Tracking Web 2.0

This has done the rounds a bit but I still wanted to have my say about it. Movers 2.0 is a web site that sprang up last week that tracks the movements of Web 2.0 websites and is updated daily.

This is nothing new as Seth Godin’s Web 2.0 Traffic Watch List has been around for a while. However, Seth’s page offers nearly 1000 entries and does take a while to load. Plus I don’t think it is as easy to read data from. Still it is more comprehensive. This simpler format while based on the same data is the top 100… or so; as I see there are 207 today. As well as having some nice additional features.

Movers 2.0 is based on Alexa traffic data so make of that what you will as there is much debate over the accuracy of this data. However the debate over metrics is not one that is resolved easily. But, Movers 2.0 is an indicator if nothing else. Plus there are some features that make it stand out. The inclusion of logos and being more of a visual interface makes it a lot easier to read and maintains interest.

Another nice feature is the links next to each entry to pages that contain more specific data. The “Complete” link includes graphs, news, and a nice trust indicator. This data comes from Complete to which you are redirected. However there are also links included that activate graphs with Java Script and a search for blogs linking in powered by Google. Click the “More” link to view these options.

While the top entries on sites such as this won’t change that much in the short term; the bottom 20 or so will. This is where I would be looking for the fast movers and growing sites that should be watched. This is also where you will see already popular site tussle for traffic.

To make this a more complete Web 2.0 tracker there is also a Weekly Movers List that I think is a lot more useful as far as what I do. This page also offers all the features that the main page does. Nice.

This really is a one stop shop for getting a snapshot of the web on any given day and for tracking the weekly goings on in 2.0. No metrics is ever going to be perfect or the most reliable over another but it takes sites like this one to add to our arsenal of sites that tell us about traffic, numbers and ultimately popularity to be able to maintain a balanced view. Nicely done and the inclusion of some off site data is a nice touch.

Movers 2.0 Screenshot

Add Platial Maps Widget to Your WordPress.com Blog

As you can see there have been a few changes around here. I found some motivation from somewhere and decided to update the widgets and ended up with a whole new look. I am still working on a few things but if you find something that isn’t quite right let me know. Since I was editing the widgets for the new theme I came across a new widget for WordPress.com users. It looks like I got the hop on the WordPress guys on this one as they are yet to release it.

You will notice in the sidebar widgets that there is now a Platial Mapkit widget available. Add it to your sidebar and it will show a mini map of the starting location that you specify when you set it up. Cool, but it gets better, you can add places with placemarks and readers can add their own with comments. Tag placemarks, add users as buddies and more.

Platial Mapkit Widget SampleThe Widget displayed is the one you see here. My options have been included but you can make yours up to whatever you wish. You will have to create an account if you wish to use the widget in your blog. I have also added a placemark for the approximate location of this blog’s HQ, so you can see what they look like.

The map is powered by Google Maps and therefore includes either a map view a satellite view or a mix. As well as zooming in and out and all the usual Google Map goodness. I also noticed a Google Earth link on my homepage map I set up on Platial to take a look at it.

I have not added the widget to this blog, I’d rather keep the lines that I do and not stuff it full of other stuff. Plus it is another thing I have to keep track of if it was here. Although the map I created is available to view, you can see it here. Platial is not only open to WordPress.com users but all bloggers and site designers. So if this is your cup of tea then take a look. The design is simple and to the point and the size is good for a blog, it will fit most if not all blog sidebars. I had not heard of the service before now but it looks pretty good and a bit of fun.

WordPress.com users need to click the link on the widget when it is selected in the set-up. The link is in the text “Making maps at Platial is free”.

Create an account and configure it as you wish. It is fairly simple and straight forward. You can edit these settings easily after you have joined as well so don’t worry too much if you make a mistake.

The last bit is a bit tricky, since I had no “instructions” from the guys here at WordPress I had to work it out. The widget asks you to type in the “Platial Map Id:”. This is the last digits that you see at the end of the Bookmark for your map widget that you have created. That is the Map Id that you need to enter into the widget field and hit submit.

