Web 2.0 is better if you bring your friends along. That’s the whole point… connecting your social network to resources, information, and cheezburger cats.
- Social bookmarking tools: Del.icio.us is the classic, but Diigo is my new preferred social bookmarking tool, because it combines basic linking and tagging with groups and social tools. You can make lists, groups, export back to Delicious… building up semantic web relationships.
- OpenID: “An open and decentralized identity system, designed “not to crumble if one company turns evil or goes out of business.”
OpenID lets you log in to a number of services with a single username and password that you manage on a central server. Your username at the relying (client) sites is your OpenID URL. I can log into this blog with my URL, for example. Since I already am logged into my OpenID, I don’t need to remember yet another password, and I get right in. A few simple tags in my html header direct login requests to the OpenID endpoint of my choice (I use myopenid.com, but it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, because you can always change later if you have your own domain)
How do you get started? Actually, you probably already have an OpenID yourself through a web company you have signed up with. If you have a Google, Microsoft (MSN/”Live”/Hotmail) or Yahoo account, you already have an OpenID. (Here’s a list of well known OpenID providers). You can use one of these as your OpenID and log into a ton of websites.
For each website you connect to your OpenID, you don’t need to remember a password again. Though most of the sites you already use probably haven’t started supporting OpenID, it’s good to have one for commenting on blogs that you run across. You don’t need to remember an additional password, and your identity is authenticated. You could post a comment here with your OpenID, and I will know it’s you, because nobody else could be authenticated using your OpenID URL. When registering for new sites that allow you to use an OpenID, simple registration information like your email address can be auto-filled. (myopenid.com has a confirmation page where you can grant or reject permission for specific sites to read this information)
- A social profile. I think social profiles will be the big trend of how individuals can get into Web 3.0. This trend is beginning with services like Friendster, which aggregates a collection of personal feeds onto one page, which your friends can subcribe to. Whoisi is another alternative, an experimental open directory of profiles. If you want people to be able to search for you, you can add feeds to your profile page (like mine here). Importing feeds into Facebook provides a similar feature (like this blog is imported into facebook)
- If you’re doing research, try out the open source bibliographic extension to Firefox, Zotero. I’m kinda a nub at it, but it apparently leads to bibliographic heaven (PDF) if you do it right.