Categories: Web 2.0

Apres Mint, Intuit Must Freshen its Brands

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on September 16

Now that it’s bought Mint.com to spruce up its personal finance software, Intuit needs to protect a place in the market for its aging Quicken brand. It’s got to do…

President Obama Conducts Online Town Hall

Posted by: Olga Kharif on March 26

On March 26, President Barack Obama conducted his first online town hall. Some 92,933 Internet users submitted 104,076 questions via White House’s Web site, and the president answered several questions that were voted most popular. “One of my priorities as president is opening up the White House to the American people,” Obama said in a short video encouraging people to submit questions. The online town hall was the first experiment of this kind for a U.S. president.

Marc Andreessen-Backed kaChing Joins Social Investing Fray with New API

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 11

Several years ago, I wrote a story about online people power that mentioned an interesting company called Marketocracy. The company lets people set up model portfolios of stocks to see…

Founder Reid Hoffman Replaces Dan Nye as LinkedIn CEO

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 17

Less than two years after Dan Nye joined LinkedIn as CEO, he’s leaving in mid-January. He will be replaced by Reid Hoffman (pictured), angel investor extraordinaire and cofounder, chairman, and…

Mahalo Debuts Answers Service

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 15

If there’s one overarching reason people love the Internet, it’s to find answers to questions. That’s why Google has been so successful. But for years, various companies have tried to…

Facebook Announces Top Applications

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 09

Facebook has just announced the first five winners of $225,000 each in cash grants from the $10 million fbFund. The list was narrowed down from a list of 25 finalists…

LIVE: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at Web 2.0 Summit

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 06

Mark Zuckerberg, the still impossibly young CEO of social network phenom Facebook, is onstage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, interviewed by conference leader John Battelle. Here’s what…

Election Day Plays Out on the Social Web

Posted by: Olga Kharif on November 03

Social media revolutionized the way campaigns were carried out online. How will the new, user-generated Web cover — and influence — Election Day? BusinessWeek bloggers will be monitoring the gamut of social sites and blogs throughout the day to provide a roundup of how Nov. 4 plays out online.

Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists Gather to Figure Out What the Heck Happened

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 29

… and what comes next. Crowded into a small meeting room in a Silicon Valley hotel this morning is an overflow gathering of entrepreneurs at VentureBeat’s Downturn Roundtable. They’re here,…

Facebook in a Suit: LinkedIn Launches Applications Platform

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28

More than a year after Facebook electrified the Web community with a platform for running applications on top of the social network, LinkedIn is announcing its own platform. And…

For Web 2.0 Startups, What’s Next Beyond Ads?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23

If online advertising is headed for a fall, as many people are assuming, what are all those hundreds of Web 2.0 startups doing to contend with the possible loss of…

Is That the Sound of the Silicon Valley Web 2.0 Bubble Bursting?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 09

Om Malik at GigaOM has the news of a grim meeting that leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital held yesterday for its portfolio firms. The CEOs were greeted…

Socialtext 3.0: Will Wikis Finally Find Their Place in Business?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 30

For years, Socialtext has helped pioneer the use of wikis, or group-editable Web pages a la Wikipedia, inside companies. Today, it’s launching Socialtext 3.0, a collection of three applications built…

Will Digg Use New Funding to Get People Like Me Interested Again?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24

After months and months of rumors that it would get acquired, the collaborative news site Digg has apparently dug in for the long haul and raised a third round of…

Google’s Sergey, Larry and Eric Talk Yahoo, Energy, Android, and Floating Data Centers

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17

A week after Yahoo executives defended their controversial search advertising deal with Google, the search giant joined the fray today with its own rationale. The deal, announced in mid-June, faces…

TechCrunch50 Gets Underway

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 08

Despite purposely scheduling at the same time as the venerable Demo conference in San Diego, the TechCrunch50 startup conference is packed with an overflow crowd in San Francisco. The show,…

YouNoodle Says It Knows The Value Of Your Start-Up

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on August 07

Hi Guys, My colleague Jay Yarow wrote this post about YouNoodle. On Tuesday, Weplay, a social networking start-up aimed at young athletes, announced that it closed an $8.6 million round…

Scrabulous Now Wordscraper, Hasbro Still Suing

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on July 31

Call it bizarro Scrabble. The sibling duo behind Scrabulous, the online Scrabble knockoff that became a smash on Facebook during the past year, has reinvented their game as Wordscraper. Like…

BT Grabs Ribbit; Meanwhile, What’s Up With GrandCentral?