Once that is done just slide the widget into place on your sidebar and save the changes and your done. WordPress we have maps!

Platial Screenshot

Meet People with buddystumbler :: IM Exchange

BuddyStumbler Logo ResizedBuddystumbler looks to be a good site to meet people with similar interests. I think this service has a lot going for it in that it is simple and to the point along with one of the simplest sign ups and set ups that I have ever seen. I especially like the idea of tagging yourself for others to find.

When I landed on this page I was not sure what to make of it. But it gets straight to the point. A search box with a few operators to choose from. Such as male or female and age range. The search is something a bit different in that you are not searching for a name but rather by keyword, for potential friends. I thought it was a lot like tagging, tagging people. I searched for podcasting and podcast, I was disappointed to find that there were none. But then the site is fairly new and in beta. So not populated with the volume needed, yet.

But I like the idea. I don’t have that much time to keep up with the on-line contacts that I do have let alone create some more. But if you unlike me are looking for new friends then this is a great idea. The idea of searching for keywords or tags to find friends is an interesting concept. This is related to the sign up which allows you to write a brief description and then tag yourself as many times as you think necessary. Keywords that identify your interests, hobbies, personality and whatever else you can think up. You then input your username or names from Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL or all of them.

The meeting bit involves the exchange of IM names only and both parties have to agree. No other information other than the instant messenger user name you designate is exchanged. The rest is up to the people involved to chat via their respective IM clients. I think this is smart because the site has done the job and you pursue a friendship or contact away from the service. The inclusion of a shoutbox on your profile helps get things started if you don’t necessarily want to exchange usernames straight away. It does sound a bit like an on-line dating service, potentially it could end up like that but hopefully not.

Say I was new to podcasting and I wanted to find some new friends that would talk podcasting with me and give me some support in my new venture. This would be a great place to potentially find someone like that. This process is actually quite difficult otherwise and requires a fair bit of effort. You can search other places, email other podcasters and use services like Skype and search for users with descriptions that interest you. But this cuts to the chase and makes that a whole lot easier. The other advantage is that users of this service are expecting people to want to meet them and are more likely to respond. Better than the effort of an email which might result in being ignored.

The only way that this service is going to get better is for it to be populated, at present it is a bit limited. With the IM services having their fair share of spammers and idiots I can really see people needing and wanting this type of service. With that I think once the word gets out this will appeal to certain users and groups. Slick interface with a simple premise and ease of use it has appeal.

buddystumbler Screenshot

Apple Rock the World

Well that is how I feel at any rate. I have often wonderewd if I would like a Mac. Watching Steve Jobs and his keynote presentation makes you want one. Huge announcements and the biggest (if the blogosphere is anything to go by) being the iPhone.

If you have not watched the keynote then I suggest that you do, for the whole effect and demo’s of the devices that are presented. The streaming video is about two hours. However, for those of you that might be a bit bandwidth impaired there is a blow by blow written account of the presentation with photos on Engadget.

I have watched it and I was indeed blown away. But there have been enough people blog about what Steve has said so I am not going to repeat it. But from another angle, I was reading through my feeds and came across an entry made on 37 Signals and I would have to say that it is a nice “prediction” of what the “Apple Phone” was going to be. As it was written before the announcement it is an interesting reflection and not far from the truth.

No doubt the details of the keynote will provide weeks of blogging material for a lot of people and then some. The details make for much more interesting reading this is mainly hype at the moment. I don’t see Microsoft anywhere, I do think they have reason to worry. I want a Mac.

Huge Digg Site Update

The Digg website has just come online, back up from being offline after a massive update. This is a big change ands sees a visual and layout change and the addition of a swag of new features.

