One sure sign that Web 2.0 is a genuinely new epoch in the tech industry: the haymaker punch it threw at a repository-centric view of application architectures, effectively knocking it out of the ring. For those who aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, I'll give a little bit of history for the young 'uns out there.
Forward into the past Let's hop in a time machine, go back 10 years, and eavesdrop on conversations in development teams building multi-tier applications. Chances are you'll hear no small number of words about the repository. For example, suppose the project was integrating two middleware applications, such as content management systems and ERP applications. In many development teams, you'd get funny looks if you didn't advocate some merger of the two repositories as the solution to the challenge. Integration at the middle tier sounded, to many ears, like trying to pull a fast one, substituting a hack for "real" integration.
In a business context this style of data and content presentation can be tremendously valuable, despite the relative simplicity of the application. Think of this same graphic with sales data versus plan, feature burn down rate, or project milestones over time. This information is available today, of course, however the presentation of that data is not nearly as elegant or accessible. Business intelligence software — which this application most closely resembles — is not yet focused on these simple, business-friendly applications, and thus far no mashup or widget vendors have focused on this type of solution for the enterprise.
Exactly. The framework, such as enterprise portals, for presenting this kind of information has been around for a while. The real obstacle to the "dashboard dream" has been the cost of building the dashboard--either for each user, or, preferably, by each user.
I need to read the Synovate report for myself, and I will look at the next results from Forrester's surveys of Japanese consumers to see if I see the same thing... Can't do that right now, I'm afraid.
I think Jeff is spot on with his view that Japanese Social Computing is often Web1.0 at heart. In particular, I agree with his observation that anonymity and lack of segmentation (trying to cater for the "general population") hold back the possibilities for Social Computing.
Could Japan's fickle consumers decide that SNS was just another fad and "move on"?
Somehow I cannot imagine it. (Move on to what? Long socks and tiramisu?). Is it possible to have a "camel" shaped adoption curve...?
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