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Web2 And Distributed Services


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This presentation looks at various notions of “Web2-ness” within a wider context of a more wired web.

Although not the true “Semantic Web”, practitioners argue that many of the sites and services available today have the hallmarks of connectedness which Berners-Lee originally suggested would ultimately make up the next phase of the internet.

In the cultural context, this raises questions and outlines possibilities about how best to develop our web products so as to best capitalise on the notion that the power of the web is in sharing, and not – as has been typical to date - in silos.

The major issues tend to show themselves in two ways, and this presentation will focus on both: Firstly, how best to capture and share the voices of our users, and secondly how the power of the distributed web can help us cheaply and easily improve our offerings.

Published in: Business, Technology

Web2 And Distributed Services

  1. 1. web 2.0 and distributed services: ... good things for everyone mike ellis, solutions architect, Eduserv
  2. 2. me, me, me I’ve been doing this stuff for around 10 years in various guises.. I’m a developers’ worst nightmare What I really do is translate from geek to real speak I wear a series of hats. Today it’s a museumy, non-technicalish, not for profit one (kinda)
  3. 3. I know a bit about museums < especially this one...
  4. 4. especially these... ...and websites
  5. 5. ...not a lot about libraries ...a bit about “traditional publishing”
  6. 6. I don’t know anything about you the geek test 1: amateurgeek
  7. 7. 2: professionalgeek (worryingly, I actually find this quite funny. please don’t tell anyone.)
  8. 8. Luckily, web2 isn’t about computers
  9. 9. instead, it’s about people i.e. content still is king , after all this time and content . the technology is becoming invisible , less important ...while the experience is becoming everything
  10. 10. so where are we now? how can we make sense of this landscape?
  11. 11. ...when there’s SO MUCH NOISE about web2: wikis, blogs, Facebook, UGC, AJAX, APIs...
  12. 12. ..what if it’s all just hype ?
  13. 13. let’s ask Gartner.
  14. 15. institutional lag lag is irritating and frustrating but probably a good thing for us
  15. 16. web2 is dangerous but it is also enormously powerful because it empowers users...
  16. 17. in other words: engaging with your community (the crowd) is GOOD, therefore... ..web 2.0 is GOOD * because it is the social web * (but obviously it needs to be relevant and, please, not just for the sake of it ...)
  17. 19. the notion of user-centredness: of consumers becoming prosumers , is a pretty well established part of web2 but something really important is happening under the hood too.. ..and although it’s not quite what Berners-Lee talked about, it has some familiar hallmarks
  18. 20. ..and if we don’t understand what the basic ideas are, we’re not going to be able to play ...but if we do, and act on what we know, then the possibilities are quite extraordinary .
  19. 21. hang on to your seats: here comes some tech
  20. 22. distributed services are... architectural style that guides all aspects of creating and using business processes, packaged as services , throughout their lifecycle, as well as defining and provisioning the IT infrastructure that allows different applications to exchange data and participate in business processes regardless of the operating systems or programming languages underlying those applications. SOA represents a model in which functionality is decomposed into small, distinct units (services), which can be distributed over a network and can be combined together and reused to create business applications. These services communicate with each other by passing data from one service to another, or by coordinating an activity between one or more services. blah
  21. 23. pardon? for our purposes today: “ bits of functionality that (usually) exist outside our sites which we, as publishers can capitalise on cheaply and easily to augment and improve the user experience ”
  22. 24. distributed technology powers web2
  23. 25. by extending this - by providing as well as consuming this distributed stuff, we not only build a virtuous cycle ( share the love! )... ..but also make it nearly trivial to build things like mobile search, facebook apps, widgets, kiosks, Flash based sites, etc.
  24. 26. the power of the web is in sharing US THEM US THEM US THEM AND HIM HER AND THEM AND HER HIS MATE
  25. 27. basically... we used to build websites in silos . we used to say things like “don’t have a link to that other site, we’ll lose our users” “ share the love”
  26. 28. now [hopefully] we’re recognising that our users are fickle and talented . they get what they want from whoever will provide it . they want more stuff via more channels this means they find stuff through means other than those we provide, they drop into the depths of our sites rather than via the homepage and they use our material in ways we’d never even begin to imagine
  27. 29. this throws up lots of challenges which you’ll probably hear more about today: authority , voice , moderation and brand to name but a few. ...for a change I’m not going to talk about these, and instead try to provide some practical ideas when developing sites.
  28. 30. getting practical.. what are the things that continually come back, the essence of successful web2 implementations?
  29. 31. 1: embrace the user and the concept users are the single most important thing about your site, bar none, so let them have their say too web 2 is about losing some level of control . Embrace it: it’s happening anyway. Be prepared to defend something which institutions traditionally find very difficult to grasp
  30. 32. 2: build or procure stuff with API’s add a line to every spec you release: “ must include a strong API, either SOAP or REST” API: “a way of getting at your data programmatically”
  31. 33. 3: provide alternative routes if you can’t have an API then build, or get your tech guys to build, programmatic ways of getting to your content. it really, really isn’t hard – in fact it’s easier than a “normal” page
  32. 34. 4: be “accessible” (not a box ticker) do use nice, understandable, meaningful, consistent, stable, constantly existing URL’s all the usuals: don’t use frames, do use DIVs, do use css, don’t use tables, embed some metadata, yada yada yada ...
  33. 35. 5: experiment try things out: be Darwinian. if they don’t work, bin them. If they do, develop them. be honest with your audiences: tell them you’re experimenting. if something doesn’t work, ask them why
  34. 36. 6: don’t build if you can borrow most of the things you might want to offer have probably been done already, and done better. interactive maps, timelines, sharing, wikis, chat, search, polls....
  35. 37. 7: think holistically user flows are important but think outside these, too. use and provide feeds and microformats and other ways of cutting your content
  36. 38. 8: talk and play spend some time browsing sites like http:// / to get a feel for the range of mashups available finally: talk to people
  37. 39. to summarise... <ul><li>embrace the concept that freeing your content is not only good, it’s inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>build and work with systems that are open and standards based : the investment is minimal and the returns are enormous </li></ul><ul><li>don’t just think like a user. ask them . </li></ul>
  38. 40. mike ellis, solutions architect, Eduserv [email_address] / tag: uksg07lib (?) and thanks to these people, too: clouds: hype curve: share the love: little bobby tables: love heart: talk about tech: alone in london: fog: tech then and now: arizona road: crowd: big hands: arrow: road: cheapstore: desolate: hype: freedom: anger: accessible: plane: panorama: rollercoaster: please get in touch. I love talking about this stuff...
  39. 41. that’s it
  40. 42. no, really.