A Tour of Web 2.0 Tools

If you’ve maintained a steady pulse over the past few years, you have – no doubt – heard a bunch about Web 2.0. It slices, it dices…it enables mass collaboration…etc. But what if you wanted to actually do something with this nebulous thing we call the read/write web?

That’s exactly the challenge we have for a client in an upcoming session; how to apply this stuff into some tangible gain for the company?

Specifically, how can web 2.0 tools be used to change the way employees interact with the company? With each other? How do suppliers and vendors interact and collaborate using these tools?

As part of our “scan” for this session, we want to put together a virtual tour of Web 2.0 tools, showing some of the things that have caught people’s interest; some of the tools people use in their personal lives and others that they have carried with them into their professional lives.

So what do you use? If you had a visitor from 1995, what would you show them on the web – on your web – to make them realize the staggering extent to which their internet was static, stagnant and irrelevant?

What are the tools that make the new internet indispensable for you?

Here’s a few of my recent favorites…

Housing 123

housing123Sifting through endless pages of house listings on static pages is mind numbing. How do you figure out where it’s located? How can you tell a pricey neighborhood from a slum? This mashup pulls data from Canada’s MLS (real estate) listings and plots it on Google Maps, so you can see the listings by location, with the pins color coded by price. Now you can see if you’ve got the best house on a bad street, or the worst house on a good one! Chip, of course, one-upped me on this one with his fancy American site, zillow.com.

Google Reader

Okay, this isn’t new, but I love it. I could go to 20 different web sites to get my daily dose of reading, or I could use my handy-dandy RSS aggregator to pull together stories from all of my favorite sites…with a few of my friends’ blogs thrown into the mix for good measure.


kayakIn my pre-kayak days, I used to search about 10 different sites to find the best fares. But you know, good data just wants to be free. Kayak digs up fares from all over, then lets you slice the list any way you like with tweaks to your original search. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.


linkedinFacebook seems so innocent, now. LinkedIn is social networking with an agenda, constantly telling you how many connections you’ve made, and how many opportunities there are within “x” degrees of separation. Whoa. Submitting your resume is sooo old-skool.


Okay, I can not only upload video, but I can embed and share it? You mean, I can subject THE WHOLE WORLD to my baby videos? Wow.

So? If you were to give a tour of the new web, what would be on it? What are the best YouTube videos you’ve seen? How do you share your documents? What’s the most amazing site you’ve been to?

16 Responses to “A Tour of Web 2.0 Tools”

  1. Shannon
    January 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    Amazing? Maybe. A little spooky? Definitely. Spokeo’s a social networking aggregator, to wit: Register with your email address and spokeo will hunt down all the blogs, photos, profiles, etc. that people in your address book have publicly available. You can’t see anything you wouldn’t have had access to anyway, but seeing it all at one time on one page is pretty overwhelming – I mean convenient. You can also see private profiles that you already have access to, like friends’ MySpace pages, once you input your password.

  2. Shannon
    January 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    Oops – spokeo.com. Duh.

  3. Gordon Eby
    January 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    Hey Aaron,
    Here are 2 sites I think are cool:
    Mint.com (personal financing site)
    Threadless.com (daily t-shirt design/contest)


  4. Steve Killian
    January 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    Here is one of the best Web 2.0 things I’ve run across. I finally understand it.




  5. Bill Burck
    January 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    Check out this Web 2.0 in 5 minutes video…


    Oops, it’s the same as Steve’s link.

  6. Mark Poon
    January 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    The Roots of the idea of web 2.0, this and the internet of things report is a must read for anyone who even wants to use the word “web 2.0”

    Digital Interface everywhere, connected to the internet at all times

    printable code that can be read by cellphone cameras, outputs lines of text, an url, contact information or even a program.

    Myspace 2.0

    Only from british minds could you come up with a program that tries to calculate your importance based on your digital footprint by creating a metrical point system of comparison.

    People used to go out and buy things.

    no references avaliable, please consult me for details.