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on July 29

I’m catching up to the news, as reported on TechCrunch that BT has acquired the phone/software startup Ribitt for $105 million. I first ran across Ribbit at the DEMO 2008…

Open Open Open

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on July 21

First Facebook opened its gates to outside developers. Then MySpace and Yahoo turned over the keys to their kingdoms in hopes that third parties would build cool programs for their…

iLike: a model for the recording industry

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on July 21

Ali and Hadi Partovi, the sibling duo behind iLike, know something about creating a successful Web company. The twin brothers both sold their startups, LinkExchange and TellMe, to Microsoft for…

Reddit Goes Open Source

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on June 18

I chatted today with Steve Huffman, co-founder of social news site reddit, about his company’s decision to publish the code to its site. What makes reddit’s move interesting isn’t its…

Are VCs done with Web 2.0 Startups—Or the Other Way Around?

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 19

The latest numbers from Dow Jones VentureSource seem to confirm that venture funding of Web 2.0 startups is slowing down and perhaps has even peaked. VCs put a record $1.34…

Will Online Advertising Finally Take a Hit Now?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 11

So far, online advertising doesn’t seem to have been hit in the economic troubles growing out of the credit crunch, and forecasters are looking for 25%-plus growth this year. But…

Web 2.Uh-Oh?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 18

Fred Wilson, a VC who has sometimes thrown cold water on the notion that there’s a new bubble in Web investment, is now getting worried that a downturn is coming…

All Is Well Again in Startup Land…

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 28

… now that Mike Arrington is no longer burned out. This from Mike’s Facebook feed today:…

Edgeio’s New Model for Paid Content

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 10

Edgeio, a site that aggregates classified listings across the Internet, today is introducing a new way for content creators to sell their digital wares—and for publishers to distribute it and…

Microsoft In, Google Out for Ads on Digg

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 25

Kevin Rose at Digg is saying the popular user-driven news site has just signed a three-year exclusive ad deal with Microsoft. Bye-bye Google. Don’t think it will hurt Google’s bottom…

Google Gears Up to Take Web Services Beyond the Web

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 30

Google just can’t seem to resist baiting the 800-pound gorilla in Redmond. With Google Gears, just announced minutes ago, it’s providing Web developers a way to take their online services…

Digg Users Revolt. Web 2.0’s Moment of Truth?

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 02

So a user on Digg posted an item that contained a code to hack HD-DVDs, and all hell broke loose. The folks who run Digg—er, I mean, the executives,…

iGoogle: It’s Your Google

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 30

Google has offered a personalized home page since 2005, but tonight it’s getting a major revamp. For one, it’s getting an uncharacteristically catchy new name, iGoogle. But the most…

Google Completes Office Suite with PowerPoint Product

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 17

Google CEO Eric Schmidt used his brief appearance at the Web 2.0 Expo today to announce the company this summer would add a PowerPoint editing tool to Google Apps, its…

Help with a story

Posted by: Steve Hamm on March 29

Hey! I need help finding powerful examples of corporations trying to capitalize on the social networking/Web 2.0 craze in really icky and obnoxious ways. Please send your nominees to me…

Web 2.0 Is So 2006

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 20

Peter Rip at Crosslink Partners wonders if Web 2.0 has run its course. Or at least the popular buzz about it. He writes: The apogee of this Web 2.0 hit…

Divvio: Not your average Web 2.0 start-up

Posted by: Peter Burrows on March 09

Eslambolchi is about as far from the “grad student with lots of friends that like his cool idea” as it is possible to be.

Marketocracy + Foliofn: Power of the People’s Portfolios

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 19

It’s one thing to trust your restaurant reviews and technology news to the Web 2.0 masses at the likes of Yelp and Digg. Are you willing to trust your investments…

Virtual Consulting on the Rise

Posted by: Olga Kharif on February 06

We all hire coaches, career counselors and speech instructors to get ahead in real life. Now, it appears, people are hiring consultants to help their virtual personalities to get ahead in virtual worlds like Warcraft and Second Life.

