Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick SMashup Update

I've been working at a feverish pace to complete some current projects. I'll have news about those projects soon, but for now I have to keep it under wraps. Nevertheless, at least we can discuss SMashups. I currently have two associates helping me to clean up the three articles i've published so far, while i'm working to try to write up the rough-draft on the final three sections...

In other news, I cannot believe that I forgot to post a link to such an important article:

Appeals Court Overturns Injunction-Denying Open Source Ruling

This spells good news for developers. Consider this, with respect to Mashup and SMashup developers--Microsoft estimates that there are over 100 million people on the web that do some level of programming (html, javascript, maybe vba, complicated excel macros) but that there are only about 19 million 'professional' programmers. This means there there is an untapped potential of about 80 million 'quasi-developers' that can power Web 2.0--Mechanical Turk on Steroids.

So this means that we can expect to find ways to cache in on developing SMashups. For example, one simple revenue model is to build a gadget that becomes popular, and then tie that gadget into online advertising (search, banner, or adSense for example). Therefore, if millions of people install your gadget, then you get money when they open your gadget and view the ads...

new businesses will be built around that model, and other similar models. The key to success, however, is diversity of application. Therefore, we will see more and more companies developing tools that any sufficient 'power user' (someone that would maybe program an excel module, or write some simple javascript) could create an application and share it with the world easily.

One example is Microsoft's popfly. PopFly allows developers to develop 'blocks' of code. developers can then connect these blocks to create new applications. for example you could:

1) Drag out an 'image scraper' block
2) attach the input to some url (presumably a url whose page contains many img tags)
3) drag out a 'fancy slideshow' block
4) connet the output from the 'image scraper' to the input of the 'fancy slideshow'

walla, you have a new 'Mashup' in's a simple example using a flicker block and a map block.

PopFly even works with Facebook. Of course, Microsoft does own a 1.6% interest in facebook, but we'll save that discussion for another post. i also want to remember to discuss my thoughts concerning Facebook Valuation, and the valuation of social networks in general.

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