    The epitome of Gaming, RFID, mazes, puzzles, robots, Think of the Wii but on a much grander scale.

    gps enabled, cellphone games based on collecting sets of things, proximity triggered events, based in Japan.

    “The WolfPack program is developing new electronic warfare technologies that can hold enemy emitters (communications and radar) at-risk throughout the tactical battlespace, while not interfering with friendly military and protected commercial radio communications. The WolfPack concept emphasizes an air-deployable, ground-based, close-proximity, distributed, and networked architecture to obtain radio frequency spectrum dominance. WolfPack uses a network of nodes to sense the radio frequency environment, ascertain the type and configuration of the threat, and carry out a precise, coordinated response that either disables communications and radar reception, or relays the geolocation information of the threat transmitter.”


    There are new versions of this as well. There is one I couldn’t find that was plane dropped pack of rfids that form a sensor grid over ‘difficult’ terrain so that heat signitures, movement, nuclear radiation could be tracked in three dimensional space.

    Ubiquitious Computing
    It’s a cellphone that’s does everything, metropass, creditcard, the first version of the real tricorder.

    peer to peer information transfer, anything from programs, books, videos, photographs, porn.

    Essentially, it’s the “how-to” of the universe, everything from making a cake to hacking your x-box 360 to making improvised explosives, they are equally feared and respected and have been clouded by the taboo of trenchcoat wearing highschoolbombers.

  7. Frances
    January 30, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Since I fall way beyond even Chip as far as “net generation” :-), I asked my techie son for some input. A lot of what he sent back is probably already known by all of you “Net Gens”, but he listed this site: (kind of weird and corny, but watch it) http://www.looksy.org/about . Yes, not much there yet but their goal of co-creation/collaboration of products is interesting. My son also offered the idea that the client could have its customers help create its ads. I thought that was a neat and unique idea. Thanks for including me.

  8. Garrett
    January 30, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    An ESPN Page 2 columnist I read a lot, called “the Sports Guy”, references a lot of YouTube vids. He started doing a “links” page about a year ago, and then finally made a playlist page of his favorite links on YouTube. All the vids are things he’s mentioned in columns or things that were sent to him by readers.


  9. Chip Saltsman
    February 1, 2008 at 1:33 am #

    Since I am an official geezer, I consulted my son. He is a big fan of pandora.com, which is a website that studies “music genomes.” You tell it a kind of music you like (artist or style) and it will play music similar to that (but not the same). Very intriguing.

  10. Melissa
    February 1, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    These two come scarily close to bridging the gap between the brain and the internet. One day, it will all be the same – all our thoughts, everything we as a collective species know will be out there. Anyways, check out:

    Have a snippet of music roaming around your head? Sing it/hum it to this site and they will tell you what it is, as well as connect you to other people that share your musical tastes. Think you just might have what it takes to be a star? Record that snippet in their recording studio and get discovered. And every time you record in the studio, you are adding to the collective – your voice will be added to their searchable database.

    Found a font on a random scrap of paper that you just love, love, love? Scan it and upload it to this site and they will tell you what it is and give you link to download, so you can use it for your very own.

    This last link sort of relates to the other two. This is a video from the ICCS07 conference last year of some amazing new display technology called Seadragon that really illustrates the next step in computation – moving to another level of interaction with data a la “Minority Report.” I would recommend the watching the whole video, but the real power of collaboration begins with a demo of Photosynth (skip to 3 minutes, 50 seconds). They re-create a high-resolution image of Notre Dame Cathedral using only images from Flickr. Blows my mind.

  11. Roslyn Bacon
    March 20, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    I consulted some of my friends and recieved some info1) Link on 2.0 attached. 2) A slightly dated article on eLearning 2.0 (will send as an attachment to you)

  12. Roslyn Bacon
    March 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Here’s more

  13. Roslyn Bacon
    March 20, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    Couple of sites:


    This is a CRM tool. The idea here is that online service is the future and data stored onsite in servers is a thing of the past.

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