are models of the '*way it used to be.*' Going someplace so that someone else can enter some data into a computer is nearly completely anachronistic anyway. And espresso machines and elaborate video presentations won't entice many desirable customers. The financial disaster of today is good news for the Mint.coms, peer to peer lenders, Pay Pals and atypical financial services entities of the future.
I still contend that the Apple Store and IKEA are examples of what a bank should be. IKEA opened a store near Charlotte, North Carolina recently and people camped-out to be among the first through the doors. Customers want to belong to something not transact somewhere.
When the dust and smoke of the financial crisis clears, Google and China will retain their respective dominant positions as the more creative and the lowest cost producers, sharing the title of Best Capitalized. Now is the time to prepare for resumption of the related global competition.
Things aren't as foregone globally or even locally as one is stampeded into believing. 80%+ of the equivalent value of the stock market is on the sidelines, in cash, awaiting market stability. I envision this being like the starting line of the Oklahoma Land Rush. Every loud noise sends the 'Sooners' out 150 points or so. Do you add value? Can I trust you? Will I be associating with people like me? are questions to which every type of Financial Institution will have to answer 'yes' merely to earn the right to join the customer-rush line-up.
There are plenty of technically savvy, motivated and conscientious younger people out there (gen whatever, doesn't matter). They want to make a difference and are willing make to personal and professional investments before they reap attendant rewards (they elected a president, after all). Successful enterprises of the future will modernize the descriptions of their business challenges so that this talent generation can participate.
Some days I wonder what is in store for my teenaged sons over the next 30 years. Every day I wish that I was 30 years younger to be find out with them. Welcome to March. In like a lamb, out like a lion?
Announcing a IBM jStart Webinar -- Mashup Business Scenarios and Patterns Holt Adams, a member of the IBM jStart Emerging Technologies team, will discuss how Mashups are being used to address various needs within an enterprise.
Here's details about the Mashup Business Scenarios and Patterns Webinar:
The use of Mashups to address enterprise needs has progressed in the adoption curve where the growth rate is becoming exponential. The technology is being leveraged with many industries to address unique business scenarios utilizing common “usage” and “architectural” patterns. More times than not, a solution for one industry can be deployed horizontally to cover other industries with similar needs. The differences in the mashup solutions are the roles of the users and the data sets being aggregated to create unique value. In many cases the usage patterns (e.g. capturing of search criteria, rendering of data within the UI, updating of secondary tables based on primary data selection, manipulation of data, and communicating with others) are similar, but the business goals and objectives being addressed are distinctive for each customer. The design and architectural options of mashups are determined by the mashup platform chosen for implementation.
Business scenarios that leverage a large set of common usage patterns can be implemented using a small set of design/architectural patterns (e.g. Use of RSS/ATOM feeds, invocation of REST services, widget communications via pub/sub model, aggregation of data sources through centralized hubs, data filtering at data/service sources). This webinar will discuss the relationship of usage patterns and architectural patterns that can be used today for deploying enterprise mashups to address business needs.
Update: The webinar was successfully held on December 11, 2008. If you wish to see the charts and audio reply, go to the Lotus Greenhouse Webcast web site. Note: You will need to register on Greenhouse in order to access the webinar charts.
This webinar is part of the Lotus Greenhouse webcast series. If you are interested in receiving more notices of upcoming webcasts, please register on the Lotus Greenhouse web site. Hope you can make it!
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
While serving in the US Navy, our destroyer miscalculated the severity, course and speed of a typhoon. Compounding our misery was the decision to seek safety in port moored outboard a cruiser. For three days the winds pounded us into that cruiser puncturing her hull at the water line. Incredible was it to witness a warship at general quarters while sinking at her own pier.
The mood, behavior and weather of the prevailing financial crisis recalls that weekend in Subic Bay.
Here's what we could do to take advantage of the indecision and relative inaction of others: head for open water- meaning the environment where we are constructed to perform our best. Let's ensure that everyone across the extended organization, inside and outside of the firewall, understands what are our near-term intentions. This is not a recommendation for heroics or reckless behavior, but an opportunity for leadership and the beginning of the campaign to reinforce trustworthy relationships across our value chain of employees, shareholders, partners and customers.
While others are standing still or meandering waiting for the unpredictable market storms to pass, a 10% improvement in our performances could result in a 30% increase in relative advantage (distance from the pack).
Where's the web 2.0 component? Although I am eager to talk about the continuing progress in the mobile space with Microsoft's bid to be the search engine of choice in the Verizon mobile network (search, as Google knows, equals advertising dollars); the introduction of Blackberry (Storm); and the launch of the Google phone. Let's benefit from the victor's example in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Senator Obama maneuvered from not-yet-ready to the presidency, amassing an historic war chest in the process, by inspiring participation to build his financial network. His opponents throughout the extended contest waged a campaign of message control, the Web 1.0 publishing model.
There is a wide-range of Web 2.0 tools and principles to get us started and the first audience to engage may be within our own firewalls. Moving from Publication to Participation will help to build an extended culture of innovative and necessary change.
Best for the Thanksgiving holiday.
P.S. the USS Fox did not sink at that pier in Subic. And for the remainder of our deployment in the South China Sea, whenever there was more than the threat of a rainstorm, the USS Joseph Strauss lit-off her 4 boilers and got underway.
Over the past year, there's been a large growth of widgets being made available from a variety of companies and organizations. In a way, widgets are now considered mainstream. My wife knows I've been working in the area of web 2.0 and web widgets for awhile, but she's not really into technology. But yesterday, she forwarded me an article about how non-profits/charitable organizations are now getting on the widget bandwagon. So even she's now seeing things about web widgets (gadgets) in regular publications that she reads. The article talked about how the Ad Council, the leading producer of public service advertisements, has kicked off the Exponential Action Network (EAN) initiative where users will bepresented with a list of participating Ad Council causes and beprompted to choose as many as they would like to support. Eachselection will generate an individual widget that can be prominentlydisplayed on the user’s social networking profile, blog, wiki andpersonal homepages.
For example, the Autism Speaks organization has been promoting the Autism Awareness Widget so users will have an opportunity to become further engaged in Autism Speaks' advocacy efforts. So if you have a charity or organization that you'd like to promote, you might want to consider building and sharing widgets to make your message available to more people.
John Feller IBMjStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
More from Artem and Vladimir's notes from the road:
Siberia, Russia. For many westerners this place is as mysterious as it is remote. For many decades the idea of coming to Siberia from the United States was not even feasible. However, with the world becoming flatter not only virtually, but also in tangible reality, more and more foreigners find that the former Soviet center of scientific research is far more accessible and, for the most part, welcoming. Thus, the IBM Customer Innovation Team knew that the Web 2.0 tour would not be complete without delivering the IBM message to somewhat ascetic but very bright minds in Siberia.
IBM team had several meetings and presentations in Novosibirsk -- the center of Siberia. However, the day spent at Novosibirsk State University (NSU) was by far the largest.
NSU meeting saw many seniors and professors in attendance. The meeting kicked off with Jim Smith and Artem Papkov delivering a presentation on Web 2.0 overview and its role in the latest development of the Internet. The presentation was accepted with a lot of enthusiasm. However, the audience had questions regarding making widgets and mashups freely available to public. There was some skepticism regarding safety and security of such approach. Jim explained that today keeping information to itself is a loosing approach and sharing of information is significantly more beneficial. He has also pointed that creating widgets that access one’s data makes it easer to control how the data is being used.
Next, Artem Papkov and Fiodar Zboichyk talked about the evolution of widgets, mashups and visual programming in general. One of the questions that the audience asked after the presentation concerned the security of mashups and widgets. The audience was eager to know if there is a way to ensure that a component brought from the outside may not hurt the client environment it is running in. Artem described some efforts going on at OpenAjax consortium and, specifically, how SMASH may be used exactly for that.
Ed Elze, Sam Thompson and Vladimir Stemkovski took the proverbial stage next and delivered a presentation on IBM Mashup Center and showed a demo of the product. The presentation was a wild success! There was no all out cheering but the IBM team could see that the audience was impressed with the technology and was delighted to discover that IBM is on the forefront of the technology and the latest Internet trends. The audience jumped right into asking a lot of technical questions, such as, if it is possible to create new feeds from a database table or, if it is possible to add the IBM Mashup Center to an existing web application. Vladimir has demonstrated how a new feed could be created with the help of IBM MashupHub and confirmed that since the IBM Mashup Center is just a web application it could be easily added to an existing application. Another question that was asked concerned publishing widgets and feeds for public use and tools that one could use to achieve that. Sam has mentioned that IBM MashupHub is just the tool for the job.
After a short break Vladimir Stemkovski has demonstrated IBM MashupHub functionality and showed how easy it is to create a new feed out of a relational database table. Students and processors like the slick user interface and had several questions to understand the MashupHub functionality better. For instance, one of the students asked if the IBM MashupHub could create feeds that take parameters. Vladimir has demonstrated how it is possible to achieve using SQL variables and the tool’s web interface. The audience also asked if feeds could be used for changing content of a database, which, as Vladimir explained, is not possible.
On the wave of overall seminar’s success, Keyur Dalal has brilliantly delivered a presentation of IBM’s social network initiatives such as Beehive and Lotus Connections. Answering questions, Keyur had to explain that social networks are not a fad but reality and that IBM reaps huge benefits by allowing people go outside of their organization to find solutions to their problems.
Overall, the seminar was a huge success and allowed students of the Novosibirsk State University to learn about Web 2.0 and initiatives that IBM has launched in this space.
Chris Spencer and Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Team
Chris Spencer pointed us to some "notes from the road" from Artem Papkov and Vladimir Stemkovski:
The jStart team's Web 2.0 Goes to Eastern Europe trip started with a Web 2.0 seminar at the Belarusian State University on September 24, 2008. Eight IBMers were going to tell an audience of 200 students and professors about why Web 2.0 is important and how they could use Web 2.0 tools in their lives and future businesses.
