Tim O’Reilly discusses web 2.0 and cloud computing

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison tells customers that ...

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Over the last few months I’ve been asked, a lot, by some smart folks on how web 2.0 and cloud computing are defined, and what their impact will be on technology as a whole.  Since both terms are used very loosely, and often times by marketers who aren’t knowledgeable in either field, web 2.0 and cloud computing have somehow melded into one concept for many people.  This, however, is not the right way to look at things.  In a recent email to a friend I put forth my thoughts on the matter, and was busy recrafting a post from that email until I read Tim O’Reilly’s post this evening.  As expected, his definitions are much better than mine.  He also goes on to develop a case for the future impact of both concepts for the technology industry:

Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing – O’Reilly Radar

I believe strongly that open source and open internet standards are doing the same [migrating the point of profit] to traditional software. And value is migrating to a new kind of layer, which we now call Web 2.0, which consists of applications driven not just by software but by network-effects databases driven by explicit or implicit user contribution.
So when Larry Ellison says that cloud computing and open source won’t produce many hugely profitable companies, he’s right, but only if you look at the pure software layer. This is a lot like saying that the PC wouldn’t produce many hugely profitable companies, and looking only at hardware vendors! First Microsoft, and now Google give the lie to Ellison’s analysis. The big winners are those who best grasp the rules of the new platform.So here’s the real trick: cloud computing is real. Everything is moving into the cloud, in whole or in part. The utility layer of cloud computing will be just that, a utility, without outsized profits.

But the cloud platform, like the software platform before it, has new rules for competitive advantage. And chief among those advantages are those that we’ve identified as “Web 2.0”, the design of systems that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.

Read the whole post, it’s worthwhile.

Evernote Beta invites available

I’ve been meaning to write about Evernote’s relaunch, but have been too busy with other things of late. Anyway, if you want to see what Evernote is all about, the best place to go is Warner Crocker’s excellent InkShow over at gottabemobile.com.

I’ve used Evernote, on and off, on the Windows Tablet PC platform and found it to be quite useful. Well the guys at Evernote have totally redone the computer version of the product for Windows, added a Mac version, and built a really nice web version as well. The beauty of this note taking, image capturing platform is that all these instances can be synchronized…and accessed online.

Watch Warner’s InkShow to get a better handle on what Everote can do, or leave a comment here and I’ll send you an invitation to the beta. I have a limited number of invitations, so it’s first come first served.

MindMeister makes connecting to the cloud even easier

image In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the online Mindmapping tool MindMeister. The developer continues to update his product, recently adding Google Gears capability – allowing MindMeister to be taken offline – among other things. The most recent developments are tied to extending access via widgets. This is really cool:

So, we’ve taken that feedback very seriously and now are proud to give you not one, not two – but three new versions of Geistesblitz, for Yahoo! Widgets, iGoogle and the iPhone. We hope this will make everybody happy!

Read more about it here.

I especially like the ability to send quick thoughts to a default mindmap via my iGoogle home page. I continue to use mindmapping to churn through ideas and concepts that need further development, and now I can quickly send snippets to MindMeister without having to log in and add a node. It is certainly getting easier and easier to function on the cloud.