Web 2.0 Best Practices

Original Post 04.23.2008
I’m in San Francisco for my second annual Web 2.0 expo conference. The following blog entries contain all my notes from the workshops, seminars, and keynote events that I went to while at the Web 2.0 conference.
Niall Kennedy (Hat Trick Media)
9:00am – 12:00pm, Tuesday, 04/22/2008

This fast-paced workshop took a detailed look at some of the biggest technologies driving growth on today’s web sites. Attendees learned modern best practices to attract more visitors, increase total engagement, and build brand loyalty. This session shows you how to partner with major online brands and extend the reach of your content to web portals, desktops, and mobile phones. This session provides an in-depth look at emerging technologies and fundamentals that make the Web tick.

Attendees learned to attract new visitors by creating more descriptive content using HTML best practices, microformats, and other optimizations that benefit both humans and search engines. We’ll walk through web site analysis tools created by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft to help drive more search referrals to your web site and troubleshoot any problems that may be holding you back.

Attracting large crowds to your web site is just the beginning. Web sites need to fully engage each user and extend the reach of site content beyond a destination. In this session you will learn how to package your site content for redistribution across the Web through popular feed formats such as RSS, Atom, JSON, iCalendar, and more!

Packaging your site’s data is just the beginning. We will take an in-depth look at widget development platforms on some of the biggest and most popular sites on the Web. Learn how to place your site’s content on the Google, Facebook, MySpace, Windows Vista, iPhone, WordPress, and more with specialized tools and interaction models.

Niall Kennedy is an independent consultant in San Francisco specializing in syndication, search, and community-driven media. Niall is the producer of Widget Summit, an annual conference on widget syndication. Niall formerly created syndicated experiences at blog search site Technorati.com and was syndication product lead in Microsoft’s Windows Live Platform group. He has designed and maintained feed services for the past 7 years in shopping search, investment search, and blog search verticals.

Conference Blog Notes

RSS Atom feeds

RSS platform level starts at the operating system level. Browsers with in each op system look at the next level. Desktop feeds is a very good option at the Corporate level since the security is set and already set up for secure information. New outlook 2007 has RSS built in. Browsers are the main usages for feeds these days. Discovery and Live Bookmarks are the most popular methods for tracking feeds with in the browser. Web Readers are now becoming popular for feeds. Good way to build a personal newspaper. My Yahoo and Google Reader are good web readers. These sites provide an easy way to share online information with friends and co workers. Blog lines is another online feed aggregation tool.

New trends in media

The TV is now finally becoming more of a computer. New TV’s are connected to the Internet and provide a host of new experiences and services for your entertainment. Sony Bravo is a new product that will Internet enable an entertainment TV to access the Web. DLNA digital living network alliance is gearing up to change the way we interacts with electronics / computers and entertainment (TV) modules at home. Multimedia continues to be a major new focus to integrate personalization to music, radio, entertainment (TV) and all forms of media. RSS 2.0 is a new focus of audio visual creation using metadata to create new experiences with video. Using snippets of data to provide album cover and links to information. Yahoo Media RSS provides multiple formats and branded player information as well a closed caption information and specific culture information. iTunes is the most popular consumer RSS provider. Use QuickTime chapters to provide photos and links to each area of the video and add durations to the videos to provide time for videos.

Open search – place search top right always and provide open search options that don’t just limit to your site. API’s are increasingly being used to push feeds. JavaScript Object Notation is becoming more popular to define arrays and strings for feeds. Moving off the XML module for feeds. AJAJ is JavaScript and JSON to provide the power behind pushing technology.
Look for del.icious account to provide information presented here today.

Widgets

Google, Yahoo, Myspace, facebook social network leaders that allow content to be created on their sites. FAN driven distribution is becoming popular. Optimized distribution endpoints are modules that bring in feeds and RSS information to for specific information. Syndicated Distribution to provide individual components, standardized packaging and long term relationship. Personalized modules that are powered ATOM, JSON, etc. are powered by feeds.
Customization is big in the widget world. Examples for snipping sections of the web and bringing the information into a widget is the new functionality called Apple Web Clips. This is making widget creation easier for personal use. Available in the new version of leopard for Apple.
IE8 is rolling out a new concept called Web Slices. IE 8 is scheduled to be released this fall with an auto update. EBay has preformatted Web Slices that allow you to bookmark sections that bookmark only certain sections of a site/page and the idea is to create widgets to house Web Slices. Technology will / could provide ecommerce group with sticky information.
Desktops Widgets for windows and apple provide miniature applications.

Windows

These applications are powered by large cache peruser context and powerful rendering. Businesses are getting more familiar with concept and using to benefit employees. Windows Vista Gadgets are docked inside sidebar of the desktop. There is also the ability to create flyouts that consolidate space and show when the user wants to see it. Graphics and video can provide mashup of information. Example aspen creates a picture of the mountain, web cam., temperature and snow information. Gadgets can be free or paid. Utilize Microsoft points, avatars, silverlight driven gadgets are becoming more popular of their development platforms. Partnerships are also a very good selling point for providing widgets to enable and/or create sales.

http://gallery.live.com/

Apple

Apple Dashboards provides heads up display, 30 second interactions and “of course” design matters for apple. Download apple dashboard online. For desktop applications – Standard widgets utilize feeds from Web sites and design matters in creation of widgets.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/
http://www.fandango.com/
http://www.accuweather.com/
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Mobile

For mobile applications. You are playing with a small screen, focused content, focus on GPS location based information, social networking based upon who is around them. Iphone is parterning with Salesforce.com and pusing out iphone 2.0 applications. Iphone web apps is providing a growing market for interaction and personalized content.

Personalized Homepages

My Yahoo, Netvibes, IBM Lotus, My Yahoo, Live, are all examples of theses. Web sites need to provide Web friendly mobile applications as a new way to connect Ohone web and content that will create rich stickey experiences to users. Personalized homepages and personalized news papers are hot to create personalized information. Users have Many homes with integrated content. Theme pages are also growing with popularity. A new way to interact with users the way they want to interact. Can outsorce this type of developments through partnerships.

http://www.mtv.com/
http://www.usatoday.com/
http://www.bbc.com/

Social Networks and Community

Social Networks are enormously popular and the new movement is toward culture and regional information positioned on social networks. In this space, creating social graphs is the idea of establishing connections and providing targeted connections.

Social Media sites

http://www.hi5.com/
http://www.orchid.com/
http://www.friendster.com/
http://www.myspace.com/
http://www.facebook.com/
http://www.livejournal.com/

Blog and Publishing sites

http://www.blogger.com/
http://www.drupal.com/

Widgets Development

To get started with the easiest widget development, start with creating a facebook fan page. Fan pages are an easy way to create a viral site on a popular median to drive hits on your web site and spur sales and interest with products and services online.

For facebook applications you can build applications that live on the facebook platform such as profile boxes, news feeds and establish applications to allow users to place apps on their facebook landing page. This is simply building applications that users can place modules or mini web sites inside facebook. These are technically implemented with technology similar to server side includes.

Facebook application examples
http://www.washingtonpost.com/

OpenSocial is a set of common API’s that provide application building tools and they are planning a new release 7.0 and got started last November.

http://www.shindig.com/
http://www.nig.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/
http://www.yahoo.com/
http://www.orkut.com/

Another popular Widget development technique that is popping up everywhere is recommending content modules. This type of widget applications is popular by demand, popular among friends, provides related content and provides aggregated knowledge.

http://www.widgetsummit.com/
http://www.niallkennedy.com/

Delicious tags for workshop are being created and provided under HTML talk, Atom Talk, and Widget Talk.

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