Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Hot Web Trends?

Today I was asked a pretty loaded question: What are the hot web trends of the moment? Obviously that’s a tough one and I wrote a quick answer, that I decided to put on my site in order to give it some more thought and hopefully get some responses from all of you.

Here were the three “trends” I thought of in the five minutes I wrote this email:

AJAX

It stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML and it’s the language used for Google Maps and some other great applications (Backpack, etc.). It allows you to refresh content without refreshing a page, bringing us closer to web as platform. (Check out this article that gave it it’s name: http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php). There’s a ton of buzz around it lately, whether or not it will live up to the hype is the question, the first round of backlash is already upon us.

Simplicity in Design

I may be making this up, but I’m seeing a move towards a simpler approach to web design. People are beginning to understand the web better and blogs especially are being redesigned to work with their content, rather than against it. (This article by Richard MacManus and Joshua Porter is a pretty good rundown: http://www.digital-web.com/articles/web_2_for_designers/)

RSS

Still picking up steam, especially on the advertising side. What I find most interesting here is that it’s still misunderstood and ignored by so many, despite it’s adoption by influencers. I recently saw a study of RSS users that had a huge percentage of journalists using the technology (I know I did when I was writing), as a business that tells me that if I want to get PR I better have a feed.

Tagging

Oops, just realized I forgot all about tagging. That’s another good one. Tagging allows users to organize information in a non-hierarchical way. See http://del.icio.us and http://www.flickr.com. I expect we’ll be seeing some major sites jump on the tagging bandwagon in the coming months.

API

It stands for Application Program Interface and it allows programmers to create web applications using the features of existing sites. Want to combine Craig’s List and Google Maps? Try APIs. Want to send an e-postcard with a Flickr image? Try APIs. The best APIs out there give programmers nearly the full functionality of the site to play with. For a great overview of APIs, especially Amazon’s (which is one of the most open), check out this great MIT Tech Review article from January.

So those were my three (five as of 6/15), I’m sure there’s more and I will keep thinking about them. But what do you think, what “hot web trends” are you seeing?

Update (6/13/05): I didn’t include Joshua Porter’s name as the co-author of Designing for Web 2.0, I have since fixed it. I apologize Joshua.

Update (6/15/05): Thanks to some good advice by Richard McManus, added APIs to the list.

June 13, 2005