Wishing I Was At The Web 2.0 Conference - InformationWeek
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Wishing I Was At The Web 2.0 Conference

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Wishing I Was At The Web 2.0 Conference
2. Today's Top Story
    - Author: Google's Patents Reveal Strategy To Beat Microsoft
    - Microsoft's Ballmer To Meet With EU Regulators
    - Microsoft Vs. Google: Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder
    - Yahoo Accused Of Stealing Trade Secrets
3. Breaking News
    - Symantec, Microsoft Duke It Out In Data-Protection Arena
    - Some Voluntary Collection Of Internet Sales Taxes Starts Saturday
    - Dell Halts Some Free Shipping
    - RIAA Sues Another 750 For File Sharing
    - Cisco Spending $12.5M To Buy Nemo
    - Big Hurdles Remain For VoIP Deployments: Industry Panel
    - Sony, SanDisk Push Micro Memory Stick
    - U.S. Insists On Keeping Control Of Web
4. In Depth: Security
5. Voice Of Authority: Oracle
6. White Papers: E-Mail Administration
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them." -- Penn Jillette

1. Editor's Note: Wishing I Was At The Web 2.0 Conference

I am a sad little cowpoke this Monday morning, because my colleagues Tom Claburn and Aaron Ricadela get to go to the Web 2.0 conference this week and I don't. I will instead feel sorry for myself, sit in the garden and eat worms ... and read Tom's and Aaron's articles eagerly as they come in.

I only discovered the Web 2.0 phenomenon recently. I'd heard the phrase for years, but ignored it because it struck me as one of those annoying little buzzphrases that the net-heads come up with. The net-heads are almost as bad as marketing people for coming up with buzzphrases. The net-heads gave us the word "blog," which resembles a sound that your mother would slap you for if you made it at the dinner table.

But my eyes were opened by a conference call a few weeks ago, put on by O'Reilly Media, the sponsors of the Web 2.0 conference. (We podcast the call here) The first couple of minutes were deadly dull, but then things picked up rapidly.

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of the company, explained that the idea for Web 2.0 was born around the time of the dot-com bust. "Many technologies have their full flowering after a bust," he said. The personal-computer industry went through a similar boom-and-bust cycle in the early '80s, and many people back then said the personal computer was just a fad.

Companies that survived and prospered after the dot-com bust, including Yahoo, Google, Amazon.com, and eBay, weren't just smarter than the companies that went bust. Their business model was fundamentally different. In the Web 1.0, the user was consuming content created by someone else. In Web 2.0, the content is created by the user. 1.0 is an "architecture of consumption," and "read-only," the Web 2.0 is "architecture of participation," O'Reilly said. On the old Web, the user is the audience; in the new Web, the user is participant.

"In Web 1.0, everybody was trying to build 'walled gardens,' find ways to keep sites 'sticky,' keep people in," O'Reilly said. The Web 2.0 is about pushing content -- and users -- out to find, explore, and organize interesting and useful things elsewhere on the Web. For example, the Flickr photo-sharing sites provides a platform to allow users to publish photos to other sites.

Now, at this point in the podcast I'm getting very excited, because I'd written about this stuff a few weeks earlier. I called it "user-created content". I said: "You want to know where the big money is coming from on the Internet nowadays? Look in the mirror. Online businesses are increasingly finding revenue in capturing content from users like you. Companies are making money by providing tools and services that let you write stuff, take pictures, organize your information, and publish it to the Web." I cited as examples: blogs and the companies that make the software and services to publish blogs; photo-sharing services like Flickr, community-bookmarking services like del.icio.us, online organization services like Backpack, and social-networking services like LinkedIn and Orkut.

I didn't consciously realize that O'Reilly and a lot of other people were thinking along the same lines, but it's not really surprising. Sometimes ideas are just in the air.

Another component of Web 2.0 is the "Long Tail," where merchants make money online with products for which demand is too small to be carried by brick-and-mortar stores. EBay sells products for every microscopic niche you can imagine. Google brought that mentality to advertising using AdSense, allowing tiny little Web sites to carry advertisements by making signing up for the AdSense network a self-service process.

The Web 2.0 philosophy extends into the software industry, by providing software as a service over the Web. Google tries out new features without a revenue model, by posting new services to the Web. If users like the service, they figure out a way to build a business out of it, O'Reilly said.

That model leaves companies like Microsoft, which churns out huge, monolithic software apps every couple of years, struggling, O'Reilly said.

Then, with a magisterial sweep of his hand, O'Reilly categorized multibillion-dollar Internet companies by whether they fit into the 2.0 model. Google, he said, is definitely a 2.0 company -- it built its business on cataloging how users cross-linked sites on the Web.

Yahoo, he said, is a 1.0 company that understands that 2.0 is the next big thing, and it's scrambling to fit the new world without breaking their business model. "It's a rigorous company when it comes down to business model. They don't do things unless they can make money, which is the opposite of Google, which makes something and then sees if the business model exists," O'Reilly said. Yahoo bought Flickr as much for the Web 2.0 expertise of its creators as for its existing technology.

America Online was a pioneering Web 1.0 company in the mid-'90s, but never really fully embraced the Web. They have a long way to go to catch up.

