Saturday, June 04, 2005

Web 2.0

I work for Knowledge Platform, a small company based in Singapore. I have been asked by my company to track some emerging technologies around what is often called the 'rich media web'. As VP Media & Technology, I suppose that's to be expected. But it's a tall order, of course.

We're an elearning communications company, offering a range of services from elearning content development to digital media production services. Our typical medium of communication is Flash, but I myself am working with video - mostly Windows Media and MPEG1. All our output is for the web browser, and we typically deliver to corporate intranets or host the content on our own servers. But folks do still request CD-ROM versions.

I have been interested in XML and RSS for some time. Syndication seems to me to be as much a business model as it is a technology, and a scalable one at that. Podcasting is something that I became aware of a bit late, in January 2005, when Adam Curry and Dave Winer had already established the format for several months. I'd been following Dave's blog, but not closely enough I guess.

As one of the organizers for the iX 2005 conference happening in June here in Singapore, I began to look more closely at the podcasting space. The more I read, and the more podcasts I heard, I kept getting the feeling that RSS is fundamentally changing the way we access the Internet. And I noticed that commentators are beginning to refer to a new kind of web experience and business opportunity. The shorthand for this new web is the 'rich media web' or 'web 2.0'.

In fact, I just today learned that there's a big conference being organized for the fall in San Francisco, called Web 2.0. From the moderator (Wired's John Battelle) to the speakers Ray Ozzie (Groove), Bram Cohen (BitTorrent) and Mark Fletcher (bloglines), it looks to be a great conference.