Perpetual Beta- Delicious

Today’s post will be about “Perpetual Beta”, the six pattern of web 2.0 application that defined by Tim O’reilly. This principle focuses on the endless development of programs features that offered as a service for the users to get their satisfaction. The development cycle of the software can be on a monthly, weekly, or even daily cycle, depends on the users needs.

What is Perpetual beta:

Perpetual beta is the keeping of software or a system at the beta development stage for an extended or indefinite period of time. It is often used by developers when they continue to release new features that might not be fully tested. Wikipedia

Examples of Perpetual beta:

According to O’Reilly’s  Microsoft and Google are clear examples of Perpetual Beta and “Microsoft won’t be able to beat Google” because Google upgrading their computing environment every day while Microsoft upgrading the computing environment every 2-3 years. Additionally, Google Maps, Gmail, Flickr, and delicious are other example of this pattern. In this post I am going to discuss Delicious as a web 2.0 application that achieved the best practices and benefits of Perpetual beta website.delicious-logo

About Delicious.com:

Delicious is a social bookmarking website which means that, rather than going to your favourite icon and save it in the internet explorer you can save your bookmarking in the web site so you can access to your bookmarking from any computing divides in any time. In addition Delicious allow you to share your bookmarking with others.

Delicious (formerly del.icio.us) is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003. Wikipedia

Delicious is a free service designed to be the best place to save what you love on the web, whether it’s a video, picture, product, blog post, article or music. We then help you remember and find it later. Delicious

How does Delicious linked to this pattern:

Release early and release often: Websites updating is essential to websites success. For that Delicious have search tools to keep track of the users to know what they like and what do not. Delicious always updated and change or add new features according to the users needs. Additonally, Delicious advertise the updating through Delicious blog.

Engage users as co-developers and real-time testers: as we said before delicious updating the system by tracking user behavior. Each page in Delicious has a feedback button at the bottom of the page to get feedback from the users that help to improve the website. For example, Delicious thanks its users for their feedback that help to create search box to conveniently search about tags, keywords, network, usernames, and even tag bundles. Additionally, Delicious enhanced the website with keyboard shortcuts to save users time.

Instrument your product:  Every updating or new feature of Delicious tested by the users through adding new bookmarking on the website and share links with friends.

Incrementally create new products: Delicious involves the users as real time tester, it is looking for the users needs and  analysing their feedback to updating existing feature and bring new one.

Use dynamic tools and languages: Delicious using Python programming language and RSS to publish the content on the web. additionally, user can download and interchange data and through the site’s API in an XML or JavaScript Object Notation. The feeds in delicious come in several formats including RSS and JSON.

Over a billion links served daily to more than 200 countries worldwide. Delicious

Software above the level of a single device – Translink:

 

In the past few years, having PC was the only way to access the internet, it’s definitely a hard limited way because you have to sitting in front of the computer.However, nowadays access to the internet can be through different ways, you can be walking while images-4using the internet, driving, or doing your daily routine because you can log in from any computing device in any where, from home, office or even from your car. The most common computing device and the easiest one is the smart phone, that any one can use it easily, we see it with different people in any age, on any where and any time . This brings me to start the discussing post about the fifth pattern in web 2.0 “Software above the level of a single device” as described by Tim O’Reilly.

In August 2012 there were about 7 billion mobile phones. This number exceeds the number of PCs by about 3.8 times. The International Telecommunication Union

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Definition of Software above the level of a single device:

Users can access to the internet app through a different computing devices. by this definition, we can see that, eachapple_mobileme2-1 web application is software above the level of a single device. As Tim said “At minimum, these applications use a client on a local computer and one or more server computers.”

One other feature of Web 2.0 that deserves mention is the fact that it’s no longer limited to the PC platform. Tim O’Reilly

There are many example of Software above the level of a single device. According to Tim O’Reilly  iTunes is the best exemplar of this trend. ” This application seamlessly reaches from the handheld device to a massive web back-end, with the PC acting as a local cache and control station.” In this post I going to talk about Translink.com.au as a good example of this trend because It works equally on different computing devices. I just started using this website when I arrived to Brisbane, and it’s now one of the most important application to me and I can not go out without it.

