Last year was the social webs era on Internet (*). After experiencing some social webs, I could say what some analysts predict: general social webs (like Facebook) will collapse soon, and only subject oriented webs (like Flickr) will continue living. I have previously spoken about some of those websites, like Friendfeed or Facebook. But let me list all of them here:
In the beginning of 2009 suddenly everybody joined Facebook in Spain. I didn’t find it interesting, basically due to its closed-policy: I used to visit other webs where you can freely have access to other people info and tastes, and in Facebook you first have to become friend of somebody to later see if his content is worth it. Actually there are a lot of back doors that you can use to peek somebody’s info, i.e. jumping from a friend’s public profile. Moreover, each time I logged in Facebook I saw my timeline full of almost spam (Johny got 1 million points at that game) instead of real useful info from your friends. Finally, I tried to use Facebook API to create an app, but it was a nightmare… the best way to create an app there is just do a iframe and relocate your app in your site (so why do I need Facebook?). I deleted my account, and enjoy the extra time I got.
Friendfeed has the good parts of Facebook, which are basically the almost perfect content aggregator and a way to comment on that content. I happily registered expecting a better a-la-Fb experience, and during some weeks it was… until Facebook bought Friendfeed and the development was frozen. Moreover, not a lot of people use it, so sometimes there is no “social” interaction. Now I barely use it, and I’m actually thinking about deleting my account.
Twitter can not be explained to a non-user. You have to experience by yourself to understand the weird social interactions are there. You follow people, you unfollow people, you write superfluous thoughts. Most people do not understand how this chaos works, but it works. Recently I tried to use Twitter API, and I found it really good.
A classic on photography. I specially love their user interface that “force” you to publish nice photos. And don’t forget to read their blog!
It was the best RSS reader quite a long time ago. I’m probably the last user of bloglines, who remains there instead switching to Google Reader. The funny part is that I’d like to switch, but usually I read my feeds while I’m working, and for my job I use a google job-account, that I do not like to mess with my private-account (and I don’t really like logging out and in all the time).
Del.icio.us is probably the oldest web 2.0 site I discovered, but it’s still useful to store bookmarks, and sometimes to look for some interesting ones, using a tag search. However I feel the people at Delicious could develop a better site. You can do a lot of things with such info, like recommendation lists, automatic tag grouping, or even more interaction with your buddies.
For some reason (probably the app I did a year ago, ImageWorth) I am a perpetual subscriber user of Last.fm. But sometimes I get tired of listening the same songs again and again (looks like they have not added new songs in a while), and jump into grooveshark which is like a Spotify well done.
Despite youtube is the facto website for videos, I love the quality and design of Vimeo. Most of the best videos I saw last year where there.
Which will be the top webs at the end of 2010? Who knows, but probably some unknown ones.
(*) Like a dog-year, an Internet-year could be a real measure of time (despite it grows quickly)