The seminar has started with the jStart's Customer Innovation Team (CIT) manager Jim Smith with the translation help from Artem Papkov, giving the first presentation of the series, "What is Web 2.0 and Why Should Customers Care". The audience was mesmerized by the presentation. However, due to the nature of the material, the presentation has not resulted in any major questions being asked. Once Jim and Artem were done, Fiodar Zboichyk gave a presentation on evolution of mashups and widgets. Fiodar's presentation gave an insight into the history of mashups and visual programming in general. And Fiodar's witty delivery and sense of humor created casual and relaxed atmosphere in the auditorium conducive to asking questions and participating in general discussions. The presentation was received very positively.
After the overview material has been delivered, the jStart teem dove deeper by delivering several presentations describing several technologies that IBM provides in the Web 2.0 space. Ed Elze, Sam Thompson and Vladimir Stemkovski gave a thorough overview of the IBM Mashup Center and showed a demonstration of using the technology for creating mashup applications. This presentation has generated several questions. How long did it take IBM to develop the IBM Mashup Center has asked one of the audience members. It took IBM about six months to develop the IBM Mashup Center, but it takes only a few hours to create a widget and only about 5 minutes to wire together a mashup replied Sam. The audience also wanted to know if the mashup is available for general public or is it an IBM internal service. Sam has explained to the participants that the technology is used both within IBM and is sold to IBM customer and, moreover, anybody could log in to a public IBM Mashup Center instance at http://greenhouse.lotus.com and try it for free. He has also described some limitation of the free version such as using only existing widgets and not being able to publish newly created mashups for public consumption.
After a short break Oleg Kholod presented a thorough overview of the Mashup Hub focus on feed development aspects. He showed how a new feed could be created using visual programming techniques and published in the Mashup Hub catalog. The demonstration has generated a lot of interest and some technical-minded participants inquired about the technology used for creating Mashup Hub plug-ins. Oleg explained that developers may use Java for creating new plug-ins.
Oleg's presentation was followed by Keyur Dalal and Fiodar Zboichyk talking about several social networking initiatives undertaken in IBM. They have described an internal service called BeeHive that allows IBMers staying in touch with other people in IBM outside of their usual work relationships. They have also described Lotus Connections and a project based on both of these technologies that is supposed to greatly increase convenience of finding the right lab out of 11 IBM lab clusters existing throughout the world. Obviously, social networking discussion has created a lot interest and questions ranged from why IBM creates a new service while there are similar services available in the public Internet (e.g. Facebook or MySpace) to what geographic markets do these technologies target. Keyur has explained that IBM finds that employees often put confidential information in their profiles and having a social network inside of the IBM is a safer choice. Also, he mentioned that IBM does not have any specific geographical market targeted for these offerings and, instead, believes that a lot of medium to large enterprises around the world may benefit from them.
The last presentation of the day was delivered by Sergey Vasiaichau and centered on technical details of iWidget development. In thirty minutes Sergey was able to demonstrate how to create a simple iWidget and has successfully used it in a Voting mashup. After a few questions about technical details of the demonstration, such as, if the developed iWidget uses a database to store voting results and alike, Sergey has finished his session and the seminar was adjourned.
The second Web 2.0 session conducted by the IBM jStart team in Belarus took place in rather informal environment inside one of the banquet rooms in a very nice restaurant called "Seven Rooms" which was conveniently located in the center of Minsk, the Belorusian capital city. IBA (IBM's partner and long term ally in Belarus) organized the meeting and invited representatives of major Belorusian IT companies as well as government organizations which have influence on future directions of internet technologies and overall IT industry in Belarus.
The seminar was accompanied by several meal courses and naturally lead to a lot of one on one conversations between visitors and IBM team members. Most of the questions were raised and answered in such informal manner. Along the way the IBM team gave three presentations about Web 2.0 and related technologies.
First jStart’s manager, Jim Smith, with the translation help from Artem Papkov, gave the presentation of series "What is Web 2.0 and Why Should Customers Care". Then Ed Elze, Sam Thompson and Vladimir Stemkovski gave a thorough overview of the IBM Mashup Center and showed a demonstration of using the technology for creating mashup applications. These two presentations really captured the audience's attention and resulted in several questions about applicability of mashups and IBM Mashup Center for government projects concerned with data centralization and delivery. The audience also asked about a way to try the IBM Mashup Center within their companies and organizations and IBM team explained that the technology could be freely evaluated at the Lotus Greenhouse.
After a short break for the main course and informal discussions Keyur Dalal and Fiodar Zboichyk talked about several social networking initiatives undertaken in IBM. They described an internal service called BeeHive that allows IBMers staying in touch with other people in IBM outside of their usual work relationships. They also described Lotus Connections and a project based on both of these technologies that is supposed to greatly increase convenience of finding the right lab out of 11 IBM lab clusters existing throughout the world. Keyur explained that IBM finds that employees often put confidential information in their profiles and having a social network inside of IBM is a safer choice. Also, he mentioned that IBM does not have any specific geographical market targeted for these offerings and, instead, believes that a lot of medium to large enterprises around the world may benefit from them.
The presentations were immediately followed by further discussion about mashups, widgets and applicability of these technologies for Belorusian customers. Great emphasis was also made on standardization movements in regards to these technologies and IBM team explained about OpenAjax initiative. The audience also expressed a concern about high cost of internet traffic in Eastern Europe comparing to that in the Western world which could make an adoption of Web 2.0 technologies slower in this region.
Overall, the first stop in the Web 2.0 Goes to Eastern Europe trip was a great success and demonstrated that there is a certain interest in the latest Internet technologies and IBM products.
Chris Spencer and Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Team
Are you getting overwhelmed by the number of spreadsheets being sent to you?
Currently, many business users spend too much time collecting, combining, consolidating, and distributing data when they use spreadsheets as their primary information distribution system. I have written a developerWorks article along with my colleague, Chris Gruber, which describes how IBM Mashup Center can be used to ease the burden of "spreadsheet overload". Turning spreadsheet data into data feeds allows the information to be easily used by enterprise mashups applications. The developerWorks article, "IBM Mashup Center: A Solution for Spreadsheet Overload", describes a use case in which a sales manager consolidates data from her staff and then tailors that data into a personalized dashboard using IBM Mashup Center.
Update: Scott Laningham just created an IBM developerWorks podcast where he asked me a few questions about this article and the growth of mashups on the web and in the enterprise. Feel free to listen and let me know what you think.
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
David Barnes released a new You Tubevideo which shows how Boeing used IBM Mashup Center to create a emergency response situational application. Boeing wanted to utilize existing data sources to improve rapid response capabilities for the FAA. With assistance from IBM's jStart team, Boeing was able to show the FAA a "Usable Airport Search Mashup". This mashup application could be used to enable government officials, in response to local or widespread emergency, to quickly identify the nearest airport that can safely handle an incoming aircraft based on aircraft’s performance characteristics such as Airport location, Airport status, Runway length , and Local weather. All this information is spread out among different government agencies, government contractors, as well as from other companies. This Boeing Mashup shows how all this information can come together to create a intergrated dashboard for an emergercy responder.
John Feller IBMjStart Emerging TechnologiesDevelopment Manager
ChannelWeb has a review of several Business Mashup Technologies including IBM Mashup Center, Google Mashup Editor, and Yahoo Pipes. I was happy to see IBM Mashup Center got their highest rating and beat out all the other choices that were reviewed.
"The IBM Mashup Center provides a slightly more attractive alternative because of the platform's flexibility and easy-to-deploy approach."
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development [Read More]
John Gerken shared a link with me that was too good not to share with the readers of the Emerging Tech blog.
"Mozilla is launching the experimental Ubiquity Web service under an open-source license, providing integrations with Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, YouTube, Amazon.com, Digg and Twitter. The application runs in the Firefox Web browser, letting average Web users build mashups, which were previously consigned to folks in application development."
Wow, just think of it: a built-in mashup maker on the browser! This is more along the lines of emerging Emerging Technology, so look for it to have an impact down the line. But when it does hit, I expect it to make a big splash.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
David Barnes has another wonderful YouTube video out on his IBMetinfo channel. I recommend clicking the yellow "Subscribe" button from YouTube if you find these videos interesting. In this latest tutorial, Chris Gruber describes a translation mashup using the plugin described in the previous blog post.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
IBM Mashup Center has the power to "unlock the data silos" by letting users build mashups with data from a variety of enterprise data sources. But what I find exciting is the extensible plugin model that allows new data sources to be made available. Check out this developerWorks article to learn how to write your own MashupHub plugin, with plenty of code examples provided. The image below is from a sample plugin for using a translation webservice.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
IBM Mashup Center is now available for you to try on-line. It is available on the Lotus Greenhouse web site. Once you register, you will have free access to all the products on the Lotus Greenhouse site such as Lotus Connections and Quickr.
Here's a nice introductory video about IBM Mashup Center:
Give it a try, and let us know what you think!
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
Lee Lefever's "Explanations In Plain English" series is a great way to learn about Web 2.0. I like the simplistic and vibrant style used in all his videos to drive home the salient points of his topics. I've embedded two of his videos, the combination of which could help explain something like MashupHub and IBM Mashup Center to new users. One of the insights I gleaned after watching his RSS explanation is the similarity between Atom feeds and Tivo's subscription manager. Both produce a marked improvement to the user experience.
p.s. If you find these posts interesting, take a cue from video and leave a comment.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
For those that have been reading this Emerging Technologies blog on a regular basis, you already should be aware that the IBM Emerging Technologies team has been defining, developing, incubating, refining, and validating Mashups technologies and tools over the past few years. Our team first started with a mashup maker prototype utility called QEDwiki and a feed server called MashupHub which later evolved into the enterprise-ready productized version called IBM Mashup Center. The IBM jStart Customer Innovation team worked with several customers such as Boeing and Carrefour to define "real world" mashups, figure out what worked (and what didn't), make refinements, and prove that indeed that a Mashup Utility such as IBM Mashup Center can add real business value to our customers.