Digg’s Dicey Decision

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 02

Digg President Kevin Rose explains his controversial decision to remove from the use-powered news site the list of the top “diggers” to reduce spam and discourage people who try…

It’s a Tag, Tag, Tag Tag World

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 31

An amazing new stat from the Pew Internet & American Life Project: 28% of Internet users say they’ve tagged or categorized content such as photos or blog posts. I’ve always…

Make or Break for Web 2.0 Startups

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 29

My colleague Heather Green points out in a new story something I’ve always wondered when I hear how cheap it is to start a Web company today: If it’s so…

What Happens to a Story on Digg

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 19

The franticindustries blog has a detailed explanation of what happens to a story once it gets posted on Digg. What an interesting path it can take. I can still see…

How to Lose Your Shirt in Second Life

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 11

Magnus Rothlisberger, a resident of Second Life, describes in the Second Life Herald how he lost the equivalent of $1,153 on blackjack tables in the virtual world. It’s hilarious…

Shoveling on Digg

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 25

As much as I like the idea of Digg—a site where a community chooses the most interesting or relevant news—I must confess that I just don’t use it that much….

Web 2.huh?

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 13

The survey service Zoomerang says 79% of marketers aren’t even aware of the term Web 2.0. On the other hand, some clearly do, judging from a definition offered by one…

Google Gobbles JotSpot

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 31

Search giant Google has bought yet another hot startup that had hoped to be one of the next big things (and no doubt still does). JotSpot, the company started three…

Is Digg For Sale?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 25

Well, I guess anyone is for sale at the right price, but TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington says several sources tell him the people-driven news site has been talking to a number…

Pimp Your Google Search

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 24

Google on Tuesday will announce a way to customize your Google searches through a new feature called Google Co-op: Build and customize your own search engine * Specify the…

The Dirt on Techdirt’s New Blogger Community

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 11

I’ve always liked the sharp, pithy analysis of current tech issues on the Techdirt blog, but it turns out that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the Belmont (Calif.)-based…

GooTube for Real

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 09

Not surprisingly, Google has indeed bought video sharing phenom YouTube. Although a lot of people, like Mark Cuban, thought it was a bad idea, the deal’s done. It is quite…

GooTube? I Wouldn’t Be Surprised By Anything These Days

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06

Big talk today is whether Google will buy the Web video phenom YouTube. On the heels of Mike Arrington’s rumor that Google might buy YouTube, the Journal has someone else…

Handy Web 2.0 Exit Strategy Badges

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 29

Marco Rosella at Central Scrutinizer has some helpful badge designs for Web 2.0 startups, which should be especially handy at the upcoming Web 2.0 Conference. There are four escalating message…

New Online Ad Model at Techmeme

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 25

The popular tech news aggregator Techmeme just debuted a new advertising/sponsorship model that looks pretty interesting to a lot of folks besides me. Founder Gabe Rivera explains: There’s a…

New Yahoo Mail: Wish I Liked It Better

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 14

Even more, I wish I could get to it. I was overjoyed a few weeks ago when I was accepted as a beta user on Yahoo’s new email service, which…

Got Sisu?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 05

The social gaming site Bunchball just got venture funding, so it’s hiring—as long as you have sisu. I had to follow the company’s link to the Wikipedia entry to figure…

Web 2.0 Ads: Another Sign of a Bubble?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 05

I wish Om Malik the best with his new tech news gig, and I bet he’ll find (or keep, I should say) a sizable audience. But I think even he…

Wikipedia: Maybe It’s Democratic After All

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 04

Lately, some skeptical folks, notably Nick Carr, have been wondering how democratic a process Wikipedia really has. Even founder Jimmy Wales has noted that a very small number of people…

Google Vs. Microsoft, For Real

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 27

So Google’s moving forcefully at last into the business software market, at least in a test version. Google Apps for Your Domain, will let small businesses, nonprofits, and universities use,…

The Real Web 2.0 Bubble

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 21

John Battelle, riffing off a Paul Kedrosky post, puts his finger on the problem with the proliferation of Web 2.0 companies. A lot of folks insist it’s not a bubble…

What’s Up, Mike? A Brief Talk with TechCrunch’s Editor

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 11

Mike Arrington’s new CrunchGear blog won’t be the end of his ambitions. Mike told me he’s planning two more blogs in the next month, starting with gaming, probably by acquisition….

