Wilfred Mutua Mworia's (Old) Blog (Now at Afrinnovator.com)

Icon

Information for tech enthusiasts, hobbyists, devs, tech startup founders and tech entrepreneurs

Web 2.0

So what is this thing called ‘Web 2.0′? Well, glad you asked that question; it is an evolution in the way we experience the web, it is a tidal wave that’s taking the web by storm, it’s been around, being discussed in industry circles for a few years but I believe it’s fullness is only beginning to show. Web 2.0 is a concept that came to being from a brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International; it goes back to about 2004 when the first Web 2.0 conference was held.

So what does it mean? Well, according to a paper by Tim O’Reilly (read it here or stream the audio here), Web 2.0 is characterized by a number of principles, that we will get into shortly. One way to learn something is by making clear what something IS NOT and then clarifying what it IS. In this case, what is Web 2.0 NOT and what IS Web 2.0, a simple way of knowing what Web 2.0 is NOT is by looking at it’s ‘predecessor’, ‘Web 1.0′; and this is what is proposed by O’Reilly:
Web 1.0 –>Web 2.0
DoubleClick –> Google AdSense
Ofoto –> Flickr
Akamai –> BitTorrent
mp3.com –> Napster
Britannica Online –> Wikipedia
personal websites –> blogging
evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation –> search engine optimization
page views –> cost per click
screen scraping –> web services
publishing –> participation
content management systems –> wikis
directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)
stickiness –> syndication

Though the list is not exhaustive, it does show a significant difference in a sense of what is predominant on the Web as it is in comparison with what was (mostly) familiar, or what predominantly characterized the web in different ways in various areas from before!

According to Tim O’Reilly’s paper, the following are key distinguishing ‘principles’ that are emergent in Web 2.0:

1. The Web As Platform:

‘A Platform Beats an Application Every Time’

Here Tim makes use of 3 examples and some ‘Web 2.0 lessons’ that are evident in them:

Netscape vs. Google: The value of the software is proportional to the scale and dynamis of the data it helps to manage.
DoubleClick vs. Overture and AdSense: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.

Akamai vs. BitTorrent: The service automatically gets better the more people use it

2. Harnessing Collective Intelligence:

Web 2.0 shows an incredible enhancement in the leveraging of collective intelligence; collection, distribution and sharing as well as finding information and making sense of it. Here, Tim mentions the roles played by Wikipedia ad collective content creation and editing, del.icio.us and Flickr and the concept of folksonomy (a style of collaborative categorization of sites using freely chosen keywords, often referred to as tags.) and others, especially blogging, RSS and sites such as bloglines that aggregate RSS content and Permalink.

3. Data is the Next Intel Inside:

The race is on to own certain classes of core data: location, identity, calendaring of public events, product identifiers and namespaces. In many cases, where there is significant cost to create the data, there may be an opportunity for an Intel Inside style play, with a single source for the data. In others, the winner will be the company that first reaches critical mass via user aggregation, and turns that aggregated data into a system service.

4. End of the Software Release Cycle:

Here, Tim O’Reilly takes notice of some key aspects that Web 2.0 companies have to embrace in their business/software development models. He claims:

Operations must become a core competency. Google‘s or Yahoo!’s expertise in product development must be matched by an expertise in daily operations. So fundamental is the shift from software as artifact to software as service that the software will cease to perform unless it is maintained on a daily basis.

And

Users must be treated as co-developers, in a reflection of open source development practices (even if the software in question is unlikely to be released under an open source license.) The open source dictum, “release early and release often” in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, “the perpetual beta,” in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s no accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, del.icio.us, and the like may be expected to bear a “Beta” logo for years at a time… Real time monitoring of user behavior to see just which new features are used, and how they are used, thus becomes another required core competency.

5. Lightweight Programming Models:

Simplicity is the name of the new game!

A case in point being RSS and REST (Representational State Transfer)! Tim O’Reilly clearly notes the following key aspects of the Web 2.0 era in this regard:

Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems… The Web 2.0 mindset is very different from the traditional IT mindset!

Think syndication, not coordination. Simple web services, like RSS and REST-based web services, are about syndicating data outwards, not controlling what happens when it gets to the other end of the connection… the end-to-end principle

Design for “hackability” and remixability.

6. Software Above the Level of a Single Device:

According to Dave Stutz, “Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come.”

7. Rich User Experiences:

One word: Silverlight! and another word, Popfly

So, really, Web 2.0 is a paradigm shift in the way we look at the web, the way we get information from the web, the way we find information on the web, the way we develop the web, the way we build business models around the web!