It's taken awhile to produce a mashup solution with the key functions and features that enable our customers to address their business needs. But I believe that Mashup Center was worth the wait. Soon MashupCenter will be hosted as a free trial on the Web with whichnon-technicalbusiness people can use to experiment and build customizedmashupsfollowing the success of early corporate adopters and business partners such as Boeing, Carrefour, StrikeIron, and Kapow.
Even though the Emerging Technologies team has now seen the concept of enterprise mashup tools and utilities successfully become available within an IBM product, there's always more to do. We are just at the beginning of the formation of an "Enterprise Mashup Ecosystem" and, thus, new requirements and capabilities will be continually defined. As I mentioned earlier, the IBM jStart Customer Innovation team has worked with several customers to create Mashup prototypes and they have identified some mashup best practices and business usage patterns. The jStart team works with customers to evaluate whether mashup technologies could add value to their business. The jStart team is also able to share their experiences and observations of working with mashups over the past few years. Interested in getting more information? Want to figure out if "Mashup" technologies can solve a problem for you? Send an email to email@example.com .
John Feller IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
Memorial Day weekend, like July 4th, means more to me each year as my sons near enrollment in our adult world.
After 5 weeks of Web 2.0 presentations with clients from 3 continents, the nature of these discussions are in a third chapter: 'We've tried a few related projects and want to pick up the pace (aka make investments) where it makes sense.' Seventeen months ago, chapter 1, clients wanted to know 'if this Web 2.0 is for real.' During News Corp's acquisition of Dow Jones in mid-07, creating a sibling for MySpace, chapter 2 centered on 'how should we get started?'
As you might expect, enterprise executives are more interested in Web 2.0 as it might enable collaboration to capture the organization's knowledge and to inspire innovation amongst employees, customers and partners than they are in the tools of Web 2.0 - blogs, podcasts etc, although low-end, low-cost video is compelling. The thinking is something like, 'If Wikipedia gets it done with 8 full-time employees, why can't we do a little better with a lot larger staff?!'
As we talk about the next generation of Internet-savvy employees and customers, I emphasize that regardless My which Web 2.0 tools or principles take hold, there will remain the need for two ships: leadership and scholarship. My eighteen-year-old once suggested to me, "Don't just yell at me, show me!" which I interpret to be a useful model for both Web 2.0 marketing and management.
My favorite leadership story in tribute to those we honor on Monday: 20+ years ago at a start-up software company, we interviewed a just-graduated engineer from NC State for a technical sales position. He offered capability and charm, but no measurable, related experience - a recipe for rejection. At lunch, one manager noted that the candidate had been fraternity president and asked what management lesson from that experience might be applied to developing our software business?
He replied in an even tone that in such an unorganized, chaotic environment where he had no real authority, he observed that "the mission of the top 1/3 was to keep the middle 1/3 from being like the bottom 1/3." Ten seconds of silence ensued; then our General Manager asked him how soon he could start.
Welcome to summer! There's lots to look forward to.
Christopher Perrien Internet Strategist, IBM jStart Business Development Manager
There's been some recent articles about how to create mashups that I've have found interesting. For instance, David Storm wrote an article about the seven steps toward creating your first enterprise mashup. Of the steps he listed, Step #2 "Pick your data sources", I feel is the most important. Actually, it's really a matter of finding and determining whether you can actually access various data sources in the format you need them in. Within an enterprise, data is stored in a variety of locations and in different formats. A lot of data is not even accessible by other users. In many cases, data is not even under the control of a corporate IT shop. For example, some mission critical data resides on individual's computer hard drives. Think of all the spreadsheets that are being used. When people need to share this data, they usually just send them to each other via email. In this case, people have to figure out who has the most recent copy and then the email them around and the cycle continues over and over again.
IBM's Mashup Center , a product which has been recently announced, addresses some of these concerns. The InfoSphere MashupHub component of this product provides a catalog as well as a way to retrieve data from departmental, personal, and enterprise information. For example, data can be uploaded from a spreadsheet and then be transformed into a feed that can be used within a Mashup Application. This data can be easily found by searching the catalog and by subscribing to the feed, business users can retrieve the most recent data. Social networking and community ratings help users find "quality" data sources rather because other people can provide comments and point to other mashup examples that use the data sources. The enterprise IT shop can also regulate who gets control of the data feed and start to provide a culture that people don't always store mission critical data on their personal hard drive. Data from various sources such as DB2, IMS, LDAP, pureXML, SAP, Web Services, Excel, RSS feeds, Access, and Domino can be retrieved, manipulated into various formats the users needs, and then cataloged for other people to use and share.
You'll be hearing more about the IBM Mashup Center with a series of future articles on the IBM developerWorks site. Stay tuned...
We're still reeling from UNC's Final 4 collapse vs Kansas. And then Memphis appeared to earn the championship trophy awaiting only the sinking of a mere free-throw in the final 10 seconds. At every level of basketball, destiny is quite often determined by the process of such an uncontested 15' shot, the clock stopped, no active defense and no rush to execute?!
Monday's New York Times offered an intriguing benchmark of Tiger Woods's professional success. Surprisingly, it's not his booming drives. He laps the competition by his effectiveness in making 15 foot putts under pressure.
In this teeter-tottering economic climate, here's how I'm working on my own 15-footers:
1. JP Rangaswami, author of the popular blog, confusedofcalcutta. If one types 'JP' into Google, his blog is the 5th hit. I enjoy especially his podcast on the Web 2.0 tools of knowledge workers, who are the primary value of today's Enterprise 2.0 companies. These tools are: Syndication, Search, Fulfillment, Conversation (in the form of storable traditions). BTW, he is the CIO for a large telecom company.
2. I attended Edward Tufte's travelling seminar, the Presentation of Analytical Information. One of his more popular books is The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. In the endless race for more and better IT tools, his is a refreshing and clever reminder of the value of content - when properly presently. His clever riff on the failings of Powerpoint had each of the 350 attendees nodding in agreement. His sole criticism of the iPhone design is that if the icons require descriptions (phone icon with word 'Phone' beneath), get rid of the needless icon!
3. David Pogue is the technology critic for the New York Times. His column is Circuits. I enjoy his topical and always well-substantiated comments. A recent article, Are You Taking Advantage of Web 2.0? re-calibrated my thinking on 'what it's going to take and why it's worth it' to invest in these enticing and not yet proven Internet capabilities.
Today at the IMPACT conference, IBM announced IBM Mashup Center which allows business users to drag and drop components from various Websources to easily create, deploy and share customized Web applications inminutes. In the past, our emerging technologies team has demonstrated the usefulness of situational applications for business users particually using QEDwiki mashup maker. From our various customer interactions and lessons learned with QEDwiki, we have evolved the technology with more functions and enhancements into the IBM Mashup Center technology. IBM Mashup Center consists of Lotus Mashups (which is the mashup maker) and the MashupHub technology (a catalog and feed server).
Now that that NCAA College Basketball Tournament is underway, I thought I'd share a demo showing how a NCAA College Basketball fan could create his or her own "mashup" situational application to help decide what restaurant to go to after the basketball game. This demo utilizes the Lotus Mashups environment to combine data from StrikeIron's Men's College Basketball Web Service with data from Yahoo! Maps Service, Yahoo! Local Service, and AccuWeather. By combining these data sources into a mashup application, a fan of a college basketball team easily find restaurants and weather at the basketball arena site. By accessing other information such as local hotels and bars, this Lotus Mashups application can be modified to fit the specific interests of the user.
Super Tuesday wasn't that super; sub-prime confessions continue to spiral the market; and Brett Favre retires! Does anyone really want to hear about the enterprise value of the Internet's blooming capabilities?!As we round the corner into spring weather, it might be useful to recall a few of the primary changes brought about by this current generation of web technologies,aka Web 2.0:1. no longer dozens of markets comprised of millions of customers, but millions of markets comprised of perhaps only dozens of customers - think Long Tail or the permanentchanges in media distribution (film, music, tv, advertising).2. the Apple Store is more like the branch bank of the future than is the current drive-up window.Customers want to affiliate with like-minded people where their particular needs can beaddressed. The better news is that given the tools, customers will form these communities themselves.3. Knowledge is no longer power because everybody knows - or at least has access to knowing.This is the highest peak for management to climb. Instead of singularly figuring-out how to deploy Web 2.0 tools e.g. the proper level of privacy, we should ask our employees, customers, partners what they think (and know) will work best. Management has to bound the chaos, not provide the answers.4. Mobility and Video are exploding right before our eyes similar to the marriage of computersand spreadsheets in the mid 1980s which launched the PC revolution. Consider Google's (owner of You Tube) Android program and yesterday's Apple - Kleiner Perkins announcement to fund enterprise applications for the iPhone. BTW, Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney Corp. Wait 'n see may be ok; and it's not too soon for incubating a promotion strategy on mobile devices.One thing is for certain, tomorrow's Duke vs UNC game will be a good one and that game tips-offthe welcomed respite of March Madness. Go Carolina!
The Mashup Starter Kit is a preview of a new Web 2.0-based mashupplatform that empowers business professionals to rapidly get theinformation they need, no matter where it resides. This toolkit enablesusers to assemble their own Web 2.0 mashup applications, solvingbusiness problems without aid from information technology (IT)specialists.
