Friday, 10 March 2006

A definite glimpse of Web 2.0: Zoho Writer & Pageflakes

I keep seeing articles about "Web 2.0" and people waxing lyrical about AJAX. While the examples always impressed (Google Maps being the most obvious), I couldn't help feeling that we should have had this all along; that the early HTML, static web was a regression in UI standards for the sake of connectivity. I mean, people have been enjoying incredible shared worlds online in games like Unreal Tournament for years now, so why all this fuss because finally some web pages can handle ansynchronicity? While the examples are whizzy, they've hardly been "every day" practical, unless you're a geography teacher or a news hound.

Until now. I spotted a simple, plain ad for Pageflakes on Digg, and was intrigued enough by the beautifully simple interface and lack of bandwidth-sucking ads to try it. Verrry nice, and with the decent array of widgets, lots of potential. But while those widgets were neat, they weren't, again, productive. A news reader (got one), an addressbook (got several), a clock (??) etc. So, demo stuff, essentially.

Then today I spot a new widget: Zoho Writer - the online word processor. Yet another WYSIWYG 'inline' text editor? Well, yes. And much, much more. Going to the homepage, I tried the demo user. Import your Word docs, export Word, PDF, HTML, to your blog, to email friends (as link or shared doc that they can edit too). Save docs online, save templates online. And all integrated into Pageflakes, making the latter, with my iCal widget and my Gmail widget, start to look like a handy, access-anywhere desktop.

Google, buy these. NOW.

Update (3rd April): It appears Google have already bought one!

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