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Tools to track Web 2.0 services

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On-line applications come with smart user interface and facilities to enrich content

The web-based compression service Krunch enables you to upload files and get them converted into an archive.

SEVERAL ON-LINE services with the Web 2.0 tag are being dished out. NetSpeak explores the means to catch up with them.

In the past, web based applications were least interactive. The netizen had no role in content generation and no means to access content without visiting the sites concerned. However, such web-based applications, generally termed Web 1.0, are losing ground in the Cyberspace.

Current on-line applications come with smart user interface and built-in facilities for users to enrich the content base. Besides leveraging the user's potential in generating content, modern on-line applications provide facilities to keep the content under the user's own categories (tagging feature) and access it easily (web feed tool).

As described in an earlier column (http://www.hindu.com/biz/2005/10/03/stories/200510 0300881700.htm), applications with such features are called Web 2.0 services.

Almost all recent applications come under the Web 2.0 umbrella. Irrespective of its function/realm of operation be it an on-line storage service, podcast generation service, social bookmark service, blog hosting service or video hosting service generally, an on-line application of the current genre provides Web 2.0 features.

Explosive growth

Such applications are emerging at a surprising pace. A wide array of applications for varied requirements are being created. Even the same types of applications with diverse features are available.

For instance, this column had drawn attention to a few web based podcast creation tools (like Evoca) with Web 2.0 features. Recently this author encountered another podcast creation tool called ClickCaster (http://www.clickcaster.com/). Like other similar products, this service allows you to record audio content, store it under your own categories and share it with others.

Yet another popular application type is the on-line file storage (http://www.thehindu.com/ biz/2005/11/28/stories/200511 2800171600.htm) products like E-snips (http://esnips.com) belonging to this class. The new on-line storage service, PutFwd (http://www.putfwd.com) also features tools for tagging, file sharing and the like. The service's `Drag Drop' tool lets you upload files by just dragging/dropping them on to this tool's window.

Apart from such services, several new ones are in place. Webridge (http://webridge.org/) that lets you start a discussion on any web site/page or blog post is a new service with Web 2.0 features. By just pasting the page's or site's link on to Webridge's input box, you can attach a discussion board to it. When you access the discussion connected to a page, the window splits into two frames, with the web page on the right and discussion on the left.

Palatial maps (http://www. platial.com/about), a people's atlas creation project, is another one worth a mention.

The blistering speed with which new Web 2.0 applications are being produced renders even an expert netizen helpless. Keeping up with the latest ones is not going to be easy. To help counter this application onslaught, web enthusiasts have started several Web 2.0 application lists/blogs. A few of them are listed below: Application lists

The Web 2.0 application list (http://www.listible.com/list/complete-list-of-web-2-0-products-and-services) hosted at the service `Listible' is an excellent Web 2.0 resource. KoolWEB 2.0 (http://www. koolweb2.com/) is a good place for finding new Web 2.0 applications. The application lets users submit services and rate the existing ones.

The `Web 2.0 Directory' (http://www.econsultant.com/web2/index.html), which hosts a categorised list of more than a thousand Web 2.0 applications, is yet another place for locating new on-line services.

Web 2.0 slide-show (http://web2.0slides.com/) is an innovative service that automatically takes you through a slide show of several new Web 2.0 applications. Apart from the ones mentioned above, you may check out Web 2.0 trackers such as Mashable (http://www.mashable. com/), BuzzShout (http://buzzshout.com//), `2.0 WebSites' (http://2.0websites.com/) and `NEO Binaries' (http:// www. neobinaries.com/).

Another product worth a mention is the `Web 2.0 Innovation Map' (http://www.fourio. com/web20map/) which shows a geographical distribution of Web 2.0 applications.

On-line file compressor

Tools for compressing/uncompressing files are quite essential for a smooth digital life. Most of you may be familiar with compression/archival tools such as Winzip, 7-Zip and the like. Now, in case you do not have a compression tool at your disposal and still need to compress or uncompress a file, have a look at Krunch (http://krun.ch/), the web based file compression service. You can upload files (up to 10 files per archive) to the service and get it converted into a compressed archive on the fly. This service allows you to download the archive or e-mail it to a specified address. It supports formats such as zip, rar and gzip.

File encryption tool

It is likely that you have text files with lots of sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers and so on. File encryption programs help you hide information on such files from prying eyes.

LockNote (http://locknote. steganos.com/) is one such text file encryption tool worth a look. To encrypt a file, load LockNote and just drop the file on to it. It will create a password protected encrypted file.

On-line clipboard

The clipboard facility lets you transfer data from one application to another. But it can help transfer data from one computer to another. For this, try out the Internet clipboard (http://cl1p.net/), developed for copying and pasting data between computers.

To use the service, just enter any URL that begins with http://cl1p.net/ (example: http://cl1p.net/netspeak) and enter the data to be copied to other machines in the input box. To paste the data on to another machine, access the same URL from the target machine and copy the data.

J. MURALI

He can be contacted at jmuali@gmail.com


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