The IBM Mashup Starter Kit includes QEDwiki and the IBM Mashup Hub technologies. The IBM Mashup Hub is a mashup server that stores RSS, ATOM, or XML data feeds and allows them to be merged, transformed, filtered, or otherwise manipulated. QEDWiki is a mashup creation tool that allows non-programmers to create business applications. QEDwiki and Mashup Hub have been discussed many times on previous blog postings here. What is significant with this announcement is that you can now download the QEDwiki mashup maker and Mashup Hub on your own personal workstation and access your enterprises data feeds. Software-as-a-service solutions for mashups will continue to be available from IBM and others. But now, we've addressed the problem that Mashup solutions on the "Internet" can't address because they can't access data within your enterprise's firewall.
You can still access on-line (SaaS) versions of QEDwiki,Mashup Hub, and DAMIA (DAMIA has now been absorbed into the Mashup Hub editor) to get familiar with the tools. I then suggest you download a copy of the Mashup Starter Kit (it's free after all!). With the Mashup Starter Kit you have the ability to create your own mashups using your own personal or enterprise data sources.
Give it a try!
John Feller Manager, IBM Emerging Technologies Development
1. Mobile Search with related advertising opportunities remains the investment rage amongst Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Apple's iPhone campaign fueling this fire (stock up 80% since announcement in Feb. 2007).
2. How to get started, not Why is the theme of the customer discussion. A shift from the spring due to notable F500 investments such as News Corp acquisition of Dow Jones (parent of the Wall Street Journal) and Microsoft offering $300mm for just 5% of Facebook. Agreement that there is something to this notion of Community Building or Social Networking. Starting inside the enterprise to harness collective wisdom of employees, with a goal of improved innovation, is compelling. Existing business processes and right mix of staff are inhibitors to taking advantage. Is the benefit in early adoption or fast-following?!
3. Not much of a wow factor in related tools: blogs, wikis, feeds etc as judged to be the basics but not project justifiers.
4. Positive reception to IBM's own related experiences: Jams, Think Place, Technology Adoption Program, and quantity of internal blogs, wikis etc. A concerted offering would be valued by marketplace.
5. Mash-ups of enterprise data could be a big winner; need cohabitation story with portal capabilities.
6. Appear Bigger than You Are via Web 2.0 (YouTube, Community Building) is an attraction to mid-market customers.
7. Mid-sized firms attracted, increasingly so, to hosted apps by likes of Google (e.g. Google Pack, NetBooks)
8. Web 2.0, as the friendly face of service-enabled architectures (SOA), is not yet obvious to customers and to sellers. Remains a tough, internal sell from IT to its business sponsors.
9. Information Security is top of mind, well beyond a traditional IT control point: 'If I move outside of enterprise with Web 2.0, how would I handle InfoSec and legal hurdles?'
10. Not much Web 2.0 budget in '07 and being budgeted for TBD projects in '08.
Here's a step-by-step process to create your own QEDwiki application using a StrikeIron Service.
Before you begin, you will need to register on the IBM.com site to have an ID to use QEDwiki. To register, simply go to https://www.ibm.com/account/profile/us?page=reg By having an ID on the IBM.com web site you can also access other premium content such as developerWorks tutorials and alphaWorks downloads. To use StrikeIron services within QEDwiki, you will also need to register an account on the StrikeIron Web Site athttp://www.strikeiron.com/Register.aspx . (Remember to check your email to fully activate your StrikeIron account.)
Now that you've registered on both the IBM and StrikeIron web sites, you can now create a simple situational application on the QEDwiki mashup maker utilizing StrikeIron Services by doing the following steps:
Once you enter your IBM ID and agree to the license, you will see the QEDwiki welcome page.
Optional step: You can click on the links on the left menu to learn more about using QEDwiki. Good places to start are to select "Introduction" and view the "How To" subtopics, such as How to Create a Page, How to Create Data, etc. Also you should view the Tutorials located in the "AssemblersGuide" section.
Select "Create a Page" (and remember to name the page a WikiWord!) So type in a page name like JohnsTestPage1234 ... There is a restriction to always use unique page names (not used by others) because these pages can be shared with your friends. Also choose the "Two_Row" Page type.
Once you have created a new QEDwiki page, get into the "Assemble" mode by selecting the "Assemble" tab on the upper right corner.
Then from the Widget palette on the left side, type "SearchForm" and press "Go". You will see a "Search Form Widget" appear on the palette.
Drag and drop the "SearchForm" widget into the first row within the QEDwiki page. You will get a pop-up and you can put "Enter Phone Number" on the entry and click OK.
At this point, it would help if you do a Page Refresh on your browser to update the contents of the page. (to avoid a small bug that will be fixed soon.) Then make sure you go back into "Assemble" mode.
OK, now it's time to find a StrikeIron service to use within this QEDwiki application. On the Widget palette, choose "AlphaWorks MashupHub" as the source and type "strikeiron" on your Search bar. Press "Go". You will then see the following palette which displays multiple StrikeIron functions that you can use:
Drag and drop the "ReversePhoneBusinessIntel" icon (the one with a question mark) onto the second row within the QEDwiki page. You will see a pop-up panel for this widget requesting you to enter a valid StrikeIron ID and Password in order to use the StrikeIron Service. Then select the "Next" button on the upper right corner of the pop-up panel. (Do not press the "OK" button just yet.)
On the next panel, it asks for you to enter a phone number. Instead of having a static number, we want to use the SearchForm to allow users to enter phone numbers in the entry field. We want the ReversePhoneBusinessIntel widget to consume the contents of the SearchForm entry field. So select the "paper and pencil" icon on the far right of the entry field.
On the next panel, select the "SearchForm" widget and the "search" topic, and press "OK".
The resulting "editing properties" panel should look like this:
Then press "OK", and select the "View" tab because you have now finished the assembly of your QEDwiki situational app.
For this application, you can enter business phone numbers and perform a "reverse phone number lookup". For new accounts, StrikeIron will provide you with 25 free hits. So if you enter a business phone number such as 914-499-1900, this is what the final application looks like:
So with similar steps, you can create new QEDwiki applications which use other StrikeIron services or which use data services from other providers. You can add map widgets or weather forecast widgets if you want. The page you just created is a wiki page after all, so you can add text to the page by simply selecting the "Page" tab and choosing either the WYSIWYG Editor or Text Editor. Your situational application web page can then be shared with anyone you choose.
John Feller Manager, IBM Emerging Technologies Development
A listing of four articles in the 'C' section of the 18 September 2007 NY Times:
1. Joining Google (Google Pack), IBM contributes word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software to the OpenOffice.org.
2. Yahoo purchases email provider, Zimbra, for $350mm (mostly in cash).
3. Google, via its familiar AdSense model, is now auctioning ads on web pages viewed on mobile phones.
4. MySpace planning to customize ads to members based upon their profiles and interactions.
Aside from the on-going flood of Web 2.0 activity, what might be the connection of these initiatives?Pay the Customer First and the accelerating roll-out of Mobile Search aka mobile advertising.
We have IBM and Yahoo offering capabilities to customers that once cost hundreds of dollars per user in license fees. Now they're giving this capability away, up front, in order to attract targeted audiencesor communities (plus put a burr in the Microsoft saddle).
Google and MySpace demonstrate how they, and others, intend to take advantage of the communitiesformed when the customer is paid first with software (word processing and spreadsheets) or services (search).
What would it be like if television commercials understood and could serve ads to the specific individuals who watch particular programs. A game in our family during commercials is to guess who the sponsor thinks is watching the particular program based upon the type of commercials. Either broadcast tv will figure this out or we'll probably migrate to watching television on our HD flat panel fed by our internet connection.
Have you ever heard one of the Yogi-ism of advertising, 'I know that 50% of my advertising works; I'm just not sure which 50%.' This is to going to get better, meaning more relevant, for everyone. cperrien
I spoke about the incredible advances in video conferencing a couple of days ago. Coming on scene is one of its logical partners, virtual trade shows. I've always felt that the only ones who benefit from trade shows are those who sponsor them and those who get a couple of days out of the office. Seldom is the ROI realized for the company paying for the booth. I believe that virtual worlds will provide great benefit when they combine the immediacy of the state-of-the art video conferencing with the engagement of a PS3 game and the focus of a specific trade show. Imagine roaming around CeBit (European technology show) in a virtual world and then having a video conference of high quality with a vendor of interest to you. Additional info: NY Times 12 September 07, Cyberspace Trade Shows Bring Action to the Desktop. cperrien
I read Navy Proceedings each month as a kind of hold-over from my first 'real job.' Although I never pretend or imply that business should be managed like a cruiser-destroyer squadron, I enjoyed an article in the August 2007 Proceedings, page 19, which encourages improved adaptability in the modern military, and see associations with my Web 2.0 presentations.
As I speak to customers about Web 2.0, most are now aware of what is going on around them. For example, that MySpace will generate close to $1b in revenue this year. Many customers ask me 'how to get started?' 'How to measure the associated business value?' And even more tell me that 'they do not have the time or cycles or bandwidth to take advantage of these Web 2.0 capabilities and trends.'
I may reply to them in the future with the following section titles from this Proceedings article:
Slow Changes are Costly
Rapid Adaption Wins (we need cultures at of every level which are resourceful as information becomes outdated).
Make Distinctions to avoid Extinction (this section says that adaption is not innovation but what one does with innovation).
Adjustment Mean Movement (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act - the OODA loop). 'I know something's happening but I'm too busy' is a receipe for being owned by iTunes.
Movement may need Correction (this is really the feedback component of the OODA loop).
Getting into the Web 2.0 game at the appropriate level is a way of ensuring that we can take advantage of its successes. cperrien
Forwarded to me by our collegue in Global Services, Rob Berini: "Typically, the name Web 2.0 is used by computer programmers to refer to a combination of a) improved communication between people via social-networking technologies, b) improved communication between separate software applications--read "mashups"-- via open Web standards for describing and accessing data, and c) improved Web interfaces that mimic the real-time responsiveness of desktop applications within a browser window."
