browsing with company (google firefox extensions & social software)

Social software, or Web 2.0 has been one of the hot keywords for some time now. There are numerous fascinating developments on the way, and I really like the overall trend towards ease of use, alternative funding models (many of these services are free, or advertisement funded), and the potential for user-created combinations or mash-ups among this new generation of applications/services. Google is of course one of the companies currently at the forefront of this development, forcing even major corporations like Microsoft take notice (they are developing some of their Office Live portfolio to include also free versions).

See: Google Firefox Extensions

Visiting today Google Labs, I decided to install ‘Blogger Web Comments’ extension for Firefox browser, and was positively surprised at the (fun/absurd/informative) comments from the blogosphere it opened to the ‘official’ Internet. I have seen somewhat similar kind of experiments before, but the problem back then was that there was not this current ‘critical mass’ of people who are Internet Literate — meaning that blogs and other social software have genuinely started to open Internet into a two-way, many-to-many media, from its previous stagnation into a ‘digerati’ ghetto. Oh yes, and Google Notebook also looks promising!

And it is nice to see one’s own blog back online, too. Kilpailuvirasto (Finnish Competition Authority) required after the Elisa merger deal that us former Saunalahti clients from Tampere region were transferred to another company, Tampereen Puhelin Oy (part of, and of course there were numerous technical difficulties before my server and domain were alive and online again. Browsing my picture archives from somewhere else, I also think that the connection feels a bit slower, even if the service level was quaranteed to keep the same. And I pay more for this than I used. Oh dear. Thanks for this show of “fair competition”.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland. Occasional photographer and gardener.

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