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Innovation

Web 2.0 and open source

What I find most interesting is that big projects in this space are now being built based upon open source tools, with links to Web services such as Google Maps or Flickr.
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Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Web 2.0 is the new buzzword about town. It combines trends of social sites, personalization, identity and blogging. It's a way for people to get their heads around a lot of emerging trends and talk about them together.

Web 2.0O'Reilly's conference in San Francisco on the subject is sold out, a sure sign of buzz-dom. And the question becomes, what is open source's role in all of this?

As with most trends today there are many open source bits-and-pieces, like Eventful and Ping-o-Matic. Many Web 2.0 projects can be centered on open source community networking service systems such as Drupal, the system being used by Dan Gillmor for his Bayosphere project.

The goal is always to create services worth paying for, services with a business model, and I agree with that. What I find most interesting is that big projects in this space are now being built based upon open source tools, with links to Web services such as Google Maps or Flickr. The release of open APIs from these tools means they can be easily adapted for use in an open source engine, which (like Drupal) is usually based on an open source database such as mySQL.

This is precisely where a lot of paid development work is going today, trying to combine open tools -- however they are licensed -- into something which is useful enough to make money.

It's the evolution of these services, which have real business models but which are based on open source tools, that will be among the most interesting stories to watch over the next few years. How open the tools remain, how profitable the services can become, and the tension between them are all big stories, whether or not you try to pigeonhole them as Web or open source.

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