Munch, Munch, More Crunch: Now It’s CrunchGear

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 10

TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington has sure been busy. Tonight he debuted yet another site, CrunchGear, a new gadget blog headed by former Gizmodo editor John Biggs. As Mike describes it: Expect…

My$pace

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 08

Suddenly, MySpace has a $900 million deal with Google that dwarfs the $580 million News Corp. paid for it. Is there now any doubt that social networks can make money?…

The Meaning of “Made”

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 08

Hoo boy. Lots of people have lots of issues with BusinessWeek’s current cover story on Digg’s Kevin Rose. What seemed to set off folks such as Scott Rosenberg most of…

CrunchBoard: Jobs in the New Web

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 03

There’s a new kid on the crowded job board walk. As TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington tells it: A good percentage of emails coming to me every day are from people asking…

37Signals, 1 Big New Investor: Jeff Bezos

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 20

37signals, the little-software-outfit-that-could and prolific producer of popular collaborative services such as Basecamp and Backpack, has its first venture investor: Bezos Expeditions, the personal investing firm of Amazon.com founder and…

Best Web 2.0 Definition Yet

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 18

Paul Kedrosky, who’s becoming one of my don’t-miss bloggers, has the best definition I’ve yet seen of the vaporous term Web 2.0. After reading James Fallows’ recent Web 2.0 article…

YouTube: 100 Million Videos a Day

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 14

Back in March at PC Forum, when someone from YouTube stepped up at a session and mentioned that the video service was streaming 30 million videos a day, I thought…

Fighting Attention Deficit with Engagement

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 14

Heather Green and I just published a story, with the help of colleagues Stanley Holmes and Kerry Capell, on how some companies are managing to fight media attention deficit disorder….

A Billion for Bebo? Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 11

Mike Arrington at TechCrunch says the social-networking service Bebo has turned down a $550 million buyout offer—not far off from what News Corp. paid for MySpace. Bebo’s asking price: north…

Digg It Monday

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 23

As we first noted a couple of weeks ago, the collaborative tech news site Digg would soon be branching out into more general news. TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington has the skinny…

The Death of Ads?

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 22

Two of the biggest marketers in the world showed up at the Supernova conference in San Francisco today and sounded more like Web 2.0 zealots than brand giants. Michael Wiley,…

eBay Dives into Web 2.0

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 14

eBay, arguably the original Web 2.0 company, is sure latching onto the newfangled 2.0 stuff. Today, it announced eBay Wiki, with service hosted by JotSpot. It’s intended to allow members…

Baynote: The Search Beat Goes On

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 13

Lots of people assume Google will be the last word in search, but I think it’s kind of early to assume that. One more sign that search ain’t over yet…

Digg This: Soon, Not Just for Geeks Anymore

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 11

Digg, the collaborative tech news site, will soon branch out beyond geekdom. At a Web 2.0 panel at the eBay Developers Conference today, President Kevin Rose said that in the…

The Next Big Thing: Spreadsheets?

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 09

What is it about spreadsheets these days? JotSpot recently released a way of creating online spreadsheets that can be shared, called Tracker. Then Google announces one this week. Now, the…

Web 2.0 Goes Corporate

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 05

Yes, Web 2.0 has become a marketing buzzword for “anything that’s cool,” as venture capitalist Peter Rip puts it. But even as the term itself may be losing its meaning,…

“Reality Television of the Internet”

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 15

That’s what Jon Gibs of Nielsen//NetRatings calls social-networking sites, which the market research firm today says attracted almost half of all Web users—led by MySpace, of course. There are certainly…

TechCrunch Goes Green

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 12

Mike Arrington’s well-read TechCrunch blog has a new look, as he announces on one of his other blogs, CrunchNotes. Many of the commenters there aren’t so sure about the…

Bubble or No Bubble?

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 12

My colleagues Justin Hibbard and Heather Green examine not only the overriding question in Silicon Valley—are we in a mini-bubble, at least in Web startups?—but how that’s coloring the way…

The Next Social Networks Won’t Look Like MySpace

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 24

So says Marc Pincus, who knows something about social networks from his time at Tribe Networks. Marc wonders if the current online social networks will survive their members, well, growing…

Backfence Buys Bayosphere

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 17

Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere citizen media project, the San Francisco Bay Area citizen media site that my colleague Heather Green wrote about a couple months ago, is being acquired by Backfence.com—which…

Death to “User-Generated Content”?

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 05

Derek Powazek calls for a death sentence on the term “user-generated content,” which I also think is an ugly term. As Derek puts it: They’re words that creepy marketeers use….

Hey YouOS!

