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David Lee King

10 Reasons to Love Web 2.0 – from a Flickr Dude



These are notes I took while listening to a podcast of Cal Henderson from Flickr, titled “From Web Site to Web Application – Ten Reasons to Love Web 2.0.”, who spoke at “The Future of Web Apps” conference. You can find it (and a lot of others) on the Carson Workshops/Summit website.

 Cal’s definition of web 2.0: “Web 2.0 is a name for a bunch of new web-based applications.” Simple enough…

 10 Reasons to love web 2.0:

1. Collaboration

  • sharing photos with a social network
  • collaborative metadata (tags)
  • Allows others in one’s social network to do the tagging for you

Me here – this is something library websites can offer to our users (ie., aadl.org as one example of collaboration).

2. Aggregation

  • shows latest information (he called aggregation a “slice”)
  • Also slice by tags, user, groups, and interestingness)

Me here – We can do aggregation – either with normal blog applications, like WordPress, or by custom-coding an RSS feed (like Kansas City Public Library).

3. Open API

  • Web services API…
  • SOAP, COBRA, REST (me – I don’t know anything about the last two…)
  • Flickr built an API because THEY needed it – it helped them in their work of building and customizing Flickr
  • It’s read-only data
  • allows people to build new things, do mashups, etc.

Me – OK… most of us probably can’t build an API – but never fear! I think many of the vendors we work with will eventually offer some form of API.

 4. Clean URLs

  • “Don’t expose the guts of the application!”
  • Mod rewrite under apache – use it
  • Then – support the URL forever

Me – we can achieve this with our websites – but we’ll have to wait on the vendors… have you ever seen a SIRSI URL to a book? Egads!!!!!!!

5. AJAX

  • Jesse James Garrett named it
  • Javascript and XML mix
  • the underlying page doesn’t really reload – just the application (me - seems like a little thing, but really – that’s huge)
  • it remove’s page loads
  • streamlining

Me – we can do this, if we take the time to learn ajax and figure out what it can do for our websites.

6. Unicode

  • internationalization
  • localization – translation to other languages
  • store data in unicode – easier to translate should you decide to
  • UTF8
  • He said “this bit’s getting a bit nerdy, isn’t it?”

Me – What in the world is he talking about?

7. Desktop/Platform Integration

  • How do we pull out interactions?
  • based on API
  • RSS = read only API
  • desktop apps – the Flickr Uploadr interacts with the web app
  • Browser apps – bookmarklets
  • mozilla – toolbars, etc
  • integrating app with email – send photos via email

me – we can do some of this, too. Kansas City Public Library has RSS feeds and a “send article via email” thing. Other libraries have created bookmarklets and toolbars for their patrons. We’re just lacking the API part.

8. General Mobile Integration

  • WAP is dead.
  • XHTML mobile profile 1.0 (me – apparently, it’s really called that) – sensible standard. It’s a cut down version of normal XHTML
  • think in smaller chunks

Me – we can do mobile! Or… we HAVE to do mobile. Our customers are already there – shouldn’t we be, too?

 9. Open Data

  • import/export of data
  • RSS = Export
  • Import = allows customers to easily escape if they want to
  • it’s your (the customer’s) data and you can take it with you
  • export to DVD – just built it on API

Me – ok, this is another hard one for us. But before we conquer this, we’d need to conquer the whole privacy of info thing first. SInce we try to not save much patron information in the first place, we really don’t have that much to give back if requested.

10. Open Content

  • old way – once you upload it, Google owns it
  • New way – when you upload it, you still own in
  • Creative Commons license

Me – see my comments under #9 above… same idea here.

web 2.0, library 2.0

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://walt.lishost.org/ walt

    “6. Unicode

    * internationalization
    * localization – translation to other languages
    * store data in unicode – easier to translate should you decide to
    * UTF8
    * He said “this bit’s getting a bit nerdy, isn’t it?”

    Me – What in the world is he talking about?”

    He’s talking about internationalization, specifically the ability to handle multiple character sets. This shouldn’t be any great mystery. Unicode–developed by a consortium of mostly tech industry companies with RLG as a founding member–provides a single encoding system capable of handling (nearly) all character sets.

    It’s embedded in Windows (and I’d assume Mac OS and Linux, but don’t know). UTF8 is the most common space-efficient encoding scheme for Unicode, as it “privileges” plain old ASCII by giving the lower 128 characters single-byte encoding, as opposed to the two-byte or three-byte encoding needed for tens of thousands of characters.

    The library world has been part of Unicode since the beginning. It’s why the RLG Union Catalog can show Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean… and the way it was developed and implemented meant that for us to display right-to-left scripts took almost no effort: The browser/OS did the work.

    It may not be social software, but library techies should certainly know about Unicode.

  • http://walt.lishost.org walt

    “6. Unicode

    * internationalization
    * localization – translation to other languages
    * store data in unicode – easier to translate should you decide to
    * UTF8
    * He said “this bit’s getting a bit nerdy, isn’t it?”

    Me – What in the world is he talking about?”

    He’s talking about internationalization, specifically the ability to handle multiple character sets. This shouldn’t be any great mystery. Unicode–developed by a consortium of mostly tech industry companies with RLG as a founding member–provides a single encoding system capable of handling (nearly) all character sets.

    It’s embedded in Windows (and I’d assume Mac OS and Linux, but don’t know). UTF8 is the most common space-efficient encoding scheme for Unicode, as it “privileges” plain old ASCII by giving the lower 128 characters single-byte encoding, as opposed to the two-byte or three-byte encoding needed for tens of thousands of characters.

    The library world has been part of Unicode since the beginning. It’s why the RLG Union Catalog can show Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean… and the way it was developed and implemented meant that for us to display right-to-left scripts took almost no effort: The browser/OS did the work.

    It may not be social software, but library techies should certainly know about Unicode.

  • http://www.delimitdesign.com startoy

    there is also a large and comprehensive database of 800+ ajax scripts available with over at

    ajaxflakes’s ajax scripts compound

    thought i should add it might be helpful to others…

    http://scripts.ajaxflakes.com here

  • http://www.delimitdesign.com/ startoy

    there is also a large and comprehensive database of 800+ ajax scripts available with over at

    ajaxflakes’s ajax scripts compound

    thought i should add it might be helpful to others…

    http://scripts.ajaxflakes.com here