Such descriptions help answer the more freequent question that I receive lately: 'I see Web 2.0 going on and believe that there could be some value. Where do I start?' cperrien
Brief article on page 68 of the 11 Aug 07 Economist. We've discussed web 2.0 and how we can both learn from Gen Y's use of these technologies (blogs, syndication, community building etc) as well as how to apply these technologies to better serve this market of growing influence.
I observe my 17 year old as he earns a little money at his summer job in the bakery and begins to understand the cost of automotive ownership now that he is in sole possession of his mother's car (it shocks him that a tank of gasoline requires more than 1/2 day of wages). Now he's inquiring about saving percentages and 401k plans. He is in the market for a financial partner who understands his situation (eager to be on his own, off to college in less than one year, wants to participate in the complicated adult world and not exactly sure how. But he knows that finances have something to do with it).
I am not a fan of making a buiness case based on 'what kids are doing,' and in this matter I believe that we can both learn (be more innovative) and help at the same time (groom a generation of customers and leaders).
Be cool (in the other sense of the term), christopher perrien
Readers of this blog viewing the video from David Barnes in the previous post may have wondered about IBM DAMIA, which was referenced at the end of the YouTube video. It's a mashup tool with a nifty user interface that lets users plug together a mashup out of feeds or other data sources.
I'm proud to announce a new technology that's near and dear to my heart: IBM Mashup Hub.
Mashup Hub is intended for a community of Web 2.0 mashup creators and situational application assemblers to come together to share and reuse user interface components (widgets) and enterprise data sources.
We released today on alphaWorks Services in conjunction with a QEDWiki update that contains interoperability with Mashup Hub. In fact, if you go into QED Explorer, you will see the feeds and widgets from the Mashup Hub catalog.
Firefox users can also download a Firefox extension that works with Mashup Hub.
If you haven't already, go ahead and visit the link above and "Try it Now". We look forward to your comments and feedback.
p.s. If you're wondering why I like Mashup Hub so much, it's because, as a developer, I've seen it through from initial concept to prototype to today's release. I hope you enjoy using it as much as our team has enjoyed creating it.
Received a .pdf summary today of a Web 2.0 roundtable hosted by the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth University. The roundtable was held at IBM's Palisades facility and attended by executives from IBM, Cisco, ING, Time-Warner, British Telecom, Eastman Chemical, Ogilvey & Mather and others. These execs are frank in their concerns and ambitions for Web 2.0 and all agree that the published remarks are attributable (that's the Web 2.0 spirit for you).
The .pdf is available at http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/digital/ Look for the Web 2.0 Roundtable report. I am not able to attach files to my blog so if you'd like a copy, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
for full story. What is the potential for the integration of MySpace, also owned by News Corp, and the WS Journal? Another AOL & Time Warner mishap or improved distribution channels for the scholarship of Dow Jones (WSJ parent)? Will this acquisition accelerate enterprise activity around Web 2.0:social networking, community building, and innovation across thevalue-chain? cperrien
He is the President and CIO of British Telecom's Global Services Division. I am fond of telling my customers that whatever the form of community and information exchange - electronic, paper, iPhone, in-person even - there will always be a need for at least two kinds of ships: leadership and scholarship.
JP provides both and both are immediately apparent. To keep my praise to a tolerable level, please know that if one searches the letters 'JP' on Google, his web site is the 7th hit. He welcomes your participation in and linking to his blog: http://confusedofcalcutta.com/
A couple of his ideas that I like:
1) first there must be Relationship, followed by Conversation, then Transaction.
2) Web 2.0 is an 'abundance mentality' not a 'scarcity mentality.'
I do not intend to trivialize his thinking with these blurbs and how I wish many more Presidents and CIOs had the courage & wherewithall to extend themselves in such an honest and sincere manner.
Believe me, you'd like to have dinner with JP. cperrien
Kudos to http://labs.google.com/ for anticipating the question of "what's going on with Google these days?" Great googly moogly, that web page is a study in elegant simplicity! From their Experimental Search section to the classics like Google Suggest (which has graduated to Google Toolbar), visiting their virtual lab is an effective way to better one's google-fu.
What's your impression of their open lab? (post a comment to respond)
Five paragraph article in the July 4th New York Times, C8. Two thoughts: eBay marches-on providing an ever widening range of services to its large customer base. Please recall that eBay is America's 2nd largest employer when second and third sources of income are considered. Certainly, it is nearly impossible to keep up with Google and its daily announcements and eBay seems to be nearly as active with announcements via its Skype and PayPal related partnerships: chartered banking in Europe one day, Wal Mart partnership the next, now head-to-head with Craigslist (partly owned by eBay, btw) with its Kijiji service meaning 'village' in Swahili. Kijiji is already the market leader for classified advertising in Canada, Germany, Italy, and Taiwan.
In parallel, the Bancroft family continues to agonize over the future of its Wall Street Journal and the acquisition offer made by Mr. Murdoch's News Corp., owner of MySpace. What will newspapers do when the last bit of their advertising flees to the web? Every young couple that we know only buys and lists their homes and cars on Craigslist.
Second thought: I'm invited to deliver an web 2.0 briefing to a mid-sized enterprise. The request is for an overview of Web 2.0 and specifically for examples of what customers could be doing to take advantage of these emerging capabilities. Are the roars of Google, eBay, iPhone, and the wailing of traditional media, etc. just too loud to be heard?! cperrien
The Economist of June 16, 2007 page 85 describes an interesting bank chain: Umpqua. Begun in Oregon. Highly focused on customer service, not only ATM fees and deposits. 144 branches in 12 years.
The current riddle for banks is how to attract customers to the branch office (branches matter to customer relationship and customer loyalty which drives sales) when 2x more customers bank online than did in 2002.
Well trained associates (trained by the Ritz Carlton, no less) cater to customer needs and charge accordingly. Link to Economist article.
Maybe the Apple Store is not the only example of the Branch Bank of the future. cperrien
Despite the protestations of potential competitors in the Financial Sector, Wal Mart will expand its range of in-store financial services. While not officially a bank, this retailer will add prepaid debit cards and eventually mortages & home equity loans to its existing services of check-cashing, bill paying, and money order services.
I feel that this is a good move for everyone. Business processes, whether those of Telcos or Financial Services enterprises, are nearly impossible to modify unless the bottom-line (or top line) is under siege.
Related, we know that Skype (VoIP) will now be sold at Wal Mart stores. This relationship brings Pay-Paland consequently eBay (and possibly eBay's customers) into the Wal Mart customer community
With the likes of Web 2.0 companies such as Wasabe.com, Prosper.com etc plus the physical presence of the likes of a Wal Mart, financial relationships will continue to manifest themselves in new and varied ways. I bet to the benefit of consumers everywhere.
Full New York Times citation at NYT.com entitled At Wal_Mart, A Back Door Into Banking; 21 June 07, section C1.
Earlier in month, I spent the better part of 2 days with 10 to 12 CIOs and VPs of Communication discussing Web 2.0 as it might apply to their enterprises. I was surprised by their collective sense of this topic which I summarize as:
- most attendees began the Roundtable feeling that they would find other enterprises to be way ahead of their own adoption of blogs, wikis, syndication, community building. Mild disappointed that the others were no further ahead than they as though they sought reasons to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.- somewhat surprising to me, IBM acknowledged to be ahead of the web 2.0 corporate pack with keen interest in how IBM deploys wiki technology and Jams. Jams are massive on-line discussons or focused brain-storming sessions across employee and partner communities.- repeated statements of concern about security and privacy. Most legitimate and some masking a fear of losing control.- no consensus on who should spearhead Web 2.0 adoption. Suggestions ranged from CEO to HR. - Curious to me was the comment that the value of Web 2.0 in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space is obvious because marketing matters there; Web 2.0 justification in the Business to Business (B2B) space is not so obvious because B2B "is all about commerce." So, I thought, what is commerce without customers? Simply, constant cost-reduction? The more that I think about it, Web 2.0 is all about communities of markets. Everyone in the value chain should being thinking about customer satisfaction, even if it costs a little more.- met author of confusedofcalcutta.com. Recommend that you visit this site. cperrien
There seems to be a lot of recent work with zooming large images. If you've ever tried to manipulate an extremely high-resolution image, you know it can be rather slow with regular image software or browsers.
Or, check out this offering from Microsoft. The zoom through Notre Dame was particularly impressive.
StreetView is a pretty amazing innovation in GoogleMap technology. It lets you see zoomable 360 degree panoramic views of a location. I'd imagine some folks are pretty excited about this, particularly if they happened to be in one of the images. (Or if their car was captured, perhaps) I wonder what mashups people will make with this. Here's hoping we see more cities added... as of now, I see San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, and New York.
You can also link to these StreetViews, for example, here is the Luxor casino in Las Vegas.
We spoke about the lessons of community building on the popular culture side of the Internet, namely connecting like-minded individuals. This NY Times article by Brad Stone on May 25, 2007 discusses Facebook's intent to move into the enterprise.
And it appears that the Bancroft family will approve of Rupert Murdoch's bid for the Wall Street Journal thereby bringing the grand dame WSJ into the fold with MySpace and Fox TV.
Why do some remain skeptical of the value of Web 2.0 to the Enterpise?!
A good chance for Lotus to discuss IBM's own experience with its own Facebook-like application (w3) and the impending Connections offering.
Friday April 20th's New York Times juxtaposed several articles related to advertising (4/20/2007 section C). The topic of the recent annual 4A Convention (American Assoication of Advertisers) was Accountability and its relationship to Creativity. The ancient Advertising saw is, 'I know that 50% of my advertising investment is wasted, I just don't know which 50% it is.'