Posted by: Steve Hamm on March 31

Where do people get the nerve to do things like this? YouOS, a four-person startup in Silicon Valley, has just debuted a beta of their technology, which they call a…

“Tom Is Not My Friend”

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 30

Poor Tom Anderson, the cofounder of MySpace. (Well, not really poor, having sold to News Corp. last year for $580 million, but anyway.) It seems the most popular T-shirt…

What Will Google Use $2 Billion For?

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 29

As if it doesn’t already mint money, Google’s raising $2.1 billion more in a new offering. You sure don’t need this kind of money to develop Web services, do you?…

Edgeio’s New Blog Platform

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 24

When Edgeio soft-launched a few weeks ago, it got a lot of deserved attention for its novel idea of vacuuming up classified-ad listings logically tagged “listing” on millions of blogs…

Omidyar Network Pays Attention

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 17

I’m trying to get educated on the concept that our attention online is a valuable commodity that we can and should be able to take control of—even get compensated for…

New Addition to the Memeorandum Family: Group Gossip

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 17

Missed this a couple days ago, but if you love celebrity gossip, check out WeSmirch.com, described as an “automatic dirt digger.” It’s not exactly my thing, but Memeorandum founder…

If Selling Out to Google Isn’t a Good Business Model…

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 09

… why does it seem to work so well? The latest to get scooped up: Web-based word processing startup Writely. I agree with the many folks who worry that there…

Out in the Ether?

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 02

First flagged by TechCrunch, Ether has just launched as a sort of eBay for services. You can sign up, get an Internet phone number, and start offering your expertise over…

Edgeio Launches

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 27

Edgeio, the new classified-ad service of entrepreneurs and bloggers Keith Teare and Mike Arrington, has just launched publicly. Here’s how it works, but essentially, the site vacuums up items tagged…

One Person’s Garbage…

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 20

… is another person’s treasure, or at least maybe something to sell on eBay. GarbageScout is a new site, still in early test mode, lets you post useful items…

Web Mashups: Parlor Tricks or Real Businesses?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 17

VC Peter Rip loves Web mashups, but he wonders if too many of them will find it difficult to transform themselves from cool combinations of sites to sustainable businesses. It’s…

Edgeio Edges Toward Launch—and a Clash with E-Commerce Giants?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 09

Edgeio, the much-anticipated, secretive startup by onetime RealNames founder Keith Teare and TechCrunch blogger Mike Arrington, suddenly isn’t so secret anymore. Although its “official” launch is weeks away, possibly Feb….

Social Lending Marketplace Prosper Launches

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 05

Mike Arrington has the news: Prosper (formerly known as CircleOne), founded by E-Loan cofounder Chris Larsen, has launched—very softly. According to the site: People who need money request it, and…

Does Paying Attention Cost Too Much?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 30

Over at Bokardo, folks are trying to figure out how to deal with information overload, especially RSS feed overload, a problem a lot of us have been running into. It’s…

Amazon Expands Tagging

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 27

After first quietly experimenting with tags back in November, Amazon lately has added a couple of interesting new wrinkles. In some listings, you can also view what other tags customers…

Mea Culpa on Ning

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 26

I’ve been trying hard with this blog to tap into online conversations instead of simply posting my own views, and that often means weighing in on controversial posts by other…

Why Spot Runner May Be Revolutionary

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 24

I like Umair Haque’s take on the real reason why Spot Runner is revolutionary—or could be. This is the new outfit, still in beta, that lets local businesses buy generic…

Dan Gillmor: The Rough Road to Citizen Journalism

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 24

Dan Gillmor finally offers an explanation of what’s happening (or, more lamentably, not happening) at his citizen journalism venture, Bayosphere. He’s got a raft of reasons why the site hasn’t…

The Identity Conundrum

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 23

Dion Hinchcliffe has a thoughtful post about how better systems for establishing identity online may help avoid some of the recent conflagrations that have erupted, such as furor over the…

What’s Wrong At Marc Andreessen’s Ning?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 20

Just about everything, in Mike Arrington’s opinion. The online service for creating customized social applications out of other Web services—do-it-yourself mashups, in other words—launched only last October by the Netscape…

Has the Web 2.0 Crash Arrived?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 18

Steve Rubel thinks so, based on the severe reaction to Yahoo’s earnings miss on Tuesday. Much as I see a lot of signs of a bubble, I think it’s a…