Here at InformationWeek we've been struggling with what this all means for us and other online journalism practicioners. The traditional journalism process is a mix of 1.0 and 2.0. For the past century, journalism has consisted of a participatory element, which is very Web 2.0-ish, where the journalist synthesizes comments and information from everyone involved in the story. Journalism is also like Web 1.0, in that the journalist then writes up an article, which is consumed by the reader acting as audience. We're currently working on a site redesign and a few new projects which should liven up InformationWeek online and make it more useful and interesting to our community of readers and participants, and we'd like to apply some of the best principles of Web 2.0 to what we're doing. We've already got some easy ideas: Improving the discussion technology for the blogs and discussion forums, and improving RSS feeds. We're working on them, along with some other things we're not ready to talk about yet. Got any of your own ideas? Let us know.

Mitch Wagner

2. Today's Top Story

Author: Google's Patents Reveal Strategy To Beat Microsoft
According to "The Google Legacy," history is about to repeat itself. Microsoft today is where IBM was years ago. And Google is in a position to do to Bill Gates what he did to IBM. The result could be a new industry kingpin.

Related Stories:
Microsoft's Ballmer To Meet With EU Regulators

Next week's breakfast meeting discussion will involve general antitrust issues, as the EU mulls over new informal charges related to the firm.

Microsoft Vs. Google: Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder
Microsoft's big organizational shakeup, in which the company meshed several business units into three divisions, can be partly explained in one word: Google.

Yahoo Accused Of Stealing Trade Secrets
Voice-recognition firm seeks to stop 13 former engineers now working at Yahoo from involvement with related technology.

3. Breaking News

Symantec, Microsoft Duke It Out In Data-Protection Arena
Symantec and Microsoft last week entered a new level in their rivalry with rollouts of their long-awaited, competing data-protection software applications.

Some Voluntary Collection Of Internet Sales Taxes Starts Saturday
An important milestone in the effort to tax Internet retail sales will be reached Saturday.

Dell Halts Some Free Shipping
In a cost-cutting move, Dell will stop free home delivery of its entry-level systems within two weeks, reports say.

RIAA Sues Another 750 For File Sharing
The Recording Industry Association of America files another 757 lawsuits against people accused of illegally copying digital music.

Cisco Spending $12.5M To Buy Nemo
Cisco Systems on Friday said it plans to acquire Nemo Systems in a deal that will add network memory technology to its portfolio and enhance its core switching platforms and service modules.

Big Hurdles Remain For VoIP Deployments: Industry Panel
Network security, regulatory policy, and business-service issues are just three of the major issues that VoIP will have to overcome before gaining ubiquitous acceptance.

Sony, SanDisk Push Micro Memory Stick
The jointly developed Memory Stick card, a removable flash storage format, is targeted at the mobile phones sector.

U.S. Insists On Keeping Control Of Web
Some countries have been pushing for the United Nations to take a bigger oversight role, but a U.S. government official calls that notion "unacceptable." The question now: How can developing nations get their share of the Internet?

All our latest news

John Soat has his "Eye On I.T." in the current episode of "The News Show."

Watch The News Show

Also in today's episode:

Eric Chabrow with "$100 PC"

John Soat with "Google In Space"

Bob Evans with "The Good, The Bad, the Ugly"

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Security Lowdown
What security threats are putting worker productivity at risk? Find out with this free online tool that details the responses of 2,540 U.S. companies that participated in InformationWeek's 2005 Global Information Security Survey.


4. In Depth: Security

Unattended PCs Security Risk Underestimated
Lonesome PCs pose a security risk that enterprises underestimate, a research firm said this week. Making matters worse, corporations just don't pay attention to the major security hazard of unattended workstations, according to Gartner research vice president Jay Heiser.

Red Hat To Seek Trusted OS Status
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, due at the end of 2006, is expected to become the first "trusted" Linux, a high-level security certification that could open partners' Linux business with the government.

Security Flaws Found In Interior Department Systems
Interior's Inspector General discovered serious security issues and met with resistance to changing policies and procedures.

Mobile Devices Put Enterprise Data At Great Risk
A panel of experts discussed this issue at a trade show this week. Among their suggestions: use strong authentication techniques.

Pennsylvania AG Shuts Loan Site Charging 630% Interest
Ace Pays will pay $70,000 in fines and costs, and the company will refund consumers the amount of interest paid above the maximum 6% allowed under Pennsylvania law, according to the state's Attorney General.

5. Voice Of Authority: Oracle

Oracle Fuses Middleware, Talks Of "Crushing" Salesforce.com
Larry Greenemeier says: After four years in the middleware business, Oracle came to New York to tell everyone that they're in the middleware business. Sound confusing? No more confusing than re-branding their middleware products under the banner "Fusion Middleware," which is not the same thing as "Project Fusion." Clever wordplay aside, Oracle is looking for a new growth engine and has locked in on middleware that can integrate all of the applications it offers as well as the one or two it hasn't yet bought. Oracle executives also had some interesting things to say about open source and Salesforce.com. And there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Oracle is buying IBM and Microsoft ... yet.

6. White Papers: E-Mail

Title: Top 10 Reports Every E-Mail Administrator Lives For
See how real-time monitoring and detailed reporting can make E-mail security management much easier and more effective for every administrator.

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