As we know, Google, with its Clear Channel and DoubleClick partnership and acquisition, is charging ahead to show the likes of the advertising community what measurement might look like. I guess that we all would enjoy receiving, if we have to receive them at all, commercials both on TV and on our devices that are related to us and our individual preferences. I often hear our Vice President discuss Web 2.0 as millions of markets comprised of dozens of people. The 4As, along with all of us who sell things, are going to have to adjust to this brave new world of Marketing with Customers and no longer Marketing at Customers. I think that Marshall Mcluhan would approve of this trend.
For those of you attending the Web 2.0 Expo this week, I highly recommend you attend Rod Smith's session on "Mashing Up Business Value With Web 2.0". You'll hear about how there's a need within the enterprise to have a "mashup eco-system" comprising of data sources (mashup widgets, feeds) along with tooling (such as IBM's enterprise mashup maker-QEDwiki). What's the business value of Web 2.0 mashups within the enterprise? You'll hear from one of IBM's key customers about their view of Web 2.0 mashups and how it can help attract new customers for their business. Rod always puts on an entertaining presentation so stop by his session if you're at the Expo on Monday morning!
I just returned from 3 days in the Central Region speaking with customers about the possibilities of Web 2.0 for national and regional enterprises. The note from Joe Becker below is consistent with my impressions. Wesabe.com (described previously in this blog) and incredible progress by Apple and its iPod stimulate the imagination of executive audiences. Link to searchsmb has the entire piece.
from Joe Becker, Emerging Tech Marketing: 'A great story from SearchSMB.com on the types of web 2.0 investments being made by the enterprise. The article claims: "CIOs are on board with Web 2.0 technology, but they don't want to deal with emerging vendors in the market. They want to get the technology from major software vendors."
"It's all about integration and security," said Oliver Young, an analyst at the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm. "They trust Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. They're running half of their enterprise applications already. It's so much easier and so much more reliable to get it from those guys who are already in their shops."
For his new report, Young surveyed 119 CIOs at U.S. companies with 500 or more employees. Seventy-one percent said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could buy it from major vendors such as Microsoft or IBM. And 74% said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could acquire it as a software suite.
Young said major vendors are starting to offer Web 2.0 suites. For example, IBM's latest upgrade of Lotus Notes includes several Web 2.0 components integrated into its collaboration platform.'
From Raleigh to Russia to Oprah, all in the name of emerging Internet technology.
IBM's James Smith, from the JBoss/Emerging Technology team, recently interviewed with Fortune Magazine on IBM's work with partners and labs in Russia for collaborative innovation. One of the most interesting partners -- in Sibera nonetheless-- has been helping IBM develop Web 2.0 plugins and enhance its enterprise mashup maker, QEDWiki. The story goes into how U.S companies are finding smart and creative technology development in Russia's Silicon Valley or in this case, the Silicon Forest. One of the first companies to open in this high-tech location is Axmor, a long time partner of IBM, who was hired by Harpo Productions, Oprah Winfrey's media company, to build a web portal.
"We didn't really know who Oprah was," says Andrey Kanonirov, Axmor's IBM project manager. "But we know who she is now."
As a followup to Christopher's post earlier today, here is a link to a RegDeveloper article, Microsoft joins OpenAjax party about the recent announcement.
"In a statement, Microsoft's Kevin Smith - arguably owner of the most challenging job title in IT as core web platform and tools to UX web/client platform and tools group product manager - said the company will collaborate with other industry leaders to ensure a "high degree" of interoperability in AJAX-style development.
"Microsoft is continuing its commitment to empower web developers with technology that works cross browser and cross platform," Smith said.
OpenAjax Alliance membership puts Microsoft back into bed with IBM, also an alliance co-founder. IBM joined with Microsoft to flesh out the WS* family of web services specifications underpinning many of today's SOA and Web 2.0 architectures. Microsoft and IBM also teamed up, with others, to form the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization in 2002..."
As I prepare for a week of Financial Sector customer roundtables to discuss Web 2.0, I think about both Prosper.com for peer-to-peer lending and Wesabe.com for financial management. Community affiliation across the Internet will provide some competition to national and regional banks, even if they can continue to keep WalMart out of the banking business (NY Times Sat. March 17, section B1). Here is the Prosper link. I'll follow-up with Wesabe.
David Barnes is back with another installment of his popular YouTubevideo series on the QEDWiki MashupMaker. This time around, he illustrates a powerful mashupwith the TivoliApplication Dependency Discovery Manager which is a tool tovisualize, manage, and troubleshoot sophisticated enterprise web applications. David does anexcellent job "painting the picture" and clearly explaining this mashupin about six and a half minutes. Well worth the time!
Weekend Wall Street Journal offered piece entitled Leading from Below:pg (2) of the Business Insight Section (most advertising in this section provided by IBM). It's true that as weconnect with others whom may never see and certainly do not manage, aswell as those we "work with" and "work for", useful are tips onhow to help us all achieve a common purpose. Now that We All Knowbecause of the Internet, how can We All Get Something Done via theInternet?
From the Journal: - Make a decision to be a leader by making time and being open to outside influences - Focus on influence and not control. And influence existing processes; do not create new ones (note to self) - Make your mental Org Chart a horizontal one more than a vertical one - Work on Trusted Adviser Skills: listen, question, share what others have done - Don't wait for the perfect time, just find a good time to get moving.
I try to summarize trends or generational differences on the Internetor Web by suggesting the following at every one of my customerpresentations:
"Everyone in this room, regardless of your own age, grew-up in a worldwhere 'knowledge is power.' We studied and worked and work todistinguish ourselves from the group. This is not the perspectiveor approach of our children. As evidenced by their schoolwork andsocial behaviors, they perform in groups (History is studied withEnglish with team-oriented projects, for example). Because of theavailability of data and information via the Internet, theygrow-up in a world where 'eveyone knows' and shares with friends andfriends of friends: Google, Wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube. This next generation of workers will expect thier managers to beaffiliators, community builders, communicators, connectors of peopleand information more than directors who have the mostinformation. Now is a good time for us to enable the sharing ofinformation and ideas throughout our own organizations."
Cisco's stock performed well in 2006 - one of the market's stars. And it is still hard for them to shed or to modify their Routers &Networks reputation - as solid as it is. As their hardwareportfolio connects computers, I guess they would like to projectthemselves as being able to connect like-minded people with SocialNetworking (SN) capabilities. We'll see. Marc Andreessen,co-ounder of Netscape and now the co-founder of Ning.com - a SN site -is not so confident (I've gathered this info from the NY Times's3/3/2007 Technology Section; article: Social Networking's NextPhase). The acquisition of Tribe.com follows Cisco's acquisitionof Five Across, a SN design firm.
Will those of us in the enterprise be able to modify our personalbusiness processes (the tools for managing our work) and devote timefor sustained collaboration with colleagues andacquaintances? When we meet and say 'let's stay incontact,' will we be able to take advantage of theseSN-capabilities to do so purposefully or will Social Networking becomeanother spam engine? My feeling is that SN will take offonce we have a useful, visual interface for mapping and sharing ourconnections.
I spent the past week in Chicago discussing Community Building andMash-Ups with a half-dozen of IBM's Financial Services customers. Just as it is good to get-away from the familiar to recharge one'soutlook, this week travels were enlightening for me to get away fromthe daily stream of technology scholarship and have a look at what ourfield teams and customers read and discuss everyday. ITdiscussions may presently be more about business and less abouttechnology, but they are not about Web 2.0. Customers are awareof iPods and YouTube and MySpace, but not Mash-Ups and Ajax and Wikisand iPhones.
They ask: What is Web 2.0?, What are my company's options deploying these technologies? How do I get started?
We all pay attention when we can personnally relate to Web 2.0 (oranything else for that matter). Mash-up or Situational Apps orQED Wikis seem, at first glance, to be little more than the latestgizmo. Ditto for Community Building experiments or CEOblogs.
Mash-Ups interest customers, both IT & LoBs, as theyenvision accessing back-end data without the need for an ITproject. IT execs agree that 60% of their app-developmentprojects won't be needed for as long as the time it took to buildthem. And business execs agree that they can make plenty ofuseful decisions by mashing-up two fields of data to create a thirdfield of information. The Blog and Wiki discussions gain tractionwhen we discussed blogs as a lower cost, more personalized one-to-manymodel of communication; wikis are intriguing as a many-to-many model ofcollaboration. Both offer lower-costs for implementationand support when compared to web sites and email streams and otherelements of MarCom.
At this stage of awareness (low) and customer adoption (lower), Iam convinced that Web 2.0 is a useful topic for connecting IBM's visionfor Innovation, On-Demand (open standards & systems), and even ourSoftware Group's recent acquistions, to technology trends in themarketplace that can enable the business objectives of ourcustomers. We must be cautious in the speed of our approach ascustomers are not ready to be Second Life-like or even ready topurchase a package of Web 2.0 from one of our IBM brands.
First steps are to show customers how the tools and techniques ofpopular culture (RSS & Tagging, mobile phones, Social Networking)might relate to their businesses; then we must show them how to evolvetheir business processes to take advantage of these emergingcapabilities. Customers are interested in this approach as theysense by watching Google that Web 2.0 can level the playing field.
In this morning's New York Times on the Op-Ed page, David Brooksadvises those interested in the Republican Presidentialnomination. What interested me is his description of theelectorate: "They're anxious because there's chaos all around: foreignpolicy chaos, fiscal chaos, cultural chaos. The authoritystructures they rely on have let them down."
Yesterday I had lunch with the account management team at a well-knownadvertising agency. We discussed who we each call on in the sameenterprise sized accounts. As you might imagine, my contacts arethe CIO and IT staff; they speak to the CEO and SVPs when pitchingbusiness. And this makes sense given the strengths and offeringsof each of our organizations. What stunned me was their commentwhen I spoke of how IBM is trying to elevate the role of the CIO fromCost-Center Manager to Advisor to the Business (my descriptions basedupon my reading on w3). Reflexively, one said, "our contacts hatethe IT shop." Other heads nodded.
