Wednesday, February 22, 2006

mashups and widgets...we need a standard

The last couple of weeks I saw 30 boxes and all the hype around it, and was surprised at why it got so much attention and spongecell didn't. Coincidentally I had seen spongecell about one or two days earlier. As far as I am concerned spongecell might actually be a little better (yet it got no a-list blogger a la robert scoble advertising....but thats another story which I might get into in another post).
The similarities between these two services got me thinking. Why doesn't anybody develop a mashup/wigdet standard, so that all these services can actually work together, or at least compete in a fair playing field. If the calendars all have a way to be integrated as "widgets" into a personal space, then it would be pretty easy for me to actually select the best one and not have to decide whether I want the best calendar or the site with the most feautures even thought some might be mediocre.
Zimbra is a product that does a little bit of everything and I can install locally, basecamp also does a little bit of everything project related yet its an online service. Spongecell is just a calendar. Airset a little bit of everything. Numsum is an online spreadsheet. Tadalist is just for lists....etc
If I want a best of everything i have to either replicate information all over the place and have to log in to 15 different services....or just deal with a good email service but crappy contacts (ex. gmail).
Standards like iCalendar are great, but that only relates to the data. Currently the difference between a good service and a bad service is not the accesibility to the data, but the usability of the site. We need a way to get all these "best of class" applications to talk to each other so that I can go from one site to the next seamlessly, share information AND take advantage of the interfaces each site uses.
What do you think? can it be done?


Anonymous don law said...

That's in interesting take. I would have to agree with you on the Spongecell v 30b debate, as I too don't really understand why 30b received all of the hype. Especially when they're compared against one another from a true usability perspective as you mentioned, the seamlessness and flexibility of spongecell seems to be much more usable to the end user in terms of its core function of being an adaptable calendar.

2/22/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Guillermo K said...

thanks for the comment Don, when I get to a million readers I will remember you as the first person to comment on my blog! :)

As far as 30B vs spongecell, I'll write my theory about that in a few minutes on another post.

2/22/2006 03:47:00 PM  

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