About Translink.com.au:

Translink is a website for public transport information and it aims to facilitate passenger transport services.images

Translink: As a division of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, we are responsible for leading and shaping Queensland’s overall passenger transport system.

Below are some of  best practices that Translink.co.au applied:

1) Design from the start to share data across devices, servers, and networks:

Translink.com.au has been designed from the start to share data across devices, servers, and networks. Translink.com.au can be accessed from any computing devices. With its pervasive network users can access translink.com.au from anywhere and get appropriate travel information. In addition, it has a mobile phone application to be easy for the users to access this app in any where.

 2) Think location aware:

Translink.com.au uses GPS and map technology as used by Google maps to trace your current location and suggest relevant travel routes depending on the location you want to go to.

 3) Extend Web 2.0 to devices:images-1

Translink.com.au uses Web 2.0 Rich Internet application for desktop users as well as on mobile devices.

4) Use the power of the network to make the edge smarter:

As servers are always more powerful than mobile devices this is true even in the case of Translink.com.au as most of the processing is done on the server side Thereby offloading the heavy processing on the devices and returning lightweight results.

5) Make one-click a priority:

Translink on mobile has an easy to use journey planner. If the user doesn’t know his current location, the translink.com.au automatically determines it for the user. The user only has to supply the destination address and click go. Rest is taken care by the site. And it also provides multiple options of travel to choose from for the user’s convenience.

6) Enable data location independence:

Since the user does not need to upload any files the capability of data location independence is not required in the case of Translink.com.au

7) Compatibility issues:translink-logo

Translink.com.au website and edge device apps are so robust that it doesn’t suffer from the compatibility issues as we see in other RIAs.

Eventually, I know that you (my dear readers ) reading6c78cf2ae700c1a7e626465fa52e6dec this post from different devices, some of you are reading this from a home or an office computer,lap top ,smart phone, Ipad or even maybe from an ipod. For that reason, I think the programmers have to think about this while designing the websites to make the users able to open it in any device on any time without troubles .

You don’t need to build the application for managing a device into the device itself. The game is richer than that. Let the device do what it does best; let the internet do what it does; and use the PC to help manage the relationship between the two. Tim O’Reilly

Rich User experience – pixlr.com

 

These days popularity of Web 2.0 applications has grown to such a degree that it seems the day is not far when almost every application would be accessed remotely using a browser and the users will be doing their work online. Google Docs, Google Spread Sheet, Google Finance are good examples. Such web-based applications are also known as Rich Interactive Application (RIA).

 

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Rich Internet application works more like a desktop application than a traditional web application like webmail or static html websites. Such interactive Internet applications are enabled by technologies like AJAX, Adobe FlexAdobe FlashJQueryHTML5SilverLightJavaFXOpenLaszlo and so on. These new technologies have closed the gap between online and offline experiences and are redefining the possibilities in a browser like never before. In addition Rich interactive applications provide many benefits over traditional desktop applications. RIA avoids the need of installing client applications. It enables multiple users to work collaboratively rather than single-user, single-machine software. Many online applications support drag and drop and various other full rich media capabilities. An online application also eliminates the need for regular updates and patching and it gives a competitive advantage with greater user satisfaction.

What is Rich User experience?

Rich user experiences are typically a combination of GUI-style (Graphical User Interface) applications and multimedia content. The value of creating a web-based software that works and gives the user a similar experience to a computer-based software program is growing in the Web 2.0 paradigm.” Travis Steven

Example of  User experience :

pixlr

Pixlr is a perfect example to show rich user experience paradigm of Web 2.0 in action. It is a popular, free online photo editor that enables fixing, editing, adjusting, filtering of your images online without the fuss of creating an account or registering with the site. It allows you to get right in and start editing your photos just like you would do on a desktop application like Photoshop etc. Pixlr is not just one application rather it is an online application suite, which includes the following applications:

Pixlr Editor 
Pixlr Express 
Pixlr-o-matic

 

Let us look some of the best practices Pixlr.com implements :

 

  • Combine the best of desktop & online experiences 

 

Pixlr undoubtedly provides the highest user engagement, fast performance and rich interactivity. It closes the gap between online and offline experience. Using Pixlr on your browser is no different to working on your desktop application like Photoshop or other photo editing applications. In addition Pixlr being an online application provides platform independent, ubiquitous access for multiple users around the world.

