Archive for the ‘wikis’ Category

Web 2.0 Start-Up Roundup

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I would like to profile a few interesting web 2.0 start-ups I have come across over the past month or so (in no particular order):

ZipLocal (

ZipLocal is a new hyper-local search directory, focused initially on the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal with future plans to expand to 45 metropolitan markets across Canada. The service aims to be a user-powered next-generation local directory that will provide a rich, self-defined experience. Essentially, the site provides directory-based listings, plus rich community-level search. The data itself is being pulled from existing directory databases. Expect new features, such as tagging, to be added in the coming months.

CrispyBlogPosts (

CrispyBlogPosts is essentially a social bookmarking site strictly for blog posts. The site allows you to share, rate and discover the best blog posts on the net. You can also submit a blog post, create a new channel, and view popular content. Kudos for the clean, slick interface.


VBS TV is a new broadband television network (IPTV), creatively directed by Spike Jonze. The site streams free VICE-produced content that is updated daily. The service claims to use an advanced video player technology to optimize the viewing experience. Content covered on the site ranges from heavy domestic and international news, to underground cultural coverage, to music, and more. All content is available on-demand and enabled for sharing and embedding.

AutoRoll (

AutoRoll is a widget that showcases the blogroll of your readers. In essence, it displays links to blogs your readers are visiting the most often. The service traces the number of visits of each unique reader on each blog that has installed AutoRoll. The more often a reader visits a specific blog, the greater his affinity is with this blog. The benefit to the publisher is highly qualified incoming traffic from other blogs, as well as a useful, pertinent blogroll. 

SeekSift (

SeekSift is a simple way to personalize and track syndicated web content. The service only tracks up-to-date information on local events, travel deals, job listings, and your blogs (to name a few). Content can be accessed via an RSS, e-mail, or both. The service is free.

Clipperz (

Clipperz is an easy way to store and manage your passwords and credentials online. But it is more than a password manager. Not only does it simplify the sign-in process across numerous sites by remembering your user names and passwords, but it also protects confidential and private information. The service is free and completely anonymous (no e-mail is required).

Are Wikis Here To Stay?

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

In one word… definitely. In some form or another, wikis will be around for years to come.

I like to use the term ‘dynamic document’, instead of wiki. The latter is too entrenched in the over-hyped world of web 2.0 lingo. It should be retired to the world of beat-boxing, i.e. “Wiki, wiki, wiki…”. The term ‘dynamic document’ not only provides a better description of the concept, but also paints a vaster picture as to what wikis can be used for.

The concept of collaboration and user-contribution is relatively new. But live documents not only save time and effort, but prevent overlaps. Almost any written document or piece of media can be turned into ‘wiki’ form allowing for open user-collaboration.

Obviously, wikis have caught. Wikipedia is the prime example. However, others do exist. Google Docs provides the ability to collaborate and chat in real-time.

I truly believe that more and more companies will adapt this concept as the benefits become more apparent.

Do You Digg Canada?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 logoIf so, then is the site for you. This Canadian version of its Southern cousin is all about user-contributed news. As the site says, “News 2.0 is all about Canadian user powered news. All the news are submitted and voted by users. Share, discover and promote the news that is important to you!”. Although very similar to Digg, the site takes on a very Canadian feel.

Current front page stories include articles regarding Vancouver and Ontario. Mark Evans referred to the site as the “Great White North Version of Digg”.

Although Digg itself would be impossible to compete against directly, niche news sites and verticals like are changing the game. By taking on a regional subset of Digg’s traffic, is able to not only survive and co-exist, but also develop a more targeted, tight-knit community around Canadian news.

Once again, this is evidence that user-contribution is here to stay. As more and more niche portals, verticals, and communities spur up around this concept, the stronger and more powerful the foundation becomes. is powered by a CMS called Pligg. This Digg-like back-end system is becoming more and more popular around the net. It is being used to power countless verticals and Digg-like sites that not only publish news, but also photos and videos.

Though the web portal is still in its early stages of life, already it is gaining some traction and exposure. For more on the development of the site, visit their blog.

It’s good to see yet another local, Canadian web 2.0 company making waves in the sea that is the new web landscape. Good luck guys.

NOTE: agreed to feature my site if I featured their’s.

Web 1.0: User Participation?

Friday, January 19th, 2007

The concept of user-contribution is relatively new. Only recently has it really gone mainstream. Wikipedia proved out the model and many corporate entities are now harnessing the power of wikis. The evidence is real and the trend is here to stay.

But the notion of ‘user participation’ has been around for longer than we think. Often times, we hear the term used interchangeably with its sibling mentioned above. Nevertheless, they shouldn’t be confused as they represent different concepts.

In my opinion, user-contribution describes a situation where users contribute on an individual level and the aggregate of the contributions is more powerful than the individual expenditures. In other words, the more people that collaborate, the better the overall outcome or results. Meanwhile, user participation simply conveys the idea that users participate on an individual level and add separate pieces to the cause. There is no aggregate and every piece needs to be examined. Obviously, conclusions can be pulled from the various sources, but there is no resounding interpretation.

Basically, I’m saying that user participation has been around awhile in the form of forums. Wikipedia describes a forum as “a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions and posting user generated content, or the web application software used to provide the facility”. The system essentially runs itself with little or not human intervention - ignoring the moderation aspect, of course.

These discussion facilities have been around since the dawn of the Internet.

My point is that is user participation is old school, not something new or revolutionary. The idea of user-contribution (or crowdsourcing in some cases) is newer and much more powerful. It harnesses the knowledge of the masses to create an entity or solve a problem that could not otherwise be achieved by the individuals pieces.

Wow, that began to sound like an introductory philosophy class.

Armageddon 2.0

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

This first coming of Armageddon was successfully thwarted by Ben Affleck and Bruce ArmageddonWillis. Very heroic. Now, Andy Rutledge believes that Armageddon 2.0 is upon us…

This modern-day Nostradamus is predicting the crumble of the new web as we know it. His doomsday words have touched a chord with numerous bloggers, including Mathew Ingram. Other cynics, such as Nick Carr and Andrew Keen, have echoed similar views, but not without much disagreement from the ‘web 2.0′ community.

I appreciate these alternative views and skepticism with regard to new web trends and technologies, but I do not believe they are merited. My belief is that these individuals engage in argumentary discussions for personal reasons and self-exposure.

The criticisms of Rutledge spawn from social media. He believes that if everyone contributes and collaborates, only mediocrity will emerge. His thought is that greatness stems from a few elite and that diluting this talent will hinder productivity and development. It is my belief that he oversees an important point. If these ‘mobs’ or ‘masses’ can be focused in a specific direction with some level of co-ordination and guidance from a select group of educators and tech innovators, then social media can work and succeed.

Why has Wikipedia been so successful? Why is it so accurate? The dynamic nature of wikis and real-time collaboration enable any site or live document to move toward 100% accuracy levels. Though this level will never be reached, the site will benefit greatly with every additional user/contributor. Essentially, the network becomes more and more valuable. Crowdsourcing is a powerful thing.

Andy is living in his own little anti-web 2.0 echo-chamber. He needs to break out and witness the power and potential of these trends and concepts. They are here to stay.