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Starting A Web 2.0 Company - What's Already There?
By Dan Morrill
What programs and API's are out there for starting web 2.0 company?
Over 400 publicly available API's covering everything from chat and blogging to IM and e-mail are available for you to choose from.
The resources that are available to build out your web 2.0 company are many, you still have to have the original good idea, or something compelling to grab users. So the DIY toolbar, or twitter, or elgg, or other technology that is essentially out there already, can you do it better faster or cheaper than free?
The best list of publicly available API's is at Programmable web here http://blog.programmableweb.com/2007/03/27/400-web-apis/. You can browse the API's by type and by function.
The list gives you an idea of what is already out there that feeds into various other web 2.0 components. For example, a great use of the Del.icoi.us, Digg, and reddit buttons would be to have a multi button that one person could click on a web site that dumps the article to all of them at once. Rather than just use Digg, reddit, or Del.icoi.us buttons that can clog up a screen or a web page make a multifunction button. Then extend those API's out even more to encompass my Yahoo, my AOL, twitter, Google RSS reader from Google labs, and so on. This so far does not exist yet, and the idea is free for anyone to pursue.
The security API's are downright interesting to view, everything from fraud management, to browser based authentication, Live ID, SSO and a host of other security API's that could be tied into the button idea from above. The multiple API's can be forked in the Web 2.0 web page to pass the data that the user enters, assuming that the data is the same across all web sites (which is fairly likely). Alternatively, using the API's and an encrypted credential string, use the new Adobe Apollo to synchronize on line and off line experiences with SSO using the above API's. (Apollo is a killer framework). Use Amazon S3 to store tokens and or encrypted files so that the multiple computers that a person uses can carry the token, secure with a PIN or password (most likely the same password they use on everyone else's web site).
The idea here relies on the security posture of the company hosting the data, so S3 is an option, as you would get Amazon Protection. If Google starts selling data space or disk drive in their data centers, you would get Google Security. The files should remain AES 256 encrypted on whichever data storage system you use. The file should not be human readable so that even if the system is Hacked, or a system admin gets curious, there is nothing of real value to gather, or too much work to try to break the files. We are looking for "mathematically improbable to crack the files open" for this idea. This idea so far does not exist yet, and the idea is free for anyone to pursue.
The key to all this is the idea that you are going to pursue, and which back end components or systems you are going to tie your Web 2.0 company into. Original idea's are going to be the ones that pay the best, ideas that save people money, time, energy, or synch their multiple on line personalities together will also be good original ideas to pursue.
So what is your idea for your web 2.0 company? Ask yourself, what services you want to offer to customers; there is a lot of room for niche search engines, niche market places, niche data stores, and niche digital delivery systems. Even better, there is free software like Yacy or Heritrix can help you build out a niche search engine, services like Amazon and Amazon S3 for data storage, and a huge pile of API's to tie it all together. Have a neat way of categorizing pictures based on tagging and hashes to see how pictures are tagged across multiple sites like flicker and smug mug. The API's already exist, the data stores already exist, the customer base would be there, it would be great to check out and see where my pictures have ended up on the internet so I can see about being paid for their use. This idea so far does not exist yet, and the idea is free for anyone to pursue.
Web 2.0 is still young enough to keep things interesting where many things have been done, but there is still a lot of cool stuff left to do. Check out:
To see what has been done already, then come up with something for your own spin.
Dan Morrill has been in the information security field for 18 years, both
civilian and military, and is currently working on his Doctor of Management.
Dan shares his insights on the important security issues of today through
his blog, Managing
Intellectual Property & IT Security, and is an active participant in the
ITtoolbox blogging community.