Filed under: blog, content, cool, feed, google, information retrieval, microsoft, research, search, SOA, software, yahoo

Research

Today I am in the office researching some tech options for a potentially major project. This is my first time to interact with Futures Trading and it’s so far been exciting, longs, shorts, hegding… quite interesting. As I write this it’s almost lunch time so I will probably leave in a few minutes to fuel up! This is like the first time in a while I have been able to just do some intense googling on a specific topic in a while and on something totally new, it’s awesome. And I like to think that I am probably the most learnable person you will come across.

I am back in class. Yep, after a one and a half week ‘holiday’.  This semester I am taking Business Law, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Information Resource Planning (I think), Cost Accounting and Computer Graphics (OpenGL here I come!). It promises to be an exciting semester. Yesterday we had Business Law, quite interesting, and the discussion was quite interesting as well.  In case the mix of subjects seems a bit wierd, BBIT is what I like to think of as the outcome of a bond between Comp Sci and BA. This semester has more of the BA than the Comp Sci. What I love about it is that at the end of the day not only do I get to learn all the cool and (mostly) geeky tech stuff but also see how it fits within the business world, plus I have a keen liking for business.

Some pals are asking me to host a 2-day party at my place, yep, 2 days, and there is another group of pals from church who want an overnight party, movies, fun n food! The same thing we did over new-year’s eve. It was awesome, we called it ‘The Wolf Plot’ so they are labelling this one ‘The Wolf Plot II’… cool, eh!

One warrior!

Filed under: cool, friends, fun, research, search, work, working

Yahoo Research Berkley

Filed under: cool, fun, research, search, technology, video, yahoo

Sue Dumais talks about search and user context

Filed under: information retrieval, research, search, yahoo

More thingamajigs to make your life on the blog easier

Hi all, I have been a bit busy so i have not really had time to post for a while. Anyway, in the mean time I have added some new thingamajigs.

(Definition) thingamajig is: A person, object, place, gadget or just anything for which either you can’t remember or otherwise do not know its proper name or just can’t put into words. Or those things you usually can see in your head but can’t put into words to explain to someone.

These include:

  • Site translation (hopefully more people can start visiting and reading in a language they better understand) – Just click on one of the flags at the top section of the web page and voila you get the content in your language of choice, from french, to german, italian, spanish, portuguese… and more
  • An ‘add to google’ button to enable you to add the conent of the blog to your google home page hence you can get recent posts on the blog when you log onto your google home page
  • An ‘add to my yahoo’ button to enable you to add the conent of the blog to your google home page hence you can get recent posts on the blog when you log onto your google home page (as well as add to bloglines if you use that and add to MSN if you use that)
  • Google search to enable you to use the fastest and overall king-of-search-engines web search. To make sure all search results are ‘safe’ I used Google Safe Search

So blog people, enjoy your experience at the site. And tell more people to visit.

Look out for more customizations!

God Bless Y’all!

Filed under: customization, feed, google, search, thingamajig, transalation, yahoo

