Hi, I’m Simon!<br /><ul><li>I’ve been developing websites since I was11 years old and have been making money online since I was 14.
I moved out from my parent’s house and migrated to Coventry at 16after I received a job offer from a leading social network.
Built several popular websites such as SearchMerge.com which has been featured on several top web blogs such as Mashable.
Left my job at the start of 2009 to pursue a new web venture and as a result I am now the co-founding director of aGNRation– a Coventry based start-upwhich I run with a friend and old colleague.</li></ul>Sorry for boring you, let’s get on with the talk!<br />
Content aggregation and distribution<br />The evolution of the web from read only to read, write and share.<br />
The web’s original “architecture “<br />The web originated as a hypothetical read-only static environment for simply content collection (for average web users).<br />There was minimal user interaction; the most you usually could look forward to was a forum or some sort of a guestbook!<br />No user generated content in the way it is seen today.<br />
Historyof the social web<br />A look at how the social web has grown and changed throughout the recent years<br />
The beginning of the social web<br />In 1999LiveJournalappears along with Blogger (BlogSpot) bringing web blogging to the public and offering people who wanted to say something online a place to do so without needing much (if any) web knowledge.<br />Previously to sites like blogging platforms, average websites only communicated with users in one single direction where content was just displayed to the user.<br />Blogging introduced a new model where content was still displayed to users but users then also had the option to submit content back through writing their own blog and commenting on other’s.<br />User<br />
It’s a wikid world<br />In 2001 the site that has the largest collection of general reference work was created and released to the public. <br />Wikipedia; currently the 3rd biggest website in the world was created in January 2001 and as of today holds 13 million articles produced and submitted by it’s community alone.<br />Wikipedia is a fantastic example of the “Web 2.0”culture that encourages users to create, edit, collaborate and share content.<br />
The place for friends<br />Two years later in 2003 we saw the creation of the “place for friends”. In 2003 MySpace.com was launched and was possibly the first website that made the concept of user generated content appealing to younger audiences.<br />Blogging seems to have been a content format that was only appealing for older audiences instead of average teenagers.<br />MySpace encourages users to upload photos, videos, blogs and personal information all to one single location; your MySpace profile.<br />MySpace encouraged you to share the content you have created with your friends that are on MySpace.<br />
MySpace’s evil twin: Facebook<br />A year later in 2004 The Facebookwas founded by Mark Zuckerberg with two of his fellow students at Harvard. The site originated as a way for Harvard college students to network and communicate with each other.<br />In 2005 TheFacebook is renamed to just Facebookand as a result facebook.com was purchased for a reported amount of $200,000.<br />As Facebook’s user base grows it branches out to several other establishments in the US (such as colleges in the Boston area and Stanford university) until it is made public in 2006.<br />As of 06/08/09 Facebook is the fourth biggest website in the world (source: Alexa) and as of February 2009 compete.com ranked Facebook as the most widely used social network ahead of it’s main competitor MySpace.com<br />
Web 2.0: The read, write and share philosophy<br />Web 2.0, a term coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 though now closely associated with Tim O’Reilly because of the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference refers to the second generation of web development that encourages content creation, sharing and collaboration. The term is infamous for being a buzzword that actually refers to no update of any technical specifications but is instead a word to explain the new way of how web developers are now perceiving the web – even though most of the technology to build web 2.0 has existed for several years!<br />Web 2.0 encourages the developer to treat the web as a platform and so hence build applications for the web platform as apposed to desktop apps. By building applications for the web and offering a platform for user generated content to be submitted, a site’s viewers and customers are in effect building the site for it’s owner.<br />Web 2.0 shows the transformation of the web from it’s original read-only static hypothetical architecture to a model that encourages users to not only read content but to also add to the discussion by submitting their own content or updating others.<br />
A tag cloud constructed by Markus Angermeier that I’m sure most of you will have already seen! <br />
Aggregation: the next step?<br />Will content aggregation and distribution bring a new way to find and share content?<br />
Content aggregation<br />Content aggregation is slowly coming through as a new way to develop websites - by filtering content from external websites and displaying it in a new form. E.g. sites such as FriendFeed.<br />Search aggregators show a new way to browse the web by merging content from several search engines and displaying results in real-time with rich media elements inline (such as Youtube videos, Flickrphotos, etc).<br />Search aggregation helps users discover and find content that is relevant but they didn’t actually know existed. In helps give the user a better search experience.<br />Content aggregation is mainly about making things easier for the end-user.<br />No longer do web developers have to rely on their users creating the content or writing content themselves. There is now another new dimension to the “web access model” where you can “plug” in to an existing site’s user base and use their content.<br />
An example of social search aggregation<br />Real time trends via Twitter<br />Last FM Profile<br />Relevant Google result<br />Inline YouTube video<br /> Screenshot courtesy of SearchMerge.com<br />
Identity aggregation<br />In the recent months and year(s) we have began to see a new form of aggregation take place; known as identity aggregation.<br />So far there have been several implementations of identity aggregation, most notably Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect and Sign In With Twitter.<br />Identity aggregation, like other forms of aggregation is all about making things easier (in this case user authentication) for the end-user. Identity aggregation is useful for web users as it saves them the hassle of having to remember more than one login for several websites.<br />Instead of carrying several website logins; users can simply log in to their existing account on a site such as Facebook or Google and have all content they create around the web relate to this single web identity and be aggregated back through to the original website their identity originates from (such as Facebook).<br />
The future of aggregation<br />What does the future hold for content aggregation?<br />Will identity aggregation change the way we interact with websites by having a single online identity/login?<br />Will the risks be the downfall of content aggregation? For example, content aggregation is not self sustainable; there needs to be websites dedicated to content creation (such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc).<br />Will there be a need for content aggregation in the coming years?<br />
Distribution: making the web even easier<br />Will content aggregation and distribution bring a new way to find and share content?<br />
Content distribution<br />Content distribution (like aggregation) is about making the web experience more enjoyable and easier for the end-user.<br />By taking part in content distribution users can cut the time they spend updating their web identities in half.<br />The most popular content distributers (Youmeo, Ping.fm, FriendFeed, etc) enable users to distribute content such as status updates, videos, photos, blogs and much more to all of their existing social network accounts (such as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc).<br />
Upload and distribute content throughout the social web.<br />Distribute other forms of rich media content such as Photos, Videos and Blogs to external websites<br />Aggregate existing content from external sites to a single location.<br />Image/Screenshot courtesy of Youmeo.com<br />
The future of distribution<br />What does the future hold for content distribution?<br />Will users be able to manage all their social websites from a single location?<br />Will content distribution be a viable sort of website or will the ever changing web development style (e.g. “web 1.0” to “web 2.0”) dissolve the need for content distribution websites?<br />Is there room for improvement when it comes to distribution? Is there a better way to achieve the same effect of content distribution websites such as Youmeo?<br />
Thank you for listening! <br />Thank you for listening and thank you especially to Grant Bell and Rob Day for giving the opportunity to speak here today.<br />I look forward to speaking to you all later :)<br />