 

  • Usability and simplicity first

 

With Pixlr user does not need to create an account or register their details with the site. They can jump right in and start editing and fixing their photos or images as they like. And they can easily upload for editing and download the edited photos on to their local drive. Anyone who has used a desktop photo editing software like Photoshop would find Pixlr a piece of cake. And for those who haven’t they will find their way around without difficulty. It’s very simple and an excellent example of how a Web 2.0 application makes simplicity a strategic advantage.

 

  • Match the technology usage to the requirements

 

Pixlr employs a combination of technologies including Flash, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Ruby to deliver the rich and satisfying user experience that users are always looking for.

 

  • Search over structure

 

Pixlr being an online image editor tool does not require a search over content capability. However, Pixlr support, blog and documentation provides a search capability to enable users to quickly find help on some of the things they want to do in Pixlr editor.

 

  • Deep, adaptive personalization

 

Pixlr application provides a rich user experience but does not dynamically learn from user’s behavior or anticipates needs or remembers preferences, or adapts as appropriate.

        

Overview of web technologies employed by Pixlr :

Pixlr uses variety of web technologies to give its users the latest cutting edge rich user experience of online application. It uses Ruby as the server-side programming language, JavaScript as the client-side programming language. In addition it is built on Flash, JQuery, HTML, CSS. The image formats supported by Pixlr is JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) and PNG (Portable Network Graphics) both of which are most preferred compression method suitable for storing photographic images. 

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At the end, I encourage you to have a look at each one of  Pixlr applications to see how powerful they are. Also have a look at the Pixlr Blog to get a quick look into the endless possibilities that Pixlr provides to end-user both professionals and non-professionals with editing needs such as editing web images to be posted on social-media network like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Photobucket etc. Pixlr is also widely used by professionals all over the world for fixing images for news sites, blogs etc. 52a6b9fcce338b72de69fb6a53a17f68

Innovation in Assembly

YouTube API is an extremely effective method of Innovation in Assembly

We are part of the world, which is rapidly growing and advancing at an astronomical rate. And it is amazing to see that world wide web (www) is no way behind in the race. These days large technology companies are allowing business and personal users the opportunity to customize their own websites and contribute to the world like never before and this concept is basically known as Innovation in Assembly.

what is Innovation in Assembly ?

It is the concept where Web2.0 applications can be used as a platform to build on. This means that an organization can build or develop new innovative ideas by modifying or building upon the pre-existing ideas. For example, an organization wanting to start a development of an application need not start it from scratch when somebody else may have already done the hard work in development. All it has to do is to simply build upon the existing application, modify it to suit the individuals’ business needs.

Benefits of Innovation in Assembly :

The key benefits among the many that surrounds this platform strategy is allowing your business to get a more complete idea of how certain services are used and attached to other applications easily by using API.

What is API?

API is abbreviated for “Application Programming Interface” this is a process that is used to allow other developers to use the data and coding from one application on another.

 

YouTube is a perfect example of Innovation in Assembly:

youtube-logo

Being the largest online video community on the planet that allows users from all corners of the globe to share and watch videos of various natures, YouTube is a perfect example of Innovation in Assembly. You Tube allows contributors that range from teenagers to CEOs of a major organization and everyone in between them to not only upload their clips and share it with others, but to edit their video on their YouTube page.

YouTube API is an extremely effective method of Innovation in Assembly. It gives the ability to let you integrate YouTube video content and functionality into your website, software application, or devices seamlessly. By building on an already well-developed platform you harness the ability to control the YouTube player as well as how YouTube videos look on your site.

Costing $0 to use YouTube’s APIs, it is one of the easiest and most cost effective methods of using Innovation in Assembly to reach people. Additionally, there is always the added benefit of knowing that YouTube will continue to improve and add features as times goes on.

Below are some of Innovation in assembly best practices that You Tube had applied:

(1) Offer APIs to your service : YouTube offers an open API to develop a successful web platform. It enables uses and developers to create pages where videos are displayed on your pages.

(2) Design for remixability : YouTube allows for remixability by allowing users to embed their video on their own sites.

(3) Use Web 2.0 to support your platform : YouTube uses Web 2.0 to support users platform.

(4) Granular addressability of content : YouTube allows users to modify their videos on their YouTube Page.

