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NEW “Wonderful Web” ENews: “New is New Again”

The new edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter is out. It includes the follow short stories:

  • It’s All About YOU (including Paul Simon quote)
  • New Marketing in Another New Era
  • Whipping Up Lower Cost Websites (fresh offer)
  • Make Your Marketing More Effective
  • New Custom-Designed Client WordPress Websites
  • Is Your WordPress Website Safe? (new services)
  • New News About NewMarU (update on our educational site)
  • Luscious Links: More Useful Info, Just a Click Away (valuable!)
  • Quick Hits: About the New Enews Format

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can read it online by clicking this link.

From My Head to the Web. Tools I Use: MindMeister

I’m one of those people who has far more going on in his head than I’m able to share. I plan to post videos. I’m formulating “New Marketing University.” And so much more. The name I’ve made up for my productivity efforts to move all of these ideas into online action is “From my head to the Web.”

The most effective tool that I’ve found so far that successfully facilitates this process is the mind-mapping web-based, Web 2.0 oriented, application MindMeister. I’ve started sketching out a variety of information flows from the new service level agreements for ComBridges to the ingredients and intended results for the New Marketing University enterprise to ideas and types of future blog posts.

A simple example is below. When I think about what I call The Grand Canyon Gap between people and technology, it’s clear to me that there are a variety of people at various stages of “crossing” the Gap as well as a variety of approaches to creating communication “bridges” across. Here is the current state of my thoughts on this as captured in MindMeister:

Of course, this is a simple example. There are many more complex examples, many enabled by MindMeister’s Web 2.0 style sharing functionalities, including valuable resources like MindMeister maps that attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the best online collaboration tools of all types and recent attendees of the TEDxAmsterdam conference used MindMeister to mind map the thought-leaders presenters.

I hope this is useful to you. Do you use MindMeister or another mind-mapping tool? What helps you get your ideas from your head to the web?

Web 2.0 Expo Provides Snapshot of Rapidly Evolving Next Generation Web

I had the illuminating pleasure of spending a few hours today attending the keynotes and browsing the innovations on the floor at the O’Reilly/TechWeb conference, Web 2.0 Expo SF. These have become quite vibrant affairs with NY, European & (I think) Japanese iterations now on the annual conference schedule.

(Keynote photo of John Battelle on stage with Marc Andreessen at Web 2.0 Summit SF 2008 by James Duncan Davidson.)

This spring’s SF show attracted about 8,500 web-savvy geeks and associates and I was impressed with the consciousness of both the collaborative conference editorial orientation as well as the folks in attendance. Top level insights of the day were provided by John Batelle’s interview with Mosaic browser creator, Netscape founder and Ning.com do-it-yourself social network entrepreneur Marc Andreesen who offered a interesting historical perspective on why the web browser will persist and warnings about the “coming nuclear winter” with regard to the economy. Author and Harvard/Oxford professor, Jonathan Zittrain also offered a quite thoughtful “big think” analysis of how and why we should take security and Web 2.0 business concerns more seriously.See his book, The Future of the Internet… and How to Stop It for more details. We’ll all be glad if you do.

Beyond these considerations, Web 2.0 seems to be alive and well with not only ample opportunities for open source collaboration, but with myriad kinds of mashups that bring remarkable power to the web browser.

Many folks are familiar with the Facebook and MySpace plug-ins that let individuals do more… (as one presenter said, “we’re no longer browsing the web, we’re creating it”), but there are now many more web-based tools that let you create powerful online applications, plug-in widgets and whatever, without the need of any desktop software. For example:

  • At the most basic level, Slide let’s you create custom slide show widgets from digital photos that you upload to PhotoBucket or Flickr
  • For multimedia types, I’ve been impressed with Sprout Builder which is kinda like a web-based Flash authoring tool for the rest of us. But in this case, you get embed code so that your Flash widget can be posted anywhere and can spread virally
  • Zude.com hypes itself as a social computing platform, but what I liked is its ability to let you drag and drop virtually any kind of web content into a Zude page for online publishing and sharing
  • and for the more advanced gear heads, Coghead.com offers a platform, also in a web browser of course, that let’s you build interactive business processes, like lead capture for example, all in a drag and drop environment. Who needs code? 😉

What I find most interesting is the way that all of this functionality has become web browser-based. It seems that we are destined to do all of our computing in the cloud. In any case, the creativity, collaboration (amongst people as well as interconnected bits and bytes) and the communication channels are continuing to get ever more powerful… and all of this is really just getting started. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Thanks O’Reilly for giving me a glimpse of the future as it is appearing now… in browsers near us all.

