In my last post, I provided links to a lot of well-written criticism of the “tag cloud” / folksonomy approach to organizing content. Yet it’s pretty clear that tag-based folksonomies make it easier to find certain types of information.
Amit Ranjan (the head of Uzanto’s India operations) has a great post describing the Macromedia MAX conference in Delhi (a conference I went to last year).
The conference happened mere weeks before the announced merger with Adobe. His report gives insight into the spirit of Macromedia immediately pre-merger, describing a marketing/technical team with “a swagger in their walk”, feeling they have the potential to be the “Microsoft of the web”. Pride goes before the fall, boys!
Tagging (a la del.icio.us / flickr / technorati) is a clever newish technique for empowering users to organize digital content. But alas, in the world of blogging, and in the world of the west-coast tech elite, nothing is ever just a useful, good innovation. It’s always the “new new thing”, the game-changing paradigm that will eliminate all that comes before it.
Tagging jumped the shark with Clay Shirkeys overheated “ontologies are overrated” speech at ETech 2005, and since then a host of articles challenging the idea of tags as information nirvana have emerged like mushrooms after a rainstorm. Below are some choice excerpts from the backlash.
The crowd, as it always is at TIE events, was a mix. The usual Indian serial entrepreneurs, who have been in the game longer than you’ve been alive, hard-core fat-fingered desi supercapitalists who start a new company every year and could eat you for breakfast, were in attendance. White dudes from Sand Hill Road cruise the heavy hitters, looking for a fast, mutually beneficial transaction. Caught in the middle of this mating dance, herds of newbies trying to start their first company (or just trying to network their way into a better job) circle nervously, clutching their drinks and trying to make small-talk. Everyone has an agenda, something they want to sell or buy, a rumor they want to spread, something. Did I mention there was free booze and good Thai food? My kind of party.
A new web email client (with the unfortunate name of goowy) has just hit public beta. Regular readers of jonathanboutelle.com will know that this kind of thing is right up my alley. The movement of desktop applications to the web is one of the big trends in rich internet applications right now, and email clients are leading the way (think gmail, earthlink, and oddpost).
I am dumbfounded!
Adobe has a dry press release, Mike Chambers provides some thoughtful commentary, and Mark Cantor spews some bile on the proceedings. Om Malik and Genuine VC cover the business angle. Slashdotters and Metafites have various opinions, as usual. Ross Mayfield also has a nice summary.
Update (4/22/05): hilarious translation of the dry Adobe press release.
I have nothing useful to say about this, except that I’ve worked at companies going through complex buy-outs, acquisitions, mergers, etc: it’s ALWAYS a distraction, it always slows things down.
Xamlon has released to beta a new developer product (Xamlon Flash Edition) that will compile a .Net program down to a SWF runtime. Like most good ideas, it seems obvious only in retrospect. News stories , many blog postings, and even tutorials all seem pretty postitive so far. Most criticisms seem focussed on SWF as a deployment technology rather than Xamlon per se. The dubious buzzword AFLAX (AJAX with flash) is used to describe what is really a standard Flash application.