I’ve been making my way through several books and wanted to provide an update.
Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide – I made it about 75% of the way through, and put it down for good. I found it very repetitive and suspect I’m the wrong audience for the book. This Slashdot review summed it up pretty well for me:
Web 2.0 is so much more than a technology.” Priceless. I can sum up the entirety of this book quite simply: If you want to be “Web 2.0″, develop a web application that is social-based, use plenty of Flash or Ajax (Ajax preferable), and create an API that allows script kiddies everywhere to fashion useless add-ons (preferably that involve cute icons of small furry animals or various celebratory trinkets). That’s the Foreword, Prologue, and Chapters 1-5. Chapters 6-10, Epilogue, and Appendices are as follows: The magic behind the Web 2.0 movement is this: the generation of kids nowadays have grown up using computers, are computer savvy, and are used to being online. So websites have become portals for social interactivity. The more interactive you can make the sites, the more “social” they become. So ends the mystery of Web 2.0.
Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP is coming along well — I’m about a third of the way through the book. The fifth chapter, An Introduction to Prototype and Scriptaculous, was a relief from the confusing Model-View-Controller. Now when I do a View-Source, I see links to those libraries and proudly say to myself I know what those do. For now, my knowledge is entirely theoretical.
Designing the Obvious – This is the fourth book on web usability I’ve read in the last few months, and one of the best so far. Robert Hoekman’s writing style is the same as his preferred design style: simple, clean, and to the point.
Also came up with a web application idea while reading an article in the WSJ this weekend. A quick internet search reveals there isn’t much competition, and this is something I would use and think others would too. Its perfect for a freemium business model. Best of all, I even got the usually difficult “Thats not a bad idea” from my wife, so it must have potential. Once I get through the PHP Web 2.0 book, I’ll start on it, unless another, better idea comes along.
I must admit, after taking a break for the last few weeks to get education about this stuff, I’m anxious to start hacking away at a new project.
I recently started posting on Hacker News (see here) and have been immensely impressed with the feedback my posts have received. I haven’t commented much on other peoples’ posts, mostly out of a lack of insight/knowledge, but I’d like to give back one day. Actually there’s another site idea brewing, where I might be able to do just that.