Sunday, December 25, 2005

The problem of too many and why it cannot continue

Assume I am reading a blog post on my favorite blog through a feed reader like Rojo and I see a link to an article which of interest to me, but I dont have the time to read it now. What all options do I have :
  1. Save it in my Firefox bookmarks folder. Im not going to do this since my laptop is not the only place where I browse the net from. Unless browsers get personalized and show me the same things wherever I browse from, Im not going to use any of these features. I have no clue why none of the current browsers have a login and personalize all the stuff for me. It has its own advantages for other things too.
  2. I can just flag the post in Rojo. I am increasingly using this feature, but I shouldnt be. Such feature s just lock you into using a particular tool and make it very difficult to move to a new tool however cooler or better it is. It just took me 2 minutes to move from Bloglines to Rojo by importing my feed subscriptions. I dont think Rojo is going to make it easy for me to export my flagged posts.
  3. I could use LookLater or ProtoPage. These are definitely very cool Ajax tools. But little more than that. But why would I use them if I have the option discussed next.
  4. I can use Y! Web2.0. It has everything I need. Of course it has the lock-in problem too. But I think there are too many benefits in using Y!, that I dont mind getting locked up. First, I can use this tool from wherever I want. Second, I know Y! is not going to close down any time soon which might not be the case for many of the other tools. Third, most of the people in my community use Y! and I can share the pages with my community. Finally, Y! just offers me many other things, most importantlt better search results, which can be used in unison. The final one is most important and forms the basis of my argument.
So, what I am saying is that all these small players who come up with small 'cool' tools in the Web 2.0 scheme of things, have little chances of surviving because by nature Web 2.0 is more of working together with other stuff seemlessly and the bigger players will always be able to do this better. The smaller players will have to die or sell out to bigger ones to be more useful to people.

Of course, it might also be time for a protocol to seemlessly integrate all these small tools. But such a thing could be a serious threat to the likes of Y! and Google.


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