Mash-up Heaven

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 18

Mash-ups of multiple Web sites are among the coolest things online today. But how to keep up? With Mashupfeed, of course, where you can subscribe to a feed of the…

The Gather-ing Storm

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 16

Yikes, I guess the hype about Web 2.0 is starting to reverse course. Just as the new blogger network Gather gets $6 million more in venture funding, bloggers are falling…

The Future of Media: Microchunks or Brands?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 12

VC Fred Wilson and serial entrepreneur Mark Pincus are debating what the next era of media will be. Fred think it’s RSS-style microchunks of content that carry ads and are…

News Flash! Yahoo!’s Newest Acquisition! ;-)

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 11

Greg Yardley has the scoop on Yahoo!’s latest acquisition. From the lede: Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YAHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced the acquisition of an unnamed Web 2.0 company…

IM + Mobile + Publishing = … Something Big

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 02

Now here’s a use for instant messaging that may finally get me to use it on my cell phone. (As you can probably tell from my photo, I’m old enough…

Wink: People-Powered Search

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 22

The new “people-powered search engine,” Wink, has just launched its public beta. In CEO Michael Tanne’s own words: Wink is a different kind of search engine - one that searches…

News Rating Service Readying Pilot Launch

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 19

I just got a sample survey from NewsTrust that indicates the news rating service will launch a pilot site in January. The group, headed by Fabrice Florin, claims test results…

Tiny Bubbles…

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 17

Mike Arrington also wonders if there’s a bubble brewing after all in the land of Web 2.0. His latest red flag is stupid parties: “I was invited, and drove 25…

Yahoo! Eats Del.icio.us

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 09

Heather Green at Blogspotting has the news, along with TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington: Yahoo’s buying the tagging site del.icio.us. Between the acquisitions of del.icio.us and Flickr, Yahoo clearly is embracing tagging,…

Why I Don’t Use a Calendar

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 07

An online calendar like Outlook, that is. Actually, I use a bunch of calendars, but all paper. Don’t look at me like that. After attending the When 2.0 workshop yesterday…

Mash Up The News

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 25

Jeff Jarvis notes a very interesting experiment at the Washington Post: Post Remix. If you’ve got a little technical flair, you can use the Post’s RSS feeds to create…

Wikizon

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 22

Amazon.com doesn’t blab about it much, but it clearly gets the Web 2.0 Power of Us participatory thing. For years, it has had customer book reviews, customer-produced product lists called…

Diggdot.us: A Little Relief for Web Overload

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 21

I’ve been getting swamped by feed overload for months now. An hour or two out of my day, and while I’m getting a heck of an education, I’m kinda running…

Google Base Goes Live

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 16

As of tonight, the much-anticipated Google Base is live. Having just landed home from a conference, I haven’t had time to try it out, so for now, I’ll have to…

Meet The Web Smart 50

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 10

OK, so Google’s great and Flickr’s fine and Amazon’s amazin’. But check out our new special report, The Web Smart 50, and you’ll see that a lot of action…

Are Online Reputations Portable?

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 10

For years, both sellers and buyers on eBay have bellyached about not being able to carry their reputations—the feedback ratings they get from each other on their transactions—to other sites….

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 04

Amazon.com is quietly testing another interesting innovation, this time tapping into the Power of Us. The cheeky geeks there call it the Mechanical Turk, after an 18th century hoax, a…

Feed Editors? Um, Yeah, They’re Called Magazines

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 02

Mark Pincus has another take on Fred Wilson’s post on the coming attention crisis he sees in countless new RSS feeds and Web services, which I blogged about a few…

Microsoft: 1995 redux?

Posted by: Steve Hamm on November 01

Today’s San Francisco briefing by Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie bears an eerie resemblance to a fateful day almost exactly a decade ago: Dec. 7, 1995. That was the day…

Pay Attention!

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 01

… if you have time. Which you probably don’t. That’s the point of an insightful post by VC Fred Wilson, who fears that an attention crisis is looming. He already…

Russell Beattie’s Rant: Too Many Startups Built to Flip

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28

Yahoo’s Russell Beattie has an entertaining rant about the lack of innovation among too many Web 2.0 companies. He has plopped them all into categories, such as “Scrape Engines” and…

Should Flickr (And Lots of Other Web 2.0 Sites) Pay You?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 27

37Signals’ Jason Fried riffs off a post by SixApart’s Anil Dash, asking whether Flickr shouldn’t be sharing some of the ad revenue it gets. The photo-sharing site, now owned by…

No Web 2.0 Bubble? Hmmm….

