The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006

The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006

Posted: February 17th, 2006, 5:07am CET
It’s been almost three months since my last major roundup of Web 2.0 software and I thought it’s about time to release another update.  The pace of innovation in the next generation of online software has continued unabated and we’ve seen dozens upon dozens of new entries into the market since December.  And while a few of the market niches are starting to fill up, almost as often as not these new software products are inventing completely new spaces in which to serve.  It’s been thrilling to watch TechCrunch and eHub continue to announce new product after new product.  I personally get at least an e-mail a day asking me to take a look at new applications. This article will reward many of you who have waiting so patiently.

Ajax desktops alone are changing the public perception of the possibilities of online software.  And with the yesterday’s release of Office Live beta, businesses too will increasingly look at moving their operations to online software. Concerns about privacy, reliability, and lock-in with online software are going to continue to mount while at the same time we’ll see attempts to address these issues.

Finally, the term Web 2.0 itself remains as unevenly accepted as ever but more and more people now know what it means: online, two-way, collaborative software that is interactive and easy to use, often creating a community around it.  There is more however, much more to Web 2.0, and I encourage you to study it since it can help you find as well as create terrific online software experiences. 

A couple of notes:  This list is only new Web 2.0 software that was released or extensively overhauled since January 1st, 2006.  And the usual disclaimer: This list is my personal list, is not official, and is completely subjective.  I do hope you enjoy it however.  Check out my last two lists (first, second), especially the comments, to get a good feel for everything else already out there.

Also, all readers are very soundly encouraged to contribute their own entries in the feedback/comments down below.  Make sure you leave clickable hyperlink so users can see what you’re created.

The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006

Category:   Personal Productivity and Organization

Best Offering: Zoho Planner (overhaul)

Zoho Planner

Description: Zoho Planner is a very capable Ajax-powered online planner that can handle to do lists, appointments, notes, and more using a very elegant, clean interface.  It’s now my favorite online organizer and I use it every day.  Zoho Planner supports tagging, collaboration, e-mail notification, and much more.  There are lots of Web 2.0 online planning products and while some are more detailed or more feature rich, none so far have quite the right feel like this one does.  For more details, read my review of Zoho Planner at the Web 2.0 Journal.

Runners-Up: stickipad 30 BoxesSpongecell Near-Time

Category: Search

Best New Offering: Google Desktop Search 3.0

Google Desktop V3

Description:  Although privacy concerns abound, Google’s latest version of its Desktop product is slicker and more powerful than ever.  And it even offers the eyebrow-raising feature of keeping a copy of the search index of your local hard drive on Google’s servers so it can be accessed from anywhere. While other search engines are increasingly moving to social capabilities, Google instead raises the bar on raw features.

Runners-Up: Gravee

Category: Video Storage, Sharing, and Search

Best New Offering: Stickam


Description:  Video is finally maklng a splash on the Web and though big players like YouTube have virtual domination of the space, new players continue to enter and Stickam is one of the more interesting new entires.  Billing itself as an easy to use multimedia tool that "does it all", Stickam allows users to host all sorts of media including podcasts and video on their blog or website.  It even supports uploading of media from mobile phones.

Runners-Up: FireAnt Videobomb

Category: Real Estate

Best New Offering: Zillow


Description:  The real estate business has been one of the very last traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to fall prey to customer self-service on the Web.  Zillow is helping change that and despite criticism for certain quarters, it’s actually a pretty compelling application.  Zillow gives home buyers and sellers with tools to get estimates of home values and to compare it with similar offerings in the area.   Loaded up with deep pockets, if Zillow canjust continue to improve the accuracy of its data, it’ll be a huge hit.

Runners-Up: hotpads

Category: Music

Best Offering:  Podbop


Description:  One of the more innovative music applications to come out this year, Podbop has a visceral appeal that is immediate.  A mashup of several underlying services including eventful, Podbop allows users to type in their city and state, listen to bands coming to the area and if they like them, then arrange to go actually attend a concert to listen to them.  Sporting over 1,500 bands, Podbop works well, is fast, and seems to have a very appealing mix of music.

Runners-Up:  Songbird Jamendo

Category: Ajax Start Pages

Best Offering: Pageflakes


Description:  I covered Pageflakes in a lengthier review recently based on the fact it was one of the best Ajax start pages I’ve seen yet.  Sporting multiple pages, an open platform design that allow users to contribute new gadgets, and integration with Zoho Writer and much more, I encourage you to try it out. And I’m apparently not alone.

Runners-Up: Linkedfeed

Other Promising Web 2.0 Software:

Cocomment – Keep track of your conversations in blog comments from around the blogosphere in one central location.

Zoomtags – The first tag-based affiliate program that include geo-based targeting, customizable tag clouds, content filters and more.

NewsAlloy – An Ajax-based newsreader with a reputation for speed and results, Newsalloy supports all the features you’d expect including river of news, tagging, integration with and digg, and much more.

Springdoo – Talk your e-mails using your computer or phone and never type an e-mail again if you don’t want to.  Rumor has it that Springdoo will offer video e-mails soon.

Campfire – The very latest entry from Web 2.0 innovators 37signals.  Not to be missed, a real-time group chat application with the 37signals twist.  Via Michael Arrington. – Tirelessly promoted by founder Chris Matthieu, this innovative Web 2.0 application helps track and protect intellectual property on the Web including blogs and even includes a new blog tracking mechanism.  Extremely slick and getting lots of attention.

I’m off tomorrow morning to Silicon Valley and I still have one more slot on Saturday for interviews with Web 2.0 companies in the Bay area.  I’ll be on my Blackberry all day tomorrow, please let me know if you have an interesting Web 2.0 consumer, development, or enterprise product.  I’d love to come by, get a demo, and even do an interview or podcast.

More Entries Please!
Web 2.0 Blog Chat Courtesy of 3bubbles:

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