Is AJAX all It is Hyped to be?

June 12th, 2007 | Categories: AJAX, off topic, social media, strategy, trends

The coming of the new-web brought with it a bucket of buzz words and terms. Among them: podcast, RSS, wikis, VOIP, blog, widgets, and of course, AJAX. Some are relevant, while others are simply fads with no long-term potential. AJAX, for one, has been a term buzzing around the development community. The combination of asynchronous JavaScript and XML forms a powerful, interactive experience by increasing usability and saving time.

Don’t get me wrong… I am not an expert in the area. Programming is definitely not my schtick. But from a non-techie perspective, I see a definite problem. A large majority of websites nowadays generate revenues via advertising. In other words, they are looking to maximize their number of page views. In the case of AJAX, a page load is not needed to perform a given action or task. Do you see what is missing here?

Why would Internet Company A want to use AJAX if it is going to decrease page views, thus decreasing revenues? It doesn’t make sense. So Internet Company A may want to stay away from this web development technique. This may mean that the user is unable to experience the site at its utmost potential.

Furthermore, another problem often overlooked is around browsing and navigation. If I alter, edit, or modify an AJAX-driven page, then hit the “Back” button on my browser, I jump back to a previous page - not my previous edit or change. This causes some anxiety among users. One could also argue that issues regarding URLs may pose problems as well.

Nonetheless, the technique does have its positive as mentioned above. The decrease in bandwidth utilization, increased interactivity, and more fulfilling user experience create an environment that is perfect for some web applications.

I guess what I am saying is that every company should assess whether or not AJAX is a good fit with their experience before deciding to implement it. 

Do you think AJAX has long term sustainability or is it simply a fad?


  1. Pierre Lambert Says:

    AJAX is a tool, the real question you have to ask first is to define what you want to do. Then, if AJAX can help you achieve your goals, you should use it.

    I really do believe AJAX is here to stay. But it will become more mature and be used in efficient ways. It’ll probably follow a maturity curve similar to Flash.

  2. craig Says:

    I agree with the first response that you need to define what you want to do and then see if AJAX is the right-fit. However, with respect to advertising and revenue, I believe we are going to see that AJAX results in new models for advertising that are more amenable to both the advertisers and the websites than the current models. Once there is enough use of AJAX to cross some as-yet-determined threshold one of the advertising companies will produce a product to take maximum advantage of it. Remember, the number of ad dollars moving to the web is only increasing.

  3. Aidan Says:

    Great points guys…

    Pierre - I do see a maturity curve as well. As time passes, more tools and resources will become available, aiding in the development of the technique.

    Craig - I also think that we will see a new ad model once we reach a certain threshold. It is bound to happen in some fashion - it has to.


  4. Alex Says:

    AJAX is just a method to do a task. It’s not defined enough to prevent you from doing things you normally do, or completely change the way your site works (unless you want it to.)

    To say that it reduces page views is kind of ridiculous. Sure, it can. In the case of a form you can submit and get results from without doing a browser refresh, behind the scenes the same amount of queries are happening either way. What’s different is you can specify exactly what is being pulled. Instead of the entire page, you’re just accessing certain content, or a function, etc.

    You can also have a block in the upper right of your page which rotates a banner ad. This would give you impressions that you wouldn’t have otherwise, as people sitting on your page reading it will be getting a new ad every so often, without reloading the page.

    Also remember AJAX is nothing new, we just cooked up a name for that method recently.

  5. Aidan Says:

    Alex - excellent points. Thanks for contributing your thoughts.


  6. Is AJAX On The Way Out? Says:

    […] Is AJAX All It Is Hyped To Be? […]

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