(5) Use your platform to build customer trust and loyalty : YouTube has earned a tremendous popularity all over the world. There are many websites that are already using You Tube’s API

YouTube is a great website.. I can’t stop using it for entertainment and academic purpose.

Have you ever used YouTube to advise your business? Did you try making money out of uploading videos on youtube ?

Do you think Youtube useful to help you in your studying?

How can you use YouTube to improve yourself? 

References:

Data is the next “Intel Inside”

My second topic about  Data is the next Intel Inside which is the second of eight patterns as   defined by Tim O’Reilly. The name of this pattern come from the marketing campaign by Intel to make people conscious of their products and how inside of the computer brand is more   important than outside brand.

What does data is the next intel inside mean?

Well, we all know how important an Intel processor or microchip is to the overall functioning of a computer or an electronic device. Without a microchip the computer will not function and if the microchips were not powerful enough the whole computer would run slow. So just as microchips are essential to overall functioning of a computer similarly data is considered as important today and is therefore rightly compared to a microchip of any web 2.0 applications. Internet, as we all know, has become a very big part of our life. A computer without Internet is like a bulb without electricity. Today data lives on the web and the race now is all about who will own and control the data.

The computer and the operating system don’t matter nearly as much as the browser. The functionality and the data all live out on the Web, and the real race now is about who will own and control that data. (Mark Oehlert, 2008)

Example of data is the next intel inside:

E-commerce websites are good examples for illustrating the pattern of “data is the next Intel inside for web 2.0 application”. In any ecommerce site data plays a very important role. There are hundreds of E-commerce websites out there like Amazon, E-Bay etc. And I have particularly chosen ETSY.com because personally I love shopping and am always looking for vintage jewellery, clothing and home accessories. You may wonder why is the website called ETSY.com? What does ETSY mean? Even I’ve wondered about it until I came to know that etsy in Italian means ‘oh yes’. The founder wanted to name the website to something that was not overly complicated and easy to remember and he wanted to build such a brand name right from scratch. 

etsy-logoETSY LOGO

So what is http://www.etsy.com :

ETSY.com is an ecommerce website that focuses on selling vintage products. Products that is old and ancient (at least 20 years or more). Such products include handmade items, art and craft supplies etc. The website sells clothing, food, toys, art, photographs, jewellery, bath, beauty products etc. ETSY.com get its inspiration from the tradition of open art & craft stalls and fairs where the seller has his personal storefront where he displays and sells his goods.  

How does ETSY.com works? :

ETSY.com provides a common ground where both buyers and sellers get the opportunity to buy and sell vintage products. Products that is old and unique.

Sellers:

Before a seller can start selling vintage products he has to first of all register with the website, create a free account and give a unique name to his virtual store. Once the account is setup the seller can upload the product details along with photos and videos. Every upload of the product in the electronic shop cost $0.20cents and the product remain advertised for a maximum of four months on the shop’s page or until someone buys the product, whichever comes first. The sellers puts a price tag on the product as he likes and ETSY.com charges 3.5% of the sale price for each products sold on the website. 

Buyers:

Buyers also have to register with the website and create a free account. There is a search facility on the website to allow buyers to search for products they are interested in and based on the user feedback and customer reviews of a particular shop, buyers can make a sound decision of whether to exact the transaction or not. Products are also categorised to help buyers easily find what they are looking for.

Let us see what best practices ETSY.com has applied :

  • Unique, hard to recreate source of data:

Individual sellers create data related to each product. Since these products are handmade and vintage more than 20 years, hence this information is unique and hard to recreate sources of data.

  • Enhance core data:

Etsy.com allows sellers to enhance core data by allowing them to edit their shop and product details. It also allows the purchasers to comment and give feedback on the products they have purchased based on which sellers can improve their products and services.

  • Users control their own data:

Etsy.com members can upload and edit product descriptions and the purchasers can write feedback and rate the the transaction.  Users can choose to provide the full name and other personal information such as   gender, location to be publicly displayed.

  • Make some rights reserved, but not all:

Etsy users may review and change the information in their account and they can remove certain optional pieces of information. As well as, they can disable cookies in their web browse.             Etsy copyright page

  • Define a data strategy:

Etsy primary strategy as i mention above hold shop owner data, store it four months on the shop’s page , or until someone buys the items . In addition, if the costumers want leave feedback they have 120 days before the ability of  to leave feedback expired.