I think it is because our customers feel that their technologyinvestments are not bearing the returns sought and promised. Certainly speed to market and improved understanding of individualcustomer behaviour has not been commensurate with their costs.
Along comes friendly Google, offering to pay the customer first (a keytenet of Web 2.0), offering a variety of services that reduce thecomplexity and chaos of computing. Salesforce.com is not farbehind in the positive reception to its Software-as-Service Model. Today Google will announce the availability of an enterprise version ofits Communications and Productivity Apps.: e-mail, IM, Calendars, andWeb Pages, Word Processing, and Spreadsheets - plus programs to readand edit Microsoft Word and Excel.
We'll be reading more about this as IBM joined the fray by announcinglast week its own support of Open Docs etc for Linux and Mac-basedoperating systems. I don't expect that Microsoft Office with 450million users will vanish anytime soon. After all, legacy apps,whether hardware or software, are tough to displace. I predictthat customers, especially of the mid-market variety, will evaluateGoogle's latest as a way of reducing some of their Chaos.
I came to IBM from the world of Mac Development, mostly multi-mediatitles for National Geographic. Before the Internet took off and the NGbrand was fought for by every designer on the planet. Powerbooks,G-3s and G-4s, stuck with OS 7 forever. Even endured thehumiliation of Scully-Spindler-Amelio-Hancock before Steve Jobsreturned. Thought that H-P would buy Apple just after the episodeof spontaneously combusting Powerbook batteries. JoinedIBM, issued my slab with 95, bid farewell to ease-of-use and welcomedthe Windows world of 'where is that file?'
Don't let anyone tell you that the OS 10 and XP are the same. I did more exploring with my Mac in the first weekend than I did withmy Windows boxes over the past 8 years. Ya gotta have a Windowsbox; you want to have a Mac. As our team is tasked to explore thesuitability of Web 2.0 technologies to our enterprise customers - whatcan we learn from the success of YouTube, MySpace, 2nd Life etc - Ifeel that using the Windows OS constrains one's thinking about Web 2.0because you have to do it the Windows way, like it or not. With aMac, I have a sense, real or imagined, that on my MacBook, I'm doing itmy way or creating my own web experience with this tool. This isthe way that it should be.
Like many, I was drawn back to the Mac by my family's thrills withtheir iPods (original, Nano, and Video). What put my Mac purchasein automatic was the recent IBM announcement to support Linux andMacs. This plus the incredible Mac community within IBM - http://ehngsa.ibm.com/~mlowry/public/mac-at-ibm.html (probably only accessible from within IBM)
What if our customers could deliver on their sites a web-basedexperience like shopping on the iTunes store: fast, easy to navigate,inclusive, friendly, simple to buy, know who you are.
David Barnes does a great job explaining QEDWiki on this YouTube video. For anyone interested in QEDWiki, this video is a must-see, especially for the demo of data mashup using a StrikeIron web service to do SMS text messaging. I also liked how he dragged the EditGrid online spreadsheet directly from ProgrammableWeb into QEDWiki.
"..users have always had development tools they could use and understand, particularly the ubiquitous corporate spreadsheet. If we could only provide mashup tools as easy to use as the spreadsheet with automatic enterprise development best practices, along with access to all the services and content in the enterprise and on the Web, users might indeed use them to solve their business problems and not have to ask IT departments to deliver these solutions using older, (much) more expensive methods."
Interestingly, the documentation is very clear that IBM understands dynamic software ecosystems, viral propagation, and triggering application adoption via network effects.These are very modern concepts from the consumer Web, where the networks and audiences are so large and informal. It's both encouraging and fascinating to see these ideas moving into the enterprise.
In any case, though it's clearly an ambitious project, QEDWiki still has a few rough edges that one would expect by trying to do so muchinside the browser, however what IBM has provided so far is extremely compelling and does much to show the promise of this new application development model.
It's worth nothing that almost all of the elements that I believe are essential in enterprise mashup tools are present in QEDWiki including vital enterprise context such as security as well as a rich pallete of pre-defined widgets and services for users to work from. QEDWiki is open and extensible and supports plug-ins, SOAs, and much more. It'll be fascinating to watch this mashup platform evolve, particularly how it compares with the raft of other products aiming for this space coming to market very soon. Because whoever hits on the right model for user-generated software might just well do for end-user computing what Dan Bricklin did with VisiCalc all those years ago.
Well stated if I do say so myself. Thanks for reading, John Gerken
Established technology providers, which sell to businesses, arecourting mashup developers, some of whom may be working at start-ups orjust working on their own. Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Yahoo, Autodesk andAOL are among the sponsors of this year's event.
IBM, for example, has a tool called QEDwiki,which is designed to let businesspeople pull together data fromdifferent sources, such as weather information and product shippinginformation, to create a perhaps temporary application.
I will append additional articles to this post as new ones roll in.
When you get a moment, check out the new stuff at Virtual Earth. I'm listened to a presentation yesterday on their SDKand the 3D rendering they do on details like buildings and such. Verycool stuff. There will apparently be a new version 4 of their SDK realsoon now that further enables the ability to embed their stuff in webpages. Of course to see the stuff in 3D you need to install theirruntime (same as with Google Earth) and run it in IE (sigh), howeverthe presenter just said they'd be supporting 3D rendering in Firefox in the near future.
But what I really want to know is Why Oh Why is this stuff not included in the new version of Flight Simulator???
I attended a Mashup Camp session this morning on mashup development tools. Itstarted just as you might expect. The moderator asked us to list offtools that we were familiar with, which solicited a long collection ofprogramming languages, libraries, IDEs, etc. QEDWiki was listed as one ofthem. But the next issue was how those tools get access to anduse/display data. This gave rise to the traditional Model ViewController discussion and about the apparent disparity in how access tovarious data sources was achieved. After all, if you're a hard-coreprogrammer, writing code to interact with Joe's Web service is easy. But if you're not, unless it's a simple feed, you're stuck. What'sneeded of course is a widget standard that allows the data provider toallow his data to be used in a variety of mashup platforms. Someoneprotested that the various framework providers would be unlikely to support such a standard, but Iasserted that it was the content providers who had a vested interest inpursuing such a standard. The group seemed to agree. The group alsoseemed to understand the need for a standard interface between thewidgets and the frameworks that support them. Sounds good, right?
Well,maybe not. This morning I proposed leading a discussion on whatstandards might be needed to facilitate the lifecycle of and interactionsbetween widgets. The person passing the microphone around basically took the microphone from me while I wastalking and said to me "You're talking about standards? It will be amiracle if anyone shows up for that!" Also, I've spoken to a couple other folks who have said much thesame thing. This group may not yet be interested in talking standards,even if it is in their interest. A few folks get it. The StrikeIronguys do. So do the Kapow guys. But of course they are both contentproviders. The AOL guys seem to get it too based on their microformatwork. I'll be participating in a session with them on microformatstomorrow morning. And in fact, microformats are of course a form ofstandard. Maybe it's best to just stay away from the term "standard". I need to think about how I might better state things for thisaudience. Anyway, it will be interesting to see who shows up to mysession this afternoon. I'll let you know.
One of the big problems to be solved in the world ofwidgets/gadgets/modules/components/etc. is how to publish, discover andingest them. OpenSearch is one such method for searching for widgets that makes sense. But I just heard about another site called Pingerati. Pingerati is effectively a pub/sub mechanism for web pages containing microformatdata. It is a push mechanism, in that a page that is updated must tell(ping) Pingerati about the update. Pingerati then crawls the site andforwards the microformat updates to registered subscribers formicroformats of that type. Listeners can subscribe to all microformatupdates or just microformats that they are interested in. Further,there is an API that a web developer could use to automate this processfor catelogs or personal sites. Lastly, if the name sounds alot like Technorati, that's with good reason given it's a Technorati project.
Thiscould be a key piece of the widget lifecycle puzzle in that widgetspublished to a personal site or catalog, could then easily publicisethat update to other catelogs or interested parties, such as installedinstances of widget frameworks.
Well, not really. But you'd never know that by listening to the folksat this conference. Here, every time WSDL is shown or mentioned it'streated as a joke and everyone laughs. The concensus here is that WSDLis just WAY to complicated and convoluted to be useful as a programmingmodel. Of course that part is true. The WSDL editor in RAD stillgives me a headache. However SOAP still has a place in the enterpriseas a method for enabling access to data and services. ...Doesn't it?
I'dbe interested in what you're hearing from the broader technicalcommunity inside and outside of IBM about the long term viability ofSOAP. Why SOAP and not REST or microformat delivered gadgets?
OK, so I've now heard the fourth different term for what I think is essentially the very samething. IBM tends to use the term Widgets of course to describe blocksof functionality used in different ways. WidgetBox, microformats.organd others use the term Widgets as well. Google has their Gadgets andthe general population of web users seem to use the term Gadgets most often. AOL uses the term Modules, perhaps due to their ModuleT specand the term Components seems to pop up in general conversation aswell. Someday, someone has got to drive the industry to at least cometo concensus on what each of these things are and how they aredifferent -- if at all. My impression is that except for someconceptual differences, we're all rowing in the same direction, we'rejust putting a slightly different spin on it.
I've spent a good amount of time talking with Kevin Lawver from AOL. He is also the author of lots of stuff on Microformats. We're on the same page on this stuff. Perhaps there is an opportunityto help standardize this stuff a bit through microformat definitionsfor these things. He's easily the most interesting person I've met here so far.
