Katt Tests Web 2.0 Waters

Opinion: Google searches for a stake in MySpace. Meanwhile, GE cozies up to Mozy.

"There must be something to this Web 2.0 stuff," quoth the Kitty as he sorted through this weeks collation of tips and rumors. The Fastidious Feline has always been suspicious of any designated technology trend cooked up mostly by market analysts and industry sales departments.

The Web 2.0 moniker usually sends Spencers FUD-O-Meter buzzing because the term has more definitions than Websters Unabridged Dictionary. Along with the Web 2.0 fad, the tip stalker is wary of the constant claims that every gadget, wireless phone, social networking site or online videoconferencing service is fated to be a hit in the enterprise world.

But after switching off his iPod and firing up his BlackBerry 8820 evaluation unit, the Wireless One had to concede that there is some big money behind the latest consumer crossover craze.

The Peripatetic Puss had just returned from a quick trip to Chicago, where he heard that Google wants to invest as much as $900 million in the MySpace social networking site. The word is that MySpace owner News Corp. and Chairman Rupert Murdoch are giving the proposal serious consideration, although a decision apparently is not imminent.

Google likes the idea of cross-marketing ads and promotions on MySpace and Googles own YouTube, the Chi-Town tipster told the Tabby. Google would have partial ownership of MySpace and hefty revenue streams from the Webs two most successful youth networking sites.

Then there is online storage backup vendor Mozy, recently acquired by EMC. Mozy used to be just a consumer play—providing online data backup service for home PC owners. Then it landed a $10 million contract with General Electric.

"How did that happen?" the Persistent Puss demanded from an analyst contact. It turns out that GEs CIO, Gary Reiner, used Mozy at home and decided it would be a great solution for the enterprise.

Spencer spent some time in his Hub stomping grounds to check out the Emerging Technology Conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of the neat little gadgets at the event was a wireless device that replaced the typical convention identity tags.

If you took a close look at it, the tag displayed a brief menu of options and actions. The tags were designed so conference attendees could beam their contact information to each other, similar to beaming information between Palm devices. The tags were developed by a Boston company called nTag Interactive.

The technology was spiffy, but the performance was not. Info beaming was uncertain at best. It took patience and persistence to do the info transfer, and sometimes it didnt happen at all.


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Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...