  • Own the index, namespace, or format:

Etsy.com does not own the data but it owns the namespace, index and domain. Members of Etsy.com own the data. Etsy.com earns by charging a percentage of commission on every product sold on their website. This allows Etsy.com to function without owning the data.However, Etsy  will not sell or disclose users personal information without their permitting, except as specified in our Privacy Policy.

  • Design data for reuse:

Since Etsy.com is an ecommerce website there is no capability of design data for reuse.

  • Outsource or supply data access management:

Members can access their data by their unique user name and password..

At the end, as said by O’Reilly in an interviewfuture is about data, not software algorithms.

That’s a couple of advises might helps you if you wanna be a seller in this website:

In this website I’ve found all what I’m looking for and more , it has every thing and it’ll suit with all tastes because it have a sellers from all around the world .. I hope you’ll fall in love with it as I did..

Have ever try selling or buying something from etsy ?
How would you rate it from 1 to 10 ?
Do you know a similar website ?

Harnessing collective intelligence

Goodreads: harnessing collective intelligence

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What does collective intelligence mean? 

Groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent.” 

                                                                                              Thomas W. Malone

History of Collective intelligence:

Collective intelligence is not a new concept rather it has existed since the beginning of human kind. Families, countries, companies, armies, social groups, communities of various kinds are just a few examples of collective intelligence working together as a group in order to achieve collective intelligent goals. 

However, with the advent of computers a new type of collective intelligence has emerged over the last decade or so where groups of individuals through computer systems are linked together using Internet networking technologies and protocols in a way that allows them to harness collective intelligence of groups and individuals in various distinctive ways. Harnessing collective intelligence essentially means that a group of people is able to share their knowledge, expertise and opinions with others. They can connect, communicate and collaborate with others through online applications like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Wikipedia, Online games and so on.

Now that we have explained what is collective intelligence and how it can be used. Let us look at a real life example of such an online application that demonstrates harnessing of collective intelligence in action. There are many online applications that utilize this concept but for the purpose of this blog I have chosen Goodreads.com as an example.

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What is Goodreads?

Recently I ran into a friend at a shopping center and during our conversation she started telling me about this great new book that she was reading. Hearing her description I felt excited and I said to myself “I must definitely read this book. It should be the next book on my ‘to read’ list”. But unfortunately by the time I reached home not only I forgot the book name; I had also somehow lost the excitement. I am sure many of us would have had a similar experience. Well Goodreads.com is exactly addressing such issues. With Goodreads you won’t lose the excitement because all you have to do is simply add the book to your ”to-read” shelve. In addition Goodreads also allows users to recommend books, compare what they are reading with others, keep track of what they have read and would like to read, find their next favourite books and so on. It also allows users to form book clubs and much more.

How does it work ?

When people add books on Goodreads.com all their friends and followers can see their reviews and know what they thought of it. People are more likely to get excited about a book when their friends recommend it, rather than a stranger. Besides Goodreads help you find other books based on what fellow members with similar tastes have enjoyed reading. Ultimately, the members can also create trivia about books, lists the best books, post their own reviews and form groups and book clubs.

The benefits of Goodreads:

Personally this website has been a great inspiration for me to read more. I have always wanted to go and buy couple of novels but wasn’t sure at all what to choose from. Goodreads.com helped a lot. I could read my friends’ opinions on particular books that I was interested in buying and was therefore able to make a better decision on what I really wanted to read and if it was worth spending money on.

If you are into reading Goodreads.com is definitely worth checking it out. In our fast paced life we don’t want to spend time reading book for hours only to find out it was a total waste of time.

The drawbacks of Goodreads:

  •  Some members write negative review about books that maybe of an interest to you. So relying on other’s opinions can sometime make us lose on reading some of the books just because couple of the other readers didn’t like it.
  • Some opinions can contain some spoilers specially on the novels ends and that something I don’t want to know about it.

At the end I would leave you with an interview with Professor Thomas W. Malone about collective intelligence and I hope you enjoyed reading my post. I would be happy to know your thoughts on Goodreads? Also let me know your Goodreads account if you have one so we can check out each other’s favourite books share book names that we have read and liked.

 

 

References: