Web 2.0verload

I’m slowly working through my site redesign, and there are so many options that its a little overwhelming. I don’t mean that I want everything under the sun on my website, quite the contrary. There are some things that I’ve seen on other blogs that I’d like to implement on mine. Like, moblogging, and social bookmarking, and a photo gallery. I have systematically figured out how to do everything that I want to do, and in the process I have discovered literally dozens of other possibilities.

Over the past two years the web has taken a step forward in terms of usability and connecting people. And, with new web tools like AJAX and Ruby on Rails, sites are starting to work more intuitively rather than the user having to learn how to get through each site. But as part of all of this new technology there are so many options that its difficult to know which to choose.

Take, for example, social bookmarking. I bookmark my favorite sites in a public place, so that I can retrieve them from any computer that has web access, and I can share them. Plus, I can see the bookmarks that everyone else thinks are cool and/or valuable. That’s a great idea, right? Well here are a few:

Hmm, that kinda makes it tough to know which one to use. Okay, scratch that. We’ll move on to social news sites. I think a story is cool, so I post it to the site. A bunch of other people agree with me, and that article gets bumped to the front page so everyone sees it. Again, what a brilliant idea.

This isn’t getting any easier. And the choices just go on and on and on. Photo sharing sites, audio sharing sites, podcasting, playlists, blogrings, tag clouds…

Yesterday I spent a few minutes finding a way of sharing what I’ve been listening to on my iPod, so that it just shows up on my blog automatically, and within a five minute time span I found several options. I turned off the computer, I couldn’t handle another choice.

I love that the web is becoming more interactive, and that it is becoming even easier to share, find and use information. But now that all of this new technology has become available, its going to take some time for standards to evolve. I’m a pretty technical guy, and even I think there are too many choices right now.

6 replies on “Web 2.0verload”

  1. I think that’s awesome as long as its functional, and not loaded with superfluous AJAX do dads. AJAX needs to increase the site’s usability. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense, it just gets in the way. Most people don’t care about whether or not AJAX is used on a site, they just want it to work and be easy to use.

  2. Confusing, isn’t it. Pick one, see what options it has for importing your existing data (and letting you export it at the end of your experiment) and try living with it for a while.

    On the social bookmarking side, I was recently weighing up the difference between del.icio.us and ma.gnolia.com and ended up coming down on the side of del.icio.us because of the API for grabbing the data for further manipulation on my own site (see my musings using the tool I built).

    Your choice may be different but the best way is to give a few of them a try.

  3. @Wulf
    Thanks for stopping by, and commenting. I had forgotten all about Mag.nolia. They were the first site I tried, and I didn’t really understand the concept then. At this point I don’t know that I’ll give them another try, but it isn’t their fault.

    I agree about del.icio.us. Their site is simple and functional. I tend to think that they’ll be around for a while. I use them almost exclusively.

    BTW, I peeked at your site for a moment. At one point I, too, was a bassist in worship band. Small world, eh? I still worship, but now without the bass.

    @Beth
    Thanks! WordPress makes a lot of stuff easy. I have no idea when I’ll finish, but at some point this site is going to start looking a lot better, and (I hope) make some sense.

  4. Being around for a long time (or at least looking likely to enjoy some measure of longevity) is an important plus point for any web service, especially those jumping on the Web2.0 bandwagon. You don’t want to spend time storing your data on someone else’s machine, figuring out how to mash it up with the rest of your site and then find they’ve pulled the plug or mutated the format to something incompatible!

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