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 25

A new survey of venture capital investment seems to show no incipient bubble in funding new consumer Internet companies, according to Reuters’ take. Well, let’s hope so. But it’s still…

New on Flickr: Camera-Tossing

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 14

Check out the newest craze on Flickr: camera-tossing. Amazing photos, all taken by opening the shutter in low light and tossing the camera in the air. Of course, if…

Pimp Your Browser

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 13

I’ve been trying out a lot of Firefox extensions to customize my browser. But I’m not sure I’m ready for Pimpzilla. Inspired by “the blaxploitation pimps of the seventies,” it’s…

Google Debuts RSS Reader

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 07

Jason Shellen of Google Labs is demonstrating the latest of the search giant’s gazillion services at the Web 2.0 conference: Google Reader. I’m just trying it out for the first…

It’s a Blog Blog Blog Blog World

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06

Technorati’s Dave Sifry is presenting the latest stats on blogs at the Web 2.0 conference. Some interesting nuggets: The number of blogs is still doubling every five months, as it…

Terry Semel: Google’s No. 4

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06

In a conversation with John Battelle at Web 2.0 this morning, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel is spending almost as much time talking about a little rival named Google as he…

Where the Computer Revolution Hasn’t Even Started

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05

Bran Ferren of Applied Minds is ranting (justifiably) about the suckiness of computer interfaces. He contends that we’ve been in the “dark ages” of awkward keyboard-video display-mouse interfaces for too…

Barry Diller’s Dreams

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05

Web 2.0 conference coproducer John Battelle is asking IAC’s Barry Diller why he bought the search engine Ask. Diller paints it not as a defensive move but an offensive one….

Froth Central at Web 2.0?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05

It’s so crowded in the introductory workshops at the sold-out Web 2.0 conference today that people are getting turned away from the conference rooms. That’s only encouraging the networking and…

Get Ready for Flock

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05

Who’s crazy enough to create a new Web browser? The folks at Flock, apparently. No, you can’t try it out for another couple weeks unless you know some secret digerati…

Rollyo Own Search

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 04

Dave Pell stopped by today to tell me about his new venture, Rollyo. The four-month-old startup lets you “roll your own search engine” by choosing precisely which sites to search….

Chicagocrime.org Creator to Newspapers: Hire More Programmers

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 03

Editorandpublisher.com has a good interview with Adrian Holovaty, creator of the great Web mash-up Chicagocrime.org and now (get ready for a mouthful) editor of editorial innovations at the Washington Post.Newsweek…

A Mash-up Matrix

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 27

Via O’Reilly Radar, here’s a link to a new matrix of Web mash-ups. It’s a great guide to the programmable Web from (naturally) the programmableweb blog written by John Musser….

Learning to Work with Wikis

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 21

A few weeks ago, I suddenly realized I would need a better way to collaborate with BusinessWeek’s other writers and editors on our Best of the Web list than simply…

Best of the Web: The Results

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 18

I’ve been so busy getting the Best of the Web package done that I forgot to mention here that … it’s done! We got a great response on the reader…

What’s Up (or Down) at Freecycle?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 31

Check out these mostly critical comments on the Freecycle Network. That’s the widely praised Tucson-based group that helps people create local Web sites where they can give away and get…

Best of the Web: The Polls Are Still Open

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 31

Our Best of the Web reader survey seems to have struck a chord: Some 37,000 votes have been cast so far. You can cast your own here. And I sure…

Best of the Web, Part II: Check Out Our Survey

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 24

My little request for your picks for best sites and services on the Web—which has brought a wealth of great suggestions, in Comments below—has now morphed into a full-blown online…

Share Your Life on the Web

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 19

Want to tell the story of your life on the Web? I’d love to hear it. Why? In researching the best sites and services on the Web for an upcoming…

Web Overload?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 18

As I’ve been looking into what seems like an endless stream of new Web sites and services, I admit to feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been living on MyYahoo for years, easy…

Best of the Web: Your Picks?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 17

We’re starting work on an upcoming feature for the magazine, Best of the Web. As you might well imagine, it’s a heckuva task to zero in on the best among…

Hey Kids, There’s a Revolution in Retailing

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 16

Robert Scoble throws out an intriguing new vision of online retail following his recent visit with the folks at eBay’s developers program: “For instance, check out fatlens.com. That site sells…

