TopJax 0.2

I’ve released a new version of my little Ajax system utility, TopJax The new release displays a bit more information to the user than the last.

If you don’t know, TopJax is basically the unix Top command ported to the web with Ajax techniques. It’s basically a, “hey let me do something that gets my feet wet w/ Ajax while also doing something potentially useful”

Mappr Beta!

I found this neat little wapp on the makemagazine rss feed, it’s called Mappr, and it superimposes pictures tagged with a keyword of choice on top of a map of the united states.

It uses other tags to place the images.

For example, i’ve tagged some of my images on flickr, which happen to be tagged with pug, ALSO with the keyword of neworleans. Mappr can then associate ‘neworleans’ with a location on the map. In essence, it’s inferring location from tags, which is neat.

To see it in action, check out this link

Original Ajax

I thought this was interesting over on Scobleizer: Apparently Jean Paoli’s team at Microsoft created XMLHttp in 1998 in order to give the Outlook team a way to do Outlook Web Access.

I mean, that’s not all that interesting. It’d be more neat if what we were using it for now was totally not what was expected, but I guess the tool is being used for what it was invented.

Full article about that, the Microsoft Atlas project, which I’m guessing is Visual Web Developer 2005 + ASP.NET 2.0, you can go to ScottGu’s Blog. There, he talks about the upcoming Atlas Client Script Framework, which will provide ajax support to ASP.NET

Next, we need to have System.Windows.Forms implemented in XHTML+CSS+AJAX. Wouldn’t that be something?

The even longer tail and the Adwords API

At first, the Google Adwords API doesn’t really seem like much, just a way to write simple programs to do some automating of tasks that are already pretty easy. I’ve bought ads on Google before, and it’s really fairly straightforward.

However, it’s really a MUCH bigger deal, in my opinion.

If you look back at posts like this one, you’ll see a nice discussion of how google is taking advantage of the whole long tail phenomenon by letting the massive amount of small guys with targeted keywords advertise to their respective markets. This is well and good, but there is something bigger that’s going on here. My speculation is that there is a much greater long tail than anyone has imagined, and that it can be served in a way that it can’t now — through creative use of the Adwords API.

The idea goes like this: There are lots of businesses out there that have a whole slew of products, services, and media to get to their respective consumers, but their focus is not targeted enough to make manually selecting keywords a viable option.

Take, for instance, a small business that sells a variety of, well, let’s just say ‘themed greeting cards.’ They’ve got their products available, but they have so many cards of various types that they don’t really have a good way of getting all their data into the adwords system.

Now, they can.

Anyone with a product catalog can do it. I’ll bet that in a year, good comercial ecommerce solutions will incorporate product catalog -> adwords (and the other guys) systems.

It’s going to get that easy to mass-micro advertise, and small businesses will benefit. So will Google.

Yes, there will be competition. I think Yahoo’s entry into this space will take a big dent out of Google, or at least it will put a little bit of pressure on bidding for keywords. Overall, however, growth in the market for keywords will outweigh any competition that comes online, at least for the forseeable future.

American Express RSS Feeds?

So, I was paying my AMEX bill yesterday and i noticed that they had an “RSS Feeds” Beta trial. At first, I was like, “Oh cool! They’re going to do something innovative with the technology!”

Then, I signed up for the service and realized it’s all just a big marketing ploy to get you to buy products that they’re offering.

To sign up for their marketing gimmick, you can go here.