‘ Web 2.0 ’ category archive

Great Interviews with Google Folks!

October 09, 09 by Bharani

Recently Businessweek came up with a very interesting story on Google and how it is planning to stay ahead of the competition and whether it can stay on top of the web. Anyone interested in Search and Google should definitely read these articles. It throws lot of light on how google takes things seriously and why Search is still an unsolved problem and the challenges associated with Search. Worth Reading…

Can Google Stay on Top of the Web?

Interviews with Google Folks
Google’s Udi Manber: Search Is About People, Not Just Data – BusinessWeek

…Udi Manber, Google’s vice-president of technology for core search, joined the company almost four years ago after stints running Amazon.com’s A9 search project and serving as chief scientist at Yahoo. He, like some other leaders on the search quality team,……

Google Search Guru Singhal: We Will Try Outlandish Ideas – BusinessWeek

…Inside Google’s search quality group, Amit Singhal runs the core ranking team, which is responsible for those algorithms you hear so much about. The team ran some 6,000 experiments last year that tried tweaking those mathematical formulas, ultimately producing between……

Matt Cutts: How Google Deals With Web Spam – BusinessWeek

…It’s up to Matt Cutts and his team at Google to keep search results as free as possible from Web spam, those pages full of Viagra ads or even malware. A 10-year veteran of the company, he got into this……

Google’s Scott Huffman: Many More Search Features Coming – BusinessWeek

…Scott Huffman runs one of the least-known units at Google: the evaluation team that measures the impact of every little proposed change to the leading search engine. And with some 6,000 experiments run annually, he’s pretty busy. Not to mention,……

MIH India Launches OneFamily

October 29, 07 by Bharani


MIH India has launched a Family networking product called OneFamily, aiming to provide an online colloboration and socialization platform to family members and close friends. One can add his/her Family tree, add anecdotes about family members, share photos and messages with family members, make announcements about events/important occasions etc.,

Enabling users to handle their family tree easily and intuitively is not an easy job. Onefamily has managed to do it as simple as possible. I really liked the “Take a Tour” section and it essentially summarizes what the Product is all about.

Prominence of APIs == death of “Web Scraping”?

October 11, 07 by Bharani

I did a brief research on the sites that are exposing the information to the world (other websites that is). Leading websites like Yahoo, Google, Technorati, Amazon, CNET, eBay to name a few are in the forefront when it comes to exposing the information through APIs.

What is the rationale to expose the information, that is supposed to be an asset or “Competitive Advantage”?. The rationale is pretty evident when you observe the way the information is exposed and the way the exposure drives traffic back to the originating site!

This article in read/write web summarizes the thought and concept beautifully. The internet is transforming to one giant structured database…

ProgrammableWeb neatly summarizes the APIs from various websites. As of today, there are 523 APIs available.

In Indian Context, the APIs haven’t caught up in a big scale. So the practice of “Web Scraping” looms large. Huge number of Yellow page companies boasting lakhs of business-details illustrates the effect of “Web scraping”. Same set of data problems can be seen with each Yellow page company for the simple reason that everyone copies the same set of data and repackages it. No one gives credit back to the other site.

When Bixee.com offered a one-stop search for all Jobs in India, by crawling and extracting information from all leading Job portals including Naukri, Naukri reacted negatively by filing a law-suit against Bixee. Later Naukri realized the complimentary nature of Bixee in generating traffic back to them and decided to expose the data in legal channels. If the information is scraped for the purpose of “Search and Redirection” to the original site, “Scraping” has a positive effect.

I cannot remember a single service that is successful through “Web Scraping” without redirecting back to the original site.

Better way to search Trains!

October 10, 07 by Bharani

One of my colleague remarked about a mash-up called eRail.in, a service to search trains in a better way. The site simply abstracts the difficulties or unpleasant user experience that one faces in the official website of Indian Railways.

The way eRail.in accomplishes that is simple. Most of the information about Indian trains are static such as Train numbers, Station codes, Timings, Route, Price, Class etc., So they have scraped the data and made the search experience faster. The “availability” et al comes in to picture only after narrowing down the afore-mentioned parameters. At that point of time, the site simply connects you to the Indian Railways website.

Unlike the fares of Airlines, the fares of Railways remain fairly static. So there is no overhead for real-time fare extraction from different airlines(like ixigo does!).

I couldn’t figure out the person (or people) behind it. My guess is a techie, who did this to exhibit his Mash-up skills! Nevertheless, a good utility (in the context of relatively bad experience in Indian railways websites Train Enquiry & IRCTC).

UPDATE: 5Map is the company behind this initiative

Web 2.0 Map!

October 29, 06 by Bharani

Found Web 2.0 Innovation map on the net. Interesting piece of work! Most of the innovations are originating from USA and Canada…

Also found a website called “Museum of Modern Betas”, which picks up web 2.0 applications that are in initial stages. I am not sure if the applications identified are mentioned in Techcruch or similar well-known sites. Moreover, some of the applications identified here have already crossed the beta stage and are in commercial use and therefore I sense that the site is not 100% up-to-date.

Nevertheless, interesting resources!