A9.com Maps: Picture This

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 15

Just as maps are becoming one of the Web’s prime places for innovation to flower, Amazon.com’s A9.com is joining the fray. On Monday night—actually Monday afternoon, if you happened to…

Web 2.0: What’s in a Number?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 08

Tim Bray, Sun Microsystems’ director of Web technologies, hates the term Web 2.0, saying it’s vacuous marketing hype. It’s true that the term is pretty amorphous, and it has become…

The Flickr Snowball Effect

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 02

My colleague Heather Green over at Blogspotting alerts us to some new features at Flickr, acquired a few months ago by Yahoo!. John Battelle at Searchblog has an interesting name…

The Monkey’s Back

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 02

After a couple of weeks in the doghouse, a cleaned-up Greasemonkey has returned. Say what? That’s the free add-on to the Firefox browser that lets you add any of…

Sorry, Yahoo, I Give Up…

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 30

I wish I could stick with my trusty MyYahoo to look at all the RSS feeds I want to see, but it’s not to be. I’ve bumped up against the…

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Ballmer?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 28

At an analyst conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a choice comment. “We have won on the desktop,” he said according to this account at CNET News.com. “Now…

More Mash-ups with Google Maps

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 27

The mash-ups keep on comin’, and Google Maps is leading the way. O’Reilly Radar has a roundup, including one tracks the space shuttle. ApartmentRatings.com just let me know that…

Skype’s Ambitions

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 20

The Internet phone software phenom Skype revealed today that it has much bigger ambitions than helping people make calls for free. At AlwaysOn’s Innovation Summit at Stanford University today, founder…

Citizen Journalism, or “Ghoulish Voyeurism”?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 17

From Smart Mobs, a link to a provocative view by the Guardian’s John Naughton on citizen journalism. Technology, he writes, offered “those enthusiastic cameraphone ghouls” a “way of not attending…

Remix Your Web with Mash-ups

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 14

I had a lot of fun with my story on Web mash-ups, which runs in new issue of BusinessWeek. Mash-ups, named after hip-hop mixes of two or more songs, combine…

Wikipedia’s Word on Folksonomy

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 14

Steve Rubel notes that there’s a debate at the online encyclopedia Wikipedia about a new listing for the word folksonomy, which it defines as “a neologism for a practice…

Hacking Firefox

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 13

I was about to write an item about how all the enthusiasm about Firefox seemed a bit much, given some annoying issues I’ve had with the upstart Web browser. For…

London Bombings: Bloggers Keep the News Coming

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 07

Check out the unbelievably swift response from bloggers and others to the tragic bombings this morning in London. First there’s the interesting and useful map from London blogger Kosso of…

An Explosion in New Web Sites

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 05

The O’Reilly Radar blog reports on a Netcraft survey that indicates accelerating growth of new Web sites. The reasons given are both promising and potentially problematic. Netcraft says blogs and…

Gizmo Takes On Skype

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 02

Michael Robertson seems to enjoy trying to shake up the powers that be, as he did in music with MP3.com and in computer software with Lindows (now Linspire). Now, he…

Sun Taps into the Power of Us

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 01

Sun Microsystems is moving fast into what it calls the Participation Age, or at least talking about it a lot, Howard Rheingold notes in his Smart Mobs blog. “Sharing is…

Opening Up Data (Kinda, Sorta)

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 30

For years, open-source advocate Tim O’Reilly has excoriated some companies such as Mapquest for failing to open up their storehouses of data to creative outside programmers who could create new…

The Rise of Distributed Business

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 22

I’ve seen John Seely Brown’s talk on “innovation ecologies” a couple of times now, including today at Supernova 2005, and I think I’m finally coming to understand it. The idea…

The World’s in Color—So Is Innovation

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 20

I’m attending a workshop at the Supernova 2005 conference in San Francisco, and apparently I’m not the only one getting a little annoyed at Janice Fraser’s presentation. It’s not that…

The Power of Us, Indeed: A Goldmine from Readers

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 19

Like few other stories I’ve written, The Power of Us has unleashed a torrent of ideas and Web sites from a surprisingly diverse set of readers. And unlike most previous…

The Power of You

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 16

We’ve gotten lots of comments from readers, nearly all insightful, about our recent cover story, The Power of Us. As you might expect, the comments are now an integral part…

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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