I'm watching a presentation on Adobe Apollo -- their new platform forserving web content directly to the desktop. They've created a runtime(<5 Meg) that sits on the desktop that in effect blurs the linesbetween apps on the desktop and apps on the web. The runtime feelsalot like RCP and the delivery model feels alot like a Google Gadget,but they are doing some interesting things with it that I've not seen agadget ever do. Apps can be full screen, but totally clickthroughable. So an app can be interactive (a car driving around yourscreen that you can control for instance) but you can still work withanything on your desktop in the usual way.
They also mentioned that the JIT compiler for Apollo has been donated to Mozilla for inclusion into the next version of Firefox.
Perhapsmost notable part of this presentation is that they've removed therequirement for a server side component to serve this content. Wherethere used to be an expensive server product that had to be purchasedto deliver flex apps, that is no longer the case. Very smartchange IMHO.
There are a collection of folks here from MIT who are involved in a project called "Future Boston",which is tasked with building tools to facilitate the upcomingchallanges facing the city. In particular the MIT Department of UrbanStudies and Planning and Boston.com are sponsoring contests to see who can build the best mashups in the following areas:
Innovation Landscape: Plots geospatialboundaries of a fast innovating hub
Visualize the ""Innovation Landscape"
Show change over time
Identify key trends and exceptions
Model Maker: Detects the development capacity ofa region
Interpret "live on the ground" of ScienceCity using rich, parcel level data and multiple data sources
Talent Scout: Maps newly-admitted degreecandidates to companies
Investor:Matches dollars to opportunityTap administrative data ad publicdatasets about landuse, ownership, infrastructure, buildings, etc.
Sothe challange is to build mashups using open interoperable OGCprotocols (WMS and WFS) and visualization tools to prototype ways of:
Engaging public in deeper understanding of urban fabric and urban futures
Envisioninglife along MassAveCity (now and in the future) from the point of viewof students, employers, universities, investors, etc.
The goals of the challange are:
Technical: Push the boundaries of web mappingand information visualization
Educational: Use technology to tell a storyabout life in Boston, MA,and the country and visualize how it could be different.
If you're interested, you've got between now and Thursday Night. Check out MIT site and download the data. The award is $500 for each winner. Time to get started!
Just found out Kapow Technologies will be doing a session here atmashup camp. I'm quite jazzed by their technology. They do dataextraction from web sites that can then be returned via an Atom or RSSfeed. Once in that form, that data is easily used in situational appsoftware such as QEDWiki. They do really good stuff. You can checkout a free version of their latest release at OpenKapow.com.
There is now a QEDwiki ACORD demo available on You Tube. IBM has been recently working on projects related to situational applications and application wikis.
An Application Wiki enables non-technical users to rapidly design their own means of interaction with data or business services. QEDwiki is IBM's application wiki framework for collaboration, and situational dynamic content development.
QEDWiki is a platform for collaboration
Lightweight standards based collaboration environment
Unstructured to Structured Data Definition
Enables personal publishing
QEDWiki is a runtime for aggregated services:
Dynamic platform for integrating “live” data
Personalization in consumption of external services
David Boloker discussed Web 2.0 adoption and demoed QEDWiki at the Santa Clara AjaxWorld Conference.
"As developers begin looking at this thing we're calling Web 2.0," Boloker said in a pre-keynote interview, "they need to define exactly what it is they want to do with it. Ask yourself, Who is going to end up getting the business value of what I'm about to produce? That's the first thing. The second thing they need to ask is, What are the tools available to me? I don't care if you're a .NET developer, a Java jock, or whatever; there are tools out there that can make your life easier."
There's been a lot of discussion about Web 2.0 lately. In fact, most people would agree that "Web 2.0" is currently at the peak of the hype cycle. Recently, IBM developerWorks released a podcast interview from Tim Berners-Lee in which he stated that "Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means."
In my opinion, there is no question that the Web is being used novel ways, and that new technology is being built on top of what was already there. Also the speed of innovation has increased because it is so much easier to collaborate with one another partly because of the "Web 2.0" tools and web sites now being made available to the general public (blogs, wikis, AJAX front ends, social networking sites). People could debate on and on whether or not there is enough substance to warrant a "Web 2.0" label for these new technologies and social networking/collaborative sites. (How about we split the difference and call it Web 1.5?! - Just kidding.)
The point I'm trying to make is that it is getting easier to find people and collaborate on a project than it was before. "Web 2.0" is a convenient way to label the current set of leading edge methods for people to connect to each other on the Internet. I'm fine with that idea. Heck for all I care, someone could have called today's web environment to be the "Quaternary Period of the Web" and the Web circa 1998 to be "Jurassic Period of the Web". But the term "Web 2.0" seems to have caught on so let's just continue to use it as a convenient way of talking about today's environment. Whatever we call this current period of the Web, it sure is fun to be part of it. It's evolutionary, not revolutionary. Internet technology is changing quickly and there are lots of business opportunities being created. I enjoy learning about new technologies and web sites such as ProgrammableWeb, MySpace, del.ic.ious, Flickr, and JotSpot. Let's just enjoy the "Web 2.0" ride for now. In just a few years, "Web 2.0" will actually be considered old/stale and some new label will be invented.
On a side note in regards to labeling periods of time, did you notice how people just avoid the issue of calling this decade anything?! Is it the "oh-ohs", the "zeros", or "double naughts decade"? We all seem to be surviving just fine without a decade label. So regardless of whether we label this period in web history as "Web 2.0" or not, let's have fun working with these emerging technologies!
John Feller Manager, Emerging Technologies Development, IBM Software Group [Read More]
Dion Hinchcliffe asserts in this post that enterprise mashupsare becoming increasingly important to IT organizations and thebusiness they support. However tools to enable the creation ofenterprise mashups are few and far between. In fact, while he notes "Not sure about any of this? IBM has clearly identified mashups as a key enterprise trend as well", he only cites one tool that meets all his criteria:
"However,I've recently come across one product that clearly shows almost thefull potential of enterprise mashups in a single package, despite a fewrough edges.
I recently came across Applibase's impressive DataMashups.com site,and more than any other product I've seen so far, it clearlydemonstrates the possibilities and potential of enterprise mashupsguided by end-users and shared amongst co-workers. The site has anexcellent service previewthat lets you quickly start assembling mashups visually, right online,using a rich palette of pre-existing widgets, feeds, data from localand remote SQL databases, and much more."
Looks likeI've got a new lunchtime research project for the week. The company responsible for DataMashups.com is Applibase, Inc. On their site they have some additional background material on their offerings and what they are trying to accomplish. Anyone outthere messed with this site? If so, please comment and let me knowwhat you think.
Not to be outdone, IBM recently announced the upcoming launch of Sametime 7.5. Sametime, the leading enterprise instant messaging platform, will get an upgrade this fall that mirrors many of AIM's new features. At the top of the list is integration with Outlook, Office, and SharePoint, but Sametime will also gain the capability to connect to Blackberries and Windows Mobile devices. The client is also truly cross-platform, with versions available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it's well-integrated with Lotus Notes.
And it's certifiably cool—it uses Web 2.0 tech. IBM says that "users will be able to take advantage of plug-ins and Web 2.0 technologies such as mashups to create new applications on the fly. For example, a Lotus Sametime 'mashup' could combine the location and status of team members on a contact list and display it on an online map." Companies also have more control over the technology because they can host their own Sametime server.
Thoseare words I haven't heard to describe an IBM software product in thepress in, well perhaps forever. The good news is that it really is "cool". I'm looking forward to the rollout. Watch for details in this space.
ZDNet blog colleague Joe McKendrick beat me to the punch earlier this week with an excellent analysis of the fascinating ramifications of IBM's recent statementsat the New York PHP Conference aimed mainstreaming mashup and Web 2.0technologies. If IBM is getting seriously involved in this, there mustbe something to it, and certainly Rod Smith's comments are receiving considerable attention.
Check out the "considerable attention" link above. Rodseems to have really gotten the media's attention this time and thereviews seem to be pretty consistent that IBM has landed on somethingreally good here.
Companies are not going to feel comfortable using Google's services for corporate documents of any sort.
Istill think Zimbra and others still have the correct answer here inoffering both a free, or low cost public hosted service along with apurchaseable, enterprise installable product that companies can putbehind their corporate firewall. Unfortunately, I think Google's stuffwill by definition be very popular and most typical web users will notrealize the sensitivity of using Google's services for their work.
Brian Goldfarb, lead product manager for Web Platform and Tools atMicrosoft, said the software giant is open to having a dialogue withthe group of companies pursuing an open-standards approach to AJAX.
Rod Smith, vice president of Internet technologies at IBM, whichstarted the OpenAJAX effort, told eWEEK at the AJAX Experienceconference here that the group extended an invitation to Microsoftbased on the work the company has done with Atlas. Smith said the groupextended an invitation to Microsoft not only to join the OpenAJAXgroup, as 13 companies did earlier this week, but also to attend atwo-day meeting of the group to be held next week here.
"OpenAJAX is definitely an interesting development, and anycooperation in the community is always goodness for developers,"Goldfarb said.
Havingseen what can happen when IBM teamed with Microsoft on standardizingWeb services, this would be a terrific thing if it happened (IMHO).
Those of you who read this space regularly may recall some referencesI've made to a project underway in my organization called QEDWiki. Unfortunately, I've not been able to say much about it because therehasn't been much made public (internally or externally) for me toreference. But that's beginning to change now and hopefully soon I'llbe able to provide links to places where you can play with andlearn more about our little toy. But in the mean time, here's apointer to a short interview of my VP and IBM Fellow, Rod Smith on QEDWiki, situational applications and programming for the masses. Here's my favorite quote:
"It's hard for me to say 'end-user programming' without cracking a smile. It's been overhyped and overpromised,"
WithQED, we've got a chance of actually getting it right. Watch thisspace for announcements and news regarding QED as it occurs.