Sunday, April 22, 2007

Web 2.0 Expo: Best of Show


If you couldn't make it to the recently concluded, first annual
Web 2.0 Expo on the Left Coast, Beantown Web provides you with links to everything you need to know.

Web 2.0 Expo is an annual gathering of technical, design, marketing, and business professionals who are building the next generation web.

The Expo featured 115 Web 2.0 companies competing for attention. Webware.com, a site where computer users can learn about new and useful Web applications, selected their Top Five Web 2.0 services from the conference as follows:

Webware.com offers a four-minute video that summarizes its selections.

Webware.com would like you to participate in The Webware 100 Awards -- the Web's first user-generated Web 2.0 awards. The Webware 100 will list the 10 best Web 2.0 sites in 10 categories. Feel free to nominate your favorite Web 2.0 site.

Nomination deadline is Monday, May 7. Beantown Web will highlight the winners which are scheduled to be announced on Monday, June 18.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Web 2.0: Most Likely to Succeed


<> YouTube <> Wikipedia <> Flickr <>

Two years ago you may not have heard these names. But now they are mainstream and prototypes for Web 2.0 sites to follow. All three of these services feature UGC -- user generated content.

The Next Big Thing

What are the next Web 2.0 sites that are about to explode? Hitwise offers its candidates for exponential growth over the coming months.

Hitwise is a Web service that offers competitive intelligence on how people interact on the Web. Based on an extensive filter of 25 million Internet users and some 860,000 Web sites, Hitwise has identified the following six Web 2.0 sites with the greatest potential to become the next Big Internet phenomenon:
Never heard of them? Here's what they do:

Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great -- and not so great -- in your area.

StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites.

Veoh is a virtual television network that organizes, showcases, and delivers clear, full-screen video programming to anyone with a broadband connection.

WeeWorld puts a friendly face on the Internet by giving you a graphic alter-ego that allows you to express yourself, communicate and have fun with old and new friends both online and on your mobile phone.

Imeem is an online community where artists, fans and friends can promote their content, share their tastes, and discover blogs, photos, music and video.

Piczo has created a space that gives teens around the world the freedom and tools to express themselves and connect with friends in a safer social networking environment.

Hitwise's prediction of explosive growth potential is the result of an extensive filtering of traffic patterns that show Web 2.0 usage compared with overall Internet traffic has expanded from 2% in its first year to more than 12% currently. Details about the Hitwise Web 2.0 projections are available in an Information Week article.

Implications for Web Developers

As UGC continues to expand, Web professionals should consider developing technical skills to offer to prospective clients who might want to add Web 2.0 features to their list of Web services. Here are three ideas to consider:
Both online courses are FREE, but neither are currently in session. The HP Learning Center will contact you when the next session is offered.
Ning is FREE and offers Developer Support.

NOTE: You are cordially invited to join the new Boston LinkedIn Network, powered by Ning.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

2007 Entry Level Job Outlook

Expect competition for that entry level job. Employers project an average of 73 applications for each available entry-level position.

These findings were revealed in an annual survey conducted by Monster.com. Results were captured from surveys of nearly 1,000 employers and more than 2,500 students. A summary of the results is available in a Monster press release.

Here are two positive findings that employers revealed in the survey:
Here are two positive findings revealed by students about their confidence in finding work:
Employers and graduates both perceive the following as the most important factors in hiring recent college graduates:Recognizing that employers value relevant work experience, 78 percent of graduates plan to complete at least one internship experience prior to graduation.

Here is how employers and graduates use the Internet during the hiring process:
Finally, here is the biggest mistake a prospective candidate can make during the job search process:
One in three of last year's graduates said they did not send thank-you notes after interviews.

Summary:

If you are near the beginning of your career and exploring employment opportunities, here are three strategies that can help separate you from your competition:
Simply follow these three recommendations and multiple job offers are sure to follow.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chowda Chat: Dan Keldsen

"Chowda Chat" is a periodic Beantown Web installment that features a conversation with an influential member of the Greater Boston technology community. The purpose of "Chowda Chat" is to provide Web technology professionals with information to help advance their careers. The format involves three questions and responses followed by one final thought.

Today's issue of "Chowda Chat" presents the thoughts and observations of Dan Keldsen, Analyst and Consultant at The Innovation Lab of Perot Systems and publisher of BizTechTalk.