RSS Afrinnovator.com

  • Is innovation what you do when your back is against the wall?
    I remember watching the movie, 127 Hours. In a dire situation, facing almost certain death, his hand lodged by a rock against a crevice, the main character in the movie does the unthinkable to save himself – he chops off his own arm! Usually people will behave in the same manner when pushed against a wall, they will find some 'creative', if painful […]
  • Creating Sustainable SMEs
    An except from an article I recently wrote for The Broker.SMEs are the lifeblood of most economies. Thankfully, there is no limit to human capacity for innovation – the bedrock upon which entrepreneurship is built. Enabling entrepreneurship should be of foremost importance to governments and can be promoted by establishing three main pillars, which will lay […]
  • Go big or go home. Really?
    When I started out I had this idea that I had to be big, well, not me (literally) but my startup. 'Go big or go home' as they say. Especially by virtue of being in tech, there's a tendency to think this way, that you have to scale to massive proportions, you have to be a 'growth startup'. Be the next Facebook or the next Google! You […]
  • Fallacies of entrepreneurship
    I've been involved in the so-called 'Silicon Savannah' to varying degrees since almost the beginning of this incarnation of the tech/software industry in Kenya.Recently, I had a conversation with someone who runs an entrepreneurship consultancy & capacity building firm. They've worked with entrepreneurs in several sectors including th […]
  • Venture Capital Lessons from the Shark Tank
    I was watching the Shark Tank episode where James Martin, founder of Copa di Vino turned down an offer from the sharks for a second time. The first time he came on the show he had an 'unproven' business model with a modest $500,000 in revenue seeking an investment of $600,000 in exchange for 30% of his business. Kevin O'Leary made him an offer […]
  • Why is it so hard to implement innovation?
    One word: 'Culture'.Culture is the single biggest hurdle any established organization has to go over to become truly innovative. Why? It's simple: innovation is not just about stuff you do, it's about who you are as a company; it is a culture.It is not just about thinking up new ideas, nor even about implementing those ideas. You can do t […]
  • Productivity Hacking: Enter the 'Productivity Hacker'
    Most, if not everyone, reading this article will be familiar with the term "Growth Hacker" and "Growth Hacking", a form of data-driven, aggressively growth-focused marketing. Originally coined by one Sean Ellis (according to Wikipedia), who defined the term 'Growth Hacker' as:A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growt […]
  • Productivity: What do you have and what are you getting out of it?
    My last entry continued the thought pattern regarding what I have concluded, from my own experience and from observation, are the two greatest challenges faced by startups and entrepreneurs: capacity and consistency. In the last post, I did some rough math to show the critical importance of building capacity, especially, human resource capacity (skills, know […]
  • Show me the money: of cash and capital in startup enterprises
    In the last article, I discussed what I think are the two greatest challenges that I have faced in the past, which I also think many entrepreneurs, particularly in the African (or developing world) setting, face: Capacity: Which I would simply summarize as: the ability to execute (effectively and efficiently) - specifically with regards to financial  and […]
  • The two great challenges that every startup faces
    This is my first article in more than 6 months, it also happens to be a unique one for two other reasons: firstly, I am writing from a personal perspective, unlike the ordinary subject-matter content I write, and  secondly,  the issues I raise here are the two key challenges I have identified in my experience of building up the vision that I have for Afrinno […]
  • Kenya: The Internet & Freedom of Information
    The name ‘Edward Snowden’ has become familiar with many people. His revelations about the lengths to which government intelligence agencies in the US and UK have gone to in order to gather information about people’s actions online came as a shock to many. Some have since come to regard him as a hero, whereas others consider him a traitor to his nation. Which […]
  • On Startups: What exactly is a startup? (or the Startup Duck Test)
    A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of co-moderating two panels at the iHub during the monthly Nairobi Research Buzz event hosted by iHub Research and Microsoft. The theme was 'Entrepreneurship 101' based on research the iHub Research team is conducting on tech entrepreneurship in Kenya. There were two separate panels, the first consisting of young […]
  • Exploring the idea of the Creative Class in an African city: A case study of ICT professionals in Nairobi
    Written by Lauren Rosenberg (see below for her bio)Securing urban economic growth in new economy is less dependent on access to physical resources and increasingly dependent on attracting talent who can create economically useful new ideas. Urban theorist Richard Florida calls this type of talent the ‘Creative Class’ - knowledge workers who derive a living f […]
  • Musings on the on the 'Silicon Savannah': Past, Present & Future
    Kenya has come to be closely associated with technology innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the area of mobile technology, raising the country’s profile internationally as one of the up-coming tech hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country has even been dubbed the ‘Silicon Savannah’, a term that embodies the aspirations of the country to dominate […]
  • Analyzing Kenya’s Laptops for Children Initiative
    On March 4th Kenyans went to the polls to elect a new government to steer the country over the next 5 years. One of the candidates, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, who subsequently won the election with his Jubilee Coalition, had made a daring campaign promise that many wondered if he would deliver on – to equip every student starting their primary school education with […]
  • Investing in the Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband Markets in Somalia
    FULL REPORTSomalia's telecommunications market is unique in the world. There has been no central government since 1991 when a dictatorial regime was overthrown, but despite the anarchy that followed, the telecoms sector has flourished. It is highly competitive with at least seven mobile networks, which also offer fixed-line and Internet services. There […]
  • Scaling Internet-Based Startups in African Markets
    We've all heard of the idea that entrepreneurs are people who see a 'gap' in the market and then create a product or service to address that gap. The implication is that there's a ready market there that will snap up your product if you can address that need. However, this can be a challenge in many African countries in particular where t […]
  • Nigeria Telecommunications, Mobile and Broadband Report
    Africa’s largest telecom market with more than 110 million subscribersView the ReportNigeria is one of the biggest and fastest growing telecom markets in Africa, attracting huge amounts of foreign investment, and is yet standing at relatively low levels of market penetration. Far reaching liberalisation has led to hundreds of companies providing virtually al […]
  • Rethinking Startup Finance in Africa
    I had a wonderful opportunity to have a discussion with Eric Osiakwan an African tech luminary from Ghana and director of Ghana's Cyber City initiative about startup financing in Africa, particularly in the technology sector. Eric has worked and ventured in 32 African countries where he has invested and worked with tech companies. As an angel investor, […]
  • Innovating the Business Model - Interview with Robinson Esalimba, Founder Afrovumbua
    When we talk about innovation in many cases, the reference is made to creating innovative products. In the interview below, Robinson Esalimba, founder of Afrovumbua, discusses innovation from the perspective of business models, he also shares some insights funding and the 'Silicon Savannah':Briefly introduce AfrovumbuaWe are a consultancy firm. Our […]
Afrinnovator.com
Mobile Web East Africa
TEDxYouthInspire 2010

My Flickr Photostream

IMG_0789

IMG_0786

IMG_0784

IMG_0781

IMG_0795

More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.