Category: Mashups

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The blog is getting mature. Ever since Gawker did its eccentric redesign a few years ago, we've seen a lot of other blog (networks) doing similar things, trying to reinvent how the blog should look like in 2013. After the initial hiccup, Gawker managed to fortify its position and attract new users, showing others that people do like to see different things, things that are imitating the experience of reading electronic magazines on mobile devices. Today, there are many great cases of how a modern blog should feel, and since I'm thinking about doing something similar myself (it's been almost 4 years since I did this!), I decided to dissect a few of the most innovative ones, hoping to get a picture of what works and what not. Here are my picks of the most creative and best designed (mainstream) blogs on the Web, those that are standing out from the crowd and are unique in what they offer to their readers.

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written 16:23 CET on chronolog
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I love mashups. Actually, I love everything about them, I love using them, I love making them, I love those who do everything they can to empower them. In my opinion, mashups are one of the most significant concepts the Web has invented, since they represent unlimited possibilities of integrating and reshaping things that are already done. The platforms out there are stable, so it's the creativity that sets the limits. These days, you can easily take data from anyone and do something else with it. Just don't forget to use JSON.

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written 19:45 CET on chronolog
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When we started working on Ljubljana Realtime, we decided to approach it in an agile way. Amongst others, we wanted to use a few interesting lean concepts such as rapid development, Minimum Viable Product and the Build - Measure - Learn iterations. Less than two months later, the results are in, and they are very pleasing. The MVP in the shape of an activity map was developed in a few weeks, only to show there is a lot of social noise which will somehow need to be taken under control. But that's currently low priority, since the first pivot is already taking place, slowly shifting the focus from the rich map application towards an event discovery algorithm and stream. That's where I see the most potential of Ljubljana Realtime, and in the last weeks, that's where the most work was done.

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written 21:01 CET on chronolog
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I've always been a big fan of the power of the crowds. When a mass of people can achieve much more than a few skilled individuals can. And ever since we've started playing with Twitter's API, I've been think about the possibilities of this magnificent data source. Besides Twenity, we've done a few other Twitter mashups like Twitter walls, but this wasn't enough. We wanted something more - geolocation. Displaying information on a map in real-time. But since there aren't that many tweets equipped with GPS coordinates, we needed to include other services for more diversity as well. Which we did, and Ljubljana Realtime, a social event discovery application, was born.

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written 14:37 CET on chronolog
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Dear Twitter. You were always one of my favorites. I love it how you managed to create a subculture, something that Facebook will never be able to do. You've allowed people to collectively create information that travels the world in seconds. Your role in many global activist projects is invaluable, and your stance on privacy issues something that inspires the world. You help us find out about things before they actually happen. When the Icelandic volcano was erupting in 2010, I was watching the #ashtag word clouds being broadcasted live on CNN. It was then that it struck me that the media will never be the same again, the power of thousands reporters wins every time. You made it to the mainstream, shaped transmedia into Twitter + television. You were becoming the ultimate foundation for real-time information. You made me realize so many things by being one of the most prominent platforms of the social era. You were the man.

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written 16:01 CET on chronolog
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In the past years, we've witnessed a very important transformation: the consumerization of information technologies. Billions of connected users living their life online, overwhelmed by millions of information systems that have been tailored to suit their every need and desire. Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon came a long way with their products and infrastructure, but the enterprise isn't losing any time. Learning from the new paradigms and adopting new funky technologies, that have traditionally been developed in corporate laboratories. Can the Fab 4 also predict where enterprise IT is headed? And what will it become?

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written 19:38 CET on chronolog
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I don't know if you've had the chance to read What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. You should, it's a very powerful book, even though it's been written a few years ago. Things have changed a bit since then, when Google was on top of it's game, but that doesn't mean the ideas presented in the book aren't more actual than ever. One of the chapters that made the biggest impact on me was the one about platforms and distributed systems. Google managed to conquer the world of Web 1.0 by being decentralized, allowing others to embed YouTube videos, Google Maps and Ads anywhere on the Web. This orientation provided the fuel for Google's further development and growth. Today, this way of thinking is not a competitive advantage anymore, it's becoming a necessity. As you will see, current online market leaders of various industries are not those who provide the service, they're the ones who provide the platform.

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written 17:26 CET on chronolog
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