Web 2.5 Application Ideas
Yesterday I posted over on Marketspace Advisor on the recent Edgeio launch. I suggested this was an example of an application that reflected some of the principles of Structured Collaboration that I described in an earlier post. This got me thinking about other ideas for "Web 2.5" applications, which I think of as Web 2.0 apps that apply Structured Collaboration thinking.
This morning on the drive in I listened to an IT Conversations podcast of an interview of Lisa Dusseault by Scott Mace at ApacheCon. Lisa works on calendaring applications and standards at OSAF. I had several impressions. First, Lisa is very smart. Second, she is working on a very tough problem, for which previous mooted solutions (iCal) have collapsed of their own weight.
It's occurred to me that calendaring is an excellent example of a Structured Collaboration challenge. Information about who will do what, when, and where, is a valuable thing for people to share. People are more likely to share (publish and consume) this information in groups defined by affinity -- organizations, businesses, families. And, the easier it is to share this information -- via a calendar, as opposed to via text messages -- the more sharing will happen.
A while back I posted on an RSS extension called the Event Share Framework, or ESF. ESF is a simple, XML-based way of aggregating and syndicating calendar information. I thought it was really cool, with some potentially interesting business ideas I described in my post, but it hasn't taken off as far as I can tell.
Now, having seen Edgeio, I got to thinking: if a "listing" tag for a blog post enables a service like Edgeio to parse posts for items for sale, why couldn't and "event" tag be used to parse posts for calendar events? And then, if a service like Edgeio can come up with a clean, clever interface to help people find listings, why couldn't someone do the same for a problem in which the canonical interface (day, week, month, year calendar views) already exists? And, if a tool like Newsgator can sit in my Outlook client and aggregate blog posts, and a tool like Anagram can help me parse events out of text messages so I can post them to my Outlook calendar, why couldn't a hybrid of those two consume an RSS feed from an Edgeio-like service and get it into my Outlook calendar?
Like all the big ideas I have, this one's been thought of before. See, for example, http://eventful.com/. Any others?