May 11th, 2006 by Ivo
Tobias today had a post about the term 'Web 2.0'. He's not the first to disagree to using the term, but I feel that Web 2.0 is not about technology, it's a movement. So I felt compelled to write a reply to his post. Since the comment got rather lengthy, and expresses my opinion about Web 2.0, I thought it would be appropriate to post the comment on my blog as well. Here's Tobias' point:
'So, please, stop that stupid "Web 2.0" term. It simply sucks.'
And here is my reply:
I disagree. Technically, you're correct. Yes, the technology has been around much longer, and yes, the web technically consists of hypertext and other technologies.
But that is not what Web 2.0 is about. Web 2.0 is a movement, not a technology. It is the next generation of the internet. It is much broader than the set of technologies it is built upon.
For starters, it is the difference between the early, mostly static, web that was just a way of presenting information in various ways, and the new, more interactive, collaborative, way to deal with information on the web.
And it's not just about Ajax. It's also about how sites like Flickr, del.icio.us and digg.com thrive and make the web to the collaborative experience it currently is.
It's also about how RSS and podcasts provide new ways of distributing information.
In many ways, the web is growing up. What better techie-term to apply to that than 'Web 2.0'? If you ask me, the term fits perfectly.
Also, it's not about marketing. The best 'web 2.0' sites hardly do marketing. They grow because their communities embraced them for what they provide, for their usefulness.
Was the renaissance bullshit because paints and brushes already existed years before? No. So the fact that the technologies that make up Web 2.0 are older than the realisation that we're moving in a new direction does not make Web 2.0 bullshit either.
It's combining existing technologies in creative ways and making them work in a way beyond what their inventors had thought of.
So please, stop the 'the web 2.0 is bullshit because the technologies already existed for years' bashing and start to realize that the internet *IS* evolving and maturing to a degree where we can truly speak of a 'next generation'.
We're all already a part of it, whether we want to or not.
Welcome to the future.
June 5th, 2005 by Ivo
Since we're moving from mailinglists to forums, the biggest concern people raise is that they now miss the convenience of just getting all new posts in the mail.
If you use Thunderbird as a mail client, this does not have to be a problem at all.
Here's a mini how-to:
1. In Thunderbird, from the Tools menu, choose 'Account Settings...'.
2. Click the 'Add account' button, and choose the 'RSS News & Blogs' option. If you do not see this option, your version of Thunderbird probably is outdated. In this case, it's advisable to upgrade to the latest Thunderbird.
3. Next you can give the account a name. It doesn't really matter what you choose here. If for example you want a separate account for the Achievo forums and blogs, you might name it 'Achievo Forums & Blogs'.
4. After you created the account, on the left, in the folders pane, you should now see the newly created account. Click the account with the right mouse button, and choose 'Manage Subscriptions...' from the menu popup.
5. Click add, and in the feed url, enter the RSS feed you want to add.
The following feeds are available for achievo.org:
The forums (all in one feed)
Feed per forum (you can get the forum_id's from the forum urls)
Blog feed (all blog entries)
Blog feed (only Tips 'n Tricks)
Repeat step 5 for any feed you want to add. Usually sites that offer RSS feeds have either an 'RSS' or 'xml' link or button, which you can use to discover the url for the feed. In the case of the Achievo blogs, there are small 'xml' buttons on each page that represent a feed.
6. When you add a new feed, there's a 'Show the article summary instead of...' checkbox in the dialog. If you enable it, the items from the feed will be displayed as plain text. You might find this useful for news and blog feeds, since you will get all text without formatting. For forums though, it's easier to disable the checkbox. This will show the forum inline, and makes it possible to use the reply button and other options directly from the forum page.
7. Once you added the feeds, you will see a folder for each feed you added. You can read them as if it were mail; it keeps track of what you've read and what you haven't, and you can delete entries to the trash folder.
Neat huh? Thunderbird rules..