If you’re interested in gaining further insight into the many facets of Ajax (see my post about Ajax from Feb 05), there’s a wiki with conference notes and perspective from Adaptive Path‘s User Experience Conference held last week in Washington D.C.
To understand the primary differentiators of Ajax, see the notes and examples (at the bottom of the page) from Jesse James Garrett‘s Introduction to Ajax/New Web Technology. Having already seen the openrico and protopage samples previously, I particularly like Andrew Sullivan’s periodic table example and can’t wait to try JohnVey.com’s del.icio.us direc.tor. Of course there’s a good deal of buzz about Adaptive Path’s own product called Measure Map, which is designed by Jeff Veen and purported to be a hosted “tool for bloggers to better track traffic to their site.” I heard about this last week and plan to write a post about what I would like to see in a tool to help measure traffic, given that I’m currently using two stat programs, a gVisit map, four blog readers (online and installed), pinging ten blog hosts, tagging for technorati, checking views at flickr, and the list goes on. A consolidated measure tool that would allow me to track my outgoing activity (tagging and cross-linking) and my incoming traffic (RSS readers, inbound links, google searches, technorati, bloglines and other readers, and so on) would be both a welcome time-saver, and as important, it would hopefully give me a more holistic view of “myself” (my content) and its “life” on the web.
I’m also wondering how long it will take for someone to to make a Flickr-compatible Ajax gallery for your blog. There are already a mix of tools to manage photos between your desktop and your blog or Flickr. I just came across the FlickrExport which will export from iPhoto to Flickr and there’s Photon (enables automatic creation and upload of images and thumbnails, plus configurable export of all photo data directly to a Movable Type blog) which Doug Bowman used for his Movable Type photo templates. It would be ideal to have one management layer that would allow me to push selected content from iPhoto to both my blog and flickr at the same time, with the ability to sort, tag, organize, edit, share, publish, or archive. The other key factor for me is where the physical photos are stored. Ideally, there would only be one copy of each photo on one server, rather than at my photo blog, at flickr, and my other blogs.
For me, the promise of a “new” web technology is the ability to 1) simplify my life as a blogger/web publisher/content producer and 2) to enable my site visitors to have greater control over the manner in which they view both my site content and the means by which the content comes to them (via my site, RSS, email newsletter, etc).
When I see current Ajax samples, I am both reminded of how far we have come from simple HTML hypertext pages to today’s possibilities, and it’s also an awareness of how young the internet really is. While the terms have changed, the goal remains the same: on the one hand, to deliver vast amounts of information efficiently, and on the other, to manage our ever-expanding network of information sources and relationships.