I am having lots of geeky fun trying out so-called Web 2.0 products. In my AJAX haze I would like to engage in a pointless exercise and bring to your attention some of the “beta” products which i have tried and “tag” them with a few comments.

The alpha of all betas, the big daddy of web 2.0, or should that be web 2.0 beta given the ubiquitous use of that term…, has got to be gmail. Where would we be without it? We would be where we are but just not as perky. There are so many good things to say about it that I won’t bother. The only thing I will say is that the ability to search it offline with google desktop 2 is nothing short of fantastic. Forget the privacy issues and get yourself an account. With 2.6 gigs to play with, I keep everyting in there - including invoices, scanned bills and some things I can’t tell you about..:-)

Web 2.0 brands

Click above to see some Web 2.0 brands.

I am a recent convert to flick, I mean flickr beta of course, and I simply love the technology behind this online photo application. It is not very pretty to look at, I have to say, but its functionality is amazing. From sets to organisation, this thing rocks as they say in north america The crying shame is that yahoo have bought it up. Do you belong to that web generation which grew up hating yahoo? No, probably not.

And yahoo’s grubby paws are all over del.icio.us as well. The “social” aspect in Web 2.0 products finds a very interesting use in this social bookmarking product. I really don’t know where I would be without it. I have found fantastic stuff on the web by signing up with del.icio.us. This is really indispensibe.

In terms of work, I have used basecamp (collaboration software) most satisfactorily. It is not in beta and it charges….! Meebo (web based IM with a variety of protocols) is again a life saver if you are on the move and using computers which are not your own. I use netvibes (a desktop which can takes feeds from everywhere ) and it is better than google.com/ig For some reason google.com/ig does not like FireFox. The layout used to be fine in the past but nowadays….maybe its just my machine? But I have four of them..and all have the same issue? I have tried one or two of the word and excel applicaitons to be found on the web (eg writely) but for the moment I will just use my applications on my hard disc.

Of the not so satisfactory web 2.0 products – I am sure I will regret listing these – I have to mention kiko. A social calendar, it is as buggy as hell. Planzo is another calendar. Very reliable but for some reason not inspiring. Anyone know why? 43things and Allconsuming are quirky and interesting applications but I find them a bit puerile. I really tried with allconsuming.net ( a kind of social consumption thingy) but I have decided its vacuous. No one writes anything. Let alone anything of any interest. There are others which are so pointless you wouldn’t even want to tell your granny about them - take a look at oishi!

Another late but really interesting discovery was Pandora. Musical education and discovery rolled into one. I reserve judgement for another week or so but this is very promising. There are plenty of other Web 2.0 thingys out there. Here is an excellent site which points to blogs and sites (scroll down). Betas included.