Saturday, 10 May 2008

Read Write Web - Qantas Media Awards NZ

Richard MacManus and his Read Write Web blog is the winner of the blogging category of the New Zealand Qantas Media Awards. He beat out a strong set of journalist contestants from the main stream newspaper sites, and local NZ independant political bloggers, , and .

ReadWriteWeb is the lead blog in the ReadWriteWeb Network, a growing network of blogs about web technology - the other sites are last100 (a blog about Digital Lifestyle), AltSearchEngines (about search) and ReadWriteTalk (a podcasting show about the people behind the Web).

REad Write Web began publishing on April 20, 2003 and has over 200,000 RSS and email subscribers, is ranked 11th among Technorati’s Top 20 blogs in the world and 4th as of April on the Techmeme Leaderboard.

Though MacManus is still based in Wellington he now has an additional team of regular and semi regular correspondents with the skills and interest to cover the whole of the technology spectrum.

On a personal note.
I've met MacManus. Three years ago, he like me, was invited to participate in a group organised by the National Library NZ. They wanted to tap the minds of a what they called external influencers who they thought might help them figure out the framework and subsequent gestation of the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy.

Over the subsequent eighteen months or so the group met around eight times in all day meetings. Like every other group of this kind - especially those composed of "people in the real world' tasked to help policy makers carve out an understanding of complex issues - the dynamic of the group ebbed, waxed and reformed along the predictable lines of highly opinionated knowledgeable people trying to get their point of view across.

In other words a lot of ego, a lot of talking, and the signal to noise varied depending on the amount of sugar consumed over the day .

The exception was the quiet guy in the corner. This was Richard. He took a couple of meetings to get going, but then, in response to a direct question on his view on the importance of social networking and user generated content in our thinking, he quietly swept the board.

Web of standards
First, for sure social networking and user generated content needed to be taken into account in its own right. But more importantly we needed to look at the how the small loosely coupled applications sharing common data handling standards were transforming the web in front of our eyes.

That was three years ago - the rest as they say is history. Not only has informal user generated content become a key platform to the New Zealand content strategy, over in the mainstream internet, the web 2.0 framework of the participatory web is at the core of new thinking in digital innovation, research, education, government and knowledge management.

Web of Data
Also embedded into the next wave of innovation is the notion of a web of intelligent data looking for communites of interest to share and extend the semantic infrastructure that will define a truly user centred internet.

If you want a measure of his, and his colleaques, current thinking on this and other key trends, including sharing social behaviours, then have a look at "Whats Next on the Web" web technology and trends for 2008 and beyond.