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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Web 2.0

Over the last few months I have become increasingly obsessed with web 2.0 sites. If you aren't familiar with web 2.0, it is time you get on the bus; you probably are actually already climbing aboard, but may not know it. Do you blog? Do you use RSS? Do you use Ajax pages, such as Google Personalized Home, Microsoft's Start.com, or my favorite, Netvibes.com? Wiki addict? Like Pandora? Are you a Firefox user? Do you know what a tag is? If you answered yes to any of these you are already familiar with some of the advancements that web 2.0 brings. For most of us, web 2.0 is the next step of web-as-platform, giving us wonderful applications that run off the web, usually for little to no cost for us. Oh, and you can thank Google's advancements in web ads for that.

Here are some of my favorite (or need-to-check-out-now) web 2.0 sites, in addition to Netvibes, which totally rocks, by the way.

BillMonk is a site I have not really gotten into yet, but it is sure to appeal to the tightwad in all of us. BillMonk is billed as "making social money painless." Just go look at it.

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site (the link is to my part of del.icio.us); it is just a site to compile all of your bookmarks, tag them, and access them from wherever you want. Tagging is just a way of grouping bookmarks using single-word tags to describe what the site is about, e.g. foxsoccer.com is tagged with soccer and sports; click the tag within my del.icio.us and you can see what other sites are tagged similarly--think of it as Six Degrees of Separation for the web. The social aspect of it is that your bookmarks are, by default, shared with the rest of the delicious community. Bookmarks also include links for other users who have saved the same bookmark, allowing people to discover the web in this manner. Where delicious really takes off is on the front page of the entire site, which lists the most recent posts, which aren't necessarily standard run-of-the-mill bookmarks, but links to hot topics and sites. Sites similar to del.icio.us include digg.com, which is very tech oriented and not as straight-forward as del.icio.us.

Airset.com is an awesome calendar site. I have my personal calendar, as well as a calendar for an organization I belong to, set up on this site. The flexibility offered by it is mind-boggling, and the folks running it are always working to improve it.

My favorite and the most useful 2.0 site, though, has to be Gmail. Let me know if you need an invite, I've got 100! ;)

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