TagCamp this weekend

TagCamp (a BarCamp-like event focused on tagging and other types of user-generated content & structure) is happening in Palo Alto this weekend. Rashmi is going (though she apparently hasn’t decided what she’ll be presenting yet ;->). If you’re into tagging, this would be a good event to check out. The vibe at these “camps” (FooCamp, BarCamp, MindCamp, TechCrunchBBQ) is very high-energy, very DIY, much the way I imagine the early computer hobbyist meetings were in the 70s. In other words, A LOT cooler than a corporate conference, and free to boot! They are a lot of fun, and excellent places to meet like-minded individuals.

Blackjack Spreadsheet

I’m going to Vegas this weekend. Not really my favorite place, but this time I’m determined to actually try to have a good time. Therefore I will have to gamble. Blackjack seems fun, and at least has an element of skill, so I’m deep in study mode. The amount of preparation required is modest: three spreadsheets must be committed to memory. Fun! I feel like I’m back in third grade, learning my times tables again.

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Mullet Layout on Blogger.com?

Hojuin is trying to get a mullet layout working on blogger.com. (The mullet layout is explained in greater detail here , along with a movable type implementation). Lots more mullet articles are available for the curious. It’s basically an easy way to display radically more content on the front page of a blog.
I unfortunately know nothing about blogger.com templates, so I’m not in a position to help. If there’s anyone out there who knows how to hack on blogger.com, please give this guy a hand. The blogosphere will thank you for it!

ZDNet snafu: top 25 on-demand providers

Yesterday, I found an article on zdnet called “Top 25 on-demand providers”. The article did not live up to it’s title: in fact, it was remarkably content-free! A little digging turned up the backstory : after ZDNet published the story, the analysts that created the list asked ZDNet to remove the content.
Now ZDNet really shouldn’t be publishing content that they don’t have a license to. But they shouldn’t edit stories beyond recognition, either. If an articles main content must be removed, the best thing to do would be remove the article entirely, not castrate it beyond recognition. Thankfully, for those interested in the on-demand software space, there’s a google cache still available with the complete list. The list is also below. Enjoy! [via ken novak]

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Megatrend alert: Rich Clients, Web Services, and On Demand Software

The major trends in IT today reinforce each other in a powerful way. The two technology trends (Web Services and Rich Clients) are tailor-made for the new business-model trend (On Demand Software). The two technology trends also reinforce each each other, creating a self-reinforcing web of interactions that will accelerate once it gains momentum, and may not stop until it has absorbed most of the software world as we know it!

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Why will AJAX win?

AJAX Info writes about the network effects that are driving AJAX adoption in the enterprise and consumer space.
Programming languages in general benefit from network effects. To boil this down we could say that as more people use a particular language, the value derrived from using it increases exponentially. An example of this might be that as more people start using Ajax, more resources, information, and 3rd party components become available.
Another key point is that AJAX is a continuous, rather than a discontinuous technology. It builds on existing skillsets that web developers have in a way that some other technologies don’t.

Ajax offers something else too. It`s a way for web developers to leverage their current skill sets to achieve the first goal: build better applications. JavaScript and DHTML aren`t new, and more importantly: corporations are loath to acquiring 3rd party software components that use technologies their in house developers have no skills with. It doesn`t make business sense to jump into technologies that have rarified skill sets unless you have to because it`s expensive to be retraining your employees or outsourcing development work to specialized consultants.

He also presents a nice comparison of AJAX to some alternative rich client technologies. The upshot? Vendor Independence and Skill Set Transferrance are the major differentiators. Read the whole thing!

flash && AJAX: two great tastes that taste great together?

Alex Bosworth articulates a vision of what Flash is good for that matches what I’ve experienced. Specifically, Bosworth mentions video (one or two-way) / audio (one or two-way), combined with data sockets (“push” instead of “pull) making Flash a crucial component of next-generation web applications. Macromedia recognises this, and is working hard to make Flash and Javascript work and play well together.
Why don’t more people think of using Flash in this way? In a word, positioning. Bosworth writes: I do think there’s a very distracting red herring here, and that’s Flash’s rich user interface abilities. Every flash demo I’ve ever seen focuses on great looking shiny buttons that look like you took a slick win32 app and plopped it down in a browser window.