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Doug Kaye's thoughts on web services, web hosting and managed services.

The Tick. Is anyone else out there watching the new live-action version of The Tick on Fox? Great, mature writing. No canned laughter. Good stuff.
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2001 9:05:12 PM   

Safire vs. Ashcroft. "Great op ed piece today by Bill Safire in the New York Times." [Source: Doc Searls] I listened to Ashcroft testify in a Senate hearing today. This guy's out of control. (Remind me sometime to tell you about being in that room, covering the Senate Watergate Hearings for NBC. Fascinating.)

Speaking of Safire, I thought it was really cool almost exactly a year ago when I wrote to him complaining of the media's use of the word "chads," pointing out that "chad" is already plural in the same sense that "dust" or "snow" are plural. I received this reply from Safire:

Dear Mr. Kaye:
   You were good to write. (That's better than 
"It was good of you to write," because sentences 
beginning with "it" are boring.)
   Your comments go into the thought processor 
inside my head and may one day pop up in a column.
   Thanks again (which is repetitious but not 
William Safire
Okay, so maybe it was a canned response, but sure enough, a few weeks later he addressed the issue in his column, and I became an instant celebrity among my family and two or three friends who read his column.
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2001 6:51:17 PM   

Odd Todd is Unemployed. I got a link to this Shockwave movie from my friend, Eric. If you're unemployed, ever been unemployed or worried about becoming unemployed, you gotta see it. Maybe more than once. [Source: Odd Todd]
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2001 5:45:44 PM   

Why Not Mailing Lists? Help me out here. I'm struggling with trying to understand how weblogs are different than mailing lists, particularly when used in business. I know they're different, I'm just having trouble figuring out why. Here are some criteria, most of which point to similarities, not differences:

  • A web UI for authoring and reading. Yup, both have it.
  • The ability to subscribe/unsubscribe
  • Little concern for presentation
  • Archiving potential
  • Single or multiple authors
  • Hyperlinking
  • Chronological, web-based threaded presentation option
These are ways in which weblogs and mailing lists are similar. But how do they differ? Are mailing lists not as good for very small chunks of content? What causes you to post to one versus the other?
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2001 5:27:42 PM   

The End of Web Hosting As We Know It. SOAP, .Net and EJBs (Enterprise Java Beans) will bring about the end of web hosting, as we currently know it. I've been thinking about this for at least a year, and listening to Don Ferguson (one of only 56 IBM Fellows) at Tuesday's CDN 2001 solidified it in my mind.

In Web 1.0 we outsourced our web hosting. In Web 2.0 we're learning to outsource the delivery of our content to providers that can do so from the edge of the network. In Web 3.0, we're going to outsource the application and move it to the edge of the network as well. Today, e-commerce applications are distributed to three locations: static content is delivered from the edge of the network, the application runs on origin servers located at a hosting service, and the back-end systems are run by our IT departments. But in the future, that middle component will disappear. We'll have CDNs and the back-end systems, but no centralized origin server. And no web-hosting services.

In addition to content delivery (already at the edge), all session-management functions including shopping cart status, personalization, customization and localization will become edge services. The web server already lives at the edge in Web 2.0. In the next generation, the application server will live there, too. The only components of e-commerce applications that won't live at the edge will be transactions such as inventory queries and order add/delete/updates. These will be sent (using SOAP) from the edge back to our in-house systems, where transactional services based on .Net or EJBs will process the SOAP requests. The role of the IT organization of the future will merely be to provide SOAP-based services to its company's outsourced e-commerce application.

The CDN of the future will include much of what ASPs tried to deliver but failed. The reason the ASPs failed (or are still in the process of failing) is that they merely took on the management of standard application packages. They took on the 80% of e-commerce that's easy. The in-house IT team still had to deal with the legacy integration issues. In Web 3.0, the Web services an IT department supplies for its outsourced e-commerce application will be identical to those it supplies for in-house applications. No extra effort will be required. The Web 3.0 CDN will also be an ASP, but it will run the application at the edge, not at a centralized origin site.
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2001 12:56:21 AM   



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