Digg Site Update 01

The thing that jumped right at me was the whole site look has changed to a “Web2.0″ look and feel, with heaps of AJAX and and slick rendering. The second thing was that you can now submit podcasts to Digg! This is in beta and you need to be registered to even look at it.

Podcasts are ranked in the usual Digg fashion but in addition to that they are catagorized. You can play a podcast from the Digg page, you can subscribe to it using an RSS reader. Plus because individual podcast episodes can be Dugg there are the top 10 episodes to see on the right. The “Top 10″ on the right is reflected through the site in all sections.

Video has it’s own section now, due to the popularity of video. There is the function of being able to view video from the page without having to leave. A lightbox pops up and plays the video when you click the thumbnail play button.

One other feature of note is that under each catagory, such as News; there has been added the top stories based on time. For example the Top Story in the last 24 hours right up to a year. Nice touch.

The areas of change in functionality are:

  • Interface: Gone is the fixed width format in with flexible format, wide screen owners rejoice. All the navigation has been moved to the top
  • Video enhancments: Separate section, top 10 videos and play onsite
  • Podcasting: New beta section, digg your faviourate podcasts or episodes, catagories of podcasts
  • Profile enhancments: quickly jump between News, Videos or podcasts within your profile as well as a Friends tab to see what they are doing.

Check it all out in full on the Digg Blog, they also include a quick video that covers all the changes. Then… I guess go Digg something.

Vista Crack Update

It was reported on the 12th of November that Windows Vista was cracked. The version of Vista that is floating around on torrents and P2P Networks, dubbed the “Bill Gates” Version can be enabled using this crack, but a crack it is not. A hack to get it working would be more accurate. The time that it is operable under this hack is limited according to a Microsoft statement.

First up Microsoft has claimed that the “Bill Gates” version is not the final code. In addition they claim that this version may have been tampered with and should be avoided (as you would expect them to say).

Second the “crack” that has been used to activate this version of Vista alters the code from the operating system with those from the pre-release version, or the various release candidates. The user is then able to activate the version with a pre-release product activation key. As I predicted these pre-release keys are temporary, they will be blocked using Microsoft’s Software Protection Platform on the expiry date, which has not been disclosed. Enjoy it while it lasts.

In time I am sure that there will be another hack, crack or whatever for Vista. It remains to be seen exactly how Microsoft handle the further attempts to pirate their operating system.

Vista Cracked

Windows Vista LogoIt would appear that in a small amount of time that Windows Vista has been leaked and cracked. So much for being more secure! Twenty four hours in the life of the as yet to be released Vista.

Reports are confirming that that Vista RTM has been leaked. That leak occurred directly from inside Microsoft itself, as it has not been made available as yet. November 15th was the date that was hinted at for it to be available to MSDN Subscribers. Not twenty four hours later it is starting to come through that this leaked version has been cracked. A quick Torrent networks search will confirm this. Not a MSDM subscriber myself I could not say if it has been made available earlier or not.

It appears the crack is not simply a download and run affair and involves a few steps [Don't know how long that link will work]. Interestingly it uses the keys that Microsoft gave away during the beta. Which makes me wonder just how long this will work, for all Microsoft has to do is disable the keys issued as a part of the beta. Especially since Vista has not been released yet. Or then it might not matter what key is used. Or will Microsoft use it’s Windows Genuine Advantage software to cripple software? Maybe, but they will probably upset a few people and how would they know. Then again a beta is not forever. Whatever they do it better be fast, but it looks to me like it is too late. Will it happen again? Yes, so what does it matter what they do.

Seriously though twenty four hours to crack Vista, they should be a tad embarrassed. Really it is beyond funny.

I am not sure if the rumour mill is working over time or not but there are reports that Office 2007 has suffered the same fate. These reports are as yet to be confirmed and it has yet to be cracked, only a matter of time.

With all the efforts that they have made into being more secure and harder to crack and Microsoft saying that it is harder to crack and the whole WGA thing. They may have well have painted a giant “Hack My Software” poster on their arses.

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