Well with the Olympics almost over, I’m starting to wrap my head around some old interests like culture, technology and reading material again. I’m currently penning an article for my old publication, Diatribe, which seems to be getting back on its feet after the break-in (good news).
Now first off, even though many folks might think Beer.com is basically a forum for libidinous males to ogle very fine young women, there’s way more to it than that. The site has a technology streak in it and it’s constantly offering up great sites online that have useful purposes. Here’s a sampler.
Google Page Creator – Google’s kind of in this weird phase right now where they’ve got about a billion projects on the go and they’re facing some very traditional business model problems on expansion, project management and the like. But when Google nails it, do they ever: Google Page Creator could be a much-needed shot in the arm for web development. Get this: an expansive user interface that allows for some surprisingly sophisticated programming, 100 MB (!) of free storage, all tied to your GMail account. Can the Google OS, Google Browser we’ve been waiting for and online Google Office apps be far behind?
Democracy – How cool is this? An online television one-stop-shop with the screen resolution and video quality to compete with analog television. Damn right!
GCast – Free podcast hosting! I’m kind of interested in this, but recording a podcast from your phone? That sounds okay, but I can’t imagine what the sound quality is like.
I think the best part of these innovations is how they all subscribe to open source, free philosophies of technology integration in daily life; the closed systems that don’t encourage innovation are struggling more and more as content mediums. With a fresh round of lawsuits coming from the MPAA against torrent hosting sites, it’s becoming plainly clear to me that Lawrence Lessig of Creative Commons was onto something when he wrote Free Culture. The real culture wars in the 21st century will be between those who encourage innovation through technology and open source and those who place constraints (i.e. DRM) out of fear of losing control over digital properties. It’s more clear though, everyday, that a business model that embraces the “small is more” and “pay-per-click” on embedded ads is starting to really pay off.