1. Your blog, BizTechTalk, offers podcasting, one of many "Web 2.0" technologies that are increasingly being used to connect with an audience. How time consuming is podcasting and how can one get started?
"At it's heart, podcasting is just a slight spin on older technologies or media. As with any media production exercise, the key to producing content in a timely manner is in having a system or process in place to go from concept, through pre-production, production, release and marketing (and sales if you choose to monetize the content)."
"All of the podcasts that I have done so far (roughly 45 recorded, 30 or so released as of this interview) have been interviews with either one or two people, typically recorded over the phone or via Skype, so my examples will assume another person is involved in the conversation."
"Even with relatively minimal prep time to prepare a framework for discussion (I don't use set questions for each interview), you should expect easily 30 minutes as a minimum, and perhaps as many as several hours if you need to do any significant level of reading, summarizing and creation of your interview format for these interviews."
"Once the recording starts, we treat it as though we are live in front of audience, which helps to minimize the audio editing necessary on the back end. Depending on the effort you want to put into the final product -- some stammer, um and ah removal is typical -- add 100-200% more time to the editing process than whatever amount you have recorded. If you were not careful in applying some structure to the interview, editing the audio so that it makes a more coherent story can add a significant amount of time. Avoid that at all costs!"
2. The "Innovation Lab" of Perot Systems has assisted more than 20,000 professionals determine how to invest in strategic technology to create competitive advantage. What is the one non-technology skill that a technology professional should develop today to create a strategic career advantage?
"The ability to rapidly and thoroughly problem solve is at the heart of any job I can think of today, certainly in any operationally-focused technology position, but through more customer-facing and forward-facing new product development scenarios as well. If you can't solve problems on the fly, you are toast. If technology worked exactly as advertised, nothing would ever go wrong, but technology has glitches, and the swift survive on this one! Since I have a background as a musician, I tend think of life and work as one extended improvisation, where keeping one's cool while finding a solution is THE skill to have. Just don't let the thrill of solving problems instantly prevent you from keeping an eye on larger problems that may take more of an effort to solve."
3. The one-word advice offered to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate was "plastics." Assuming that the two-word advice for today's recent graduates is "The Internet," what advice would you offer a young professional just getting started in a Web-related career?
"Great question - will have to throw that back on the queue in NetFlix! Stay hungry, and assume a love of lifelong learning, because the Internet has opened up opportunity across the globe at scales we wouldn't have imagined possible just 10 years ago. If you aren't learning from this massive experiment called the Internet, be prepared to be obsolete as those who ARE learning every day outrun you in the global (and local) playing field."
Final Thought: "Make sure you are personally using the tools of the Internet to keep yourself sharp, always be on the lookout for intelligent people to add to your network (LinkedIn primarily, from a professional standpoint), and keep up with the fast pace of change, not just in your current field, but in business, technology, and what is happening around the world. Eyes wide open, ready to spring into action, and you should be able to weather any change that comes at you. Chance favors the prepared mind!"

Thanks Dan for providing our readers with a perspective on podcasting and how Web technology professionals can stay sharp and prepared through networking and lifelong learning.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fastest Growing Private Companies

The Boston Business Journal (BBJ) has identified the 60 fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts.

Called the BBJ Pacesetters, these Mass Movers are more likely than average companies to be hiring and contracting quality talent to help them keep their expansion rocketing forward.

Web designers and developers should consider establishing a relationship with the following five staffing agencies who are among the fastest growing in the state:
The complete list of the fastest growing private companies in Massachusetts follows:BBJ Pacesetters companies will be honored on Friday, April 13. For details and registration information access the Boston Business Journal Events page.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Boston Market -- 2nd Quarter, 2007

Job seekers with skills and experience that are valued in the marketplace are in the driver's seat of today's economy, according to a new study. Here is what staffing directors are saying in this latest research:The report reflects responses from 628 staffing directors, 1,250 hiring managers and 3,725 job seekers across five global regions, and reveals that a tightening labor market has tilted the advantage toward job seekers.

Press releases for the report entitled "Slugging Through the War for Talent: Selection Forecast 2006-2007" are available for review at WebWire and Development Dimensions International (DDI). A more detailed Executive Summary (pdf) is also available for review.

Boston Market

While the report does not provide details about metropolitan regions in the United States or specific job categories that may be in greater demand than others, this quarterly review of the Boston Job Market provides such insights.

In the greater Boston area the demand for Web Developers with the right skills and experience far exceeds the demand for Web Designers as the following keyword search at BostonWorks.com indicates:
14:1 Ratio (Developer vs. Designer)

Currently there are more than 14 jobs that include the keywords "Web Developer" for every one job that includes the keywords "Web Designer."

A more detailed search on specific Web-related skills confirms this demand. Programming proficiency and database dexterity dominate the list of Top Ten Web-related skills most in demand in the greater Boston area:
  1. SQL [ 669 ]
  2. Oracle [ 610 ]
  3. HTML [ 430 ]
  4. SQL Server [ 385 ]
  5. XML [ 351 ]
  6. JavaScript [ 212 ]
  7. ASP.NET [ 184 ]
  8. JSP [ 120 ]
  9. Photoshop [ 114 ]
  10. CSS [ 109 ]
The second 10 of less-in-demand, Web-related skills are as follows:
  1. Flash [ 76 ]
  2. Ajax [ 69 ]
  3. MySQL [ 59 ]
  4. PHP [ 55 ]
  5. Dreamweaver [ 47 ]
  6. ColdFusion [ 47 ]
  7. Visual Studio [ 42 ]
  8. DHTML [ 44]
  9. VBScript [ 28 ]
  10. XHTML [ 28 ]
Web designers and developers who would like to advance their careers should consider implementing the following game plan over the next three months:
  1. review the Top Ten list
  2. identify one core skill that would be advantageous for you to improve on
  3. develop a plan to improve that skill (self -study, online course, etc.)
  4. demonstrate improvement in that skill by displaying a Web project
Editor's Note: In the Boston Market -- 1st Quarter, 2007 I stated that I would report on my progress toward improving my skills. I have identified the Web-related skills I will be focusing on and have outlined a list of self-study books I will be using to improve those skills. The Web Apprentices Training Center is available online and feedback is welcome. I will report on my continuing progress in early July, 2007.

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