Just the other day I read on First Author this post about an Oxford startup, and it started me thinking.
“Founded by two Oxford students GroupSpaces.com arose from frustration at the multitude of different websites which clubs and societies at Oxford University were using to organise themselves online. GroupSpaces CEO David Langer said: ‘As a former president of two University societies I became increasingly annoyed with the mash-up of disconnected tools groups were using to manage themselves online – mailing lists on Yahoo! Groups, spreadsheets in Excel, events on Facebook, ancient websites – people were spending a disproportionate amount of time organising their groups across multiple platforms. There was a clear need to connect everything up and that’s what inspired us to create GroupSpaces.’”Hang on, the answer to difficulties partly with Web 2.0 companies is to make another Web 2.0 company?
Now, I too get increasingly annoyed with my ventures into the Web 2.0 space. Far from seamless mashups (they used to be a good thing), I find myself managing identities… or more to the point, failing to manage identities to let me use Blogger, Flickr, Slideshare, Connotea, CiteULike, etc. One of them wants my email address, another wants a user ID (maybe better make it a new one in case they expose it), this one is happy with any old password, that one insists on a digit in (OK, that makes some sense), but blow me down, this one wants at least one alpha and two digits. And the blogosphere has been rocking with the data portability grumbles in recent months. So a lot of these sites, supposedly “at the network level” to quote Lorcan, are actually quite closed, proprietary, winner take all, naked capitalist commercial ventures!
Maybe my problems will all be solved by OpenID or something like it, and I shall emerge into the Web 2.0 sunshine, but somehow I doubt it.
OK, I’m sure these aren’t the aspects of Web 2.0 that people had in mind. But folks, when you talk about repositories being more compatible with the web architecture, more like Web 2.0, more oriented to the semantic web, can you be more specific please? What would you like to see happen? What do you mean, exactly?
Answers by comment, blog post linked to this one, email to me, or even by postcard, please!