The Best of Web 2.0 for 2007 (or 2008) & The Flip

Happy New Year! I was going to do an update on Web 2.0 software applications that I know and love, and still hope to find the time, but meanwhile I’m going to let Tech Crunch’s post, “2008: Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn’t Live Without” do it for me.

It’s a thoughtful list with brief articulate reasonings, and includes WordPress, Skype (without the emphasis on video & webcams that I think it deserves), as well as Zoho (whose CRM we use daily at ComBridges), Firefox and YouTube. I’ve gotten into Pakeflakes (rather than Netvibes) recently as a personalized home page, but otherwise it’s all good.

My favorite new gizmo is The Flip (Ultra), a pocket-sized, web-ready video digi-cam. No tape, just 60 mins of MPEG-4 video in Flash memory and a flip-up USB port.
Now I need time to do some video blog posts… More on that very soon, I hope.

Yet Another Stupid (yet entertaining) Web 2.0 Video

Another tech bubble? Who are you kidding?!? Or not…

Information R/evolution

I love the way these videos from an outpost in academia illuminate information’s revo-evolutionary process. IMHO, the insights are way worthy of reflection. Enjoy and appreciate the disruptive dynamics of our rapidly changing information society…

WSJ Mossberg: Thumbs Up on Yahoo Mail

I use Yahoo Mail as a secondary address email address and I like the redesigned interface of Yahoo Mail’s latest version. I’m even considering getting Yahoo Mail Plus for $20/year in order to get POP access via Yahoo Mail. I’m having issues with MS Entourage… Anyone know about getting an Entourage address book into Yahoo Mail?

Anyway, I was encouraged by this video and web review by one of the most authoritative tech reviewers in the world, Walt Mossberg of the Walt Street Journal:

In fact, I found his Personal Technology pages on the AllThingsDigital website to be quite excellent… a fun and useful resource… Although I totally disagee with him about Apple’s iWork products (Pages, Keynote & Numbers). I love these programs and get things done with them not only with more style, but with more ease. I would never use Word or MS Office unless I have to.

Tangler: Awesome Interactive Web 2.0 Application for Embedded Forum-style Discussions

Here’s the kind of easy to use, immediate user feedback and ultra-highly-interactive application that makes Web 2.0 so interesting for me. Actually, it’s a kind of convergence of online discussion forums & real time chat, all of which can be embedded within any page of your site. Impressive stuff!

http://www.tangler.com/ | TechCruch review

Cool Convergence & Browsing Bonus: Great TechCrunch-NetVibes Mashup

For your browsing pleasure…

In announcing the new NetVibes roll-out of the ability to create public personalized pages, the marvelous Michael Arrington also offered his own personalized, customized TechCrunch NetVibes page “featuring many of my favorite news feeds and a few widgets.”

I offer this to you because it is a cool convergence. From my limited experience, NetVibes is my favorite customizable “home page;” but more importantly TechCrunch is my favorite source of information about the bleeding edge of Web 2.0. Scroll down on this TechCruch/NetVibes page to see, for example, the Alexa Widget showing TechCrunch ahead of Business Week and CNet in online viewership; or enjoy the build-in video references; and on and on.

If you’re reading this, you’ll probably find things of interest on the Netvibes.com/TechCrunch page. If nothing else, it’s a great demo of the plug-and-play nature of the ever-expanding Web 2.0 socially-networked Internet.

Enjoy!

Build Your Own Social Network, The Buzz Du Jour

I made a post re the build-your-own-social-network platform Ning below, so this is just a small follow up because I couldn’t resist passing along TechCrunch‘s quote of the NYTimes quoting Ning’s founder, Marc Andreesen regarding Cisco’s buyout of social network-building company Tribe.

Andreesen said, “The idea that Cisco is going to be a force in social networking is about as plausible as Ning being a force in optical switches.”

Be careful out there… 😉