VoIP Fuels Web 2.0

A new beta of Yahoo! maps was recently released and I am impressed. Google has garnered much attention recently with it s new maps service and I am sure the pressure was felt by Yahoo! to one-up the company. They have. The new Yahoo! Maps beta is exceptional and I think I am a pretty tough critic.

The major difference between what Yahoo! does and Google is the technology behind the maps. While Google uses AJAX, Yahoo! uses Flash. I am a big fan of AJAX as it really speeds up web-based applications. Having said that, Yahoo!s new map initiative is slicker and faster. It does however require an initialization/download before working. On our corporate T3 this took about 15 seconds.

I wonder if the success of Yahoo! Maps – assuming it is as successful as I think, will slow down the growth of AJAX. But these are esoteric issues best left to developers and the average person shouldnt be concerned about what is behind the scenes.

What average Joes should care about however is the really useful feature of putting local search results on the map. What this means is that you an see the restaurants, ATMS and any other sort of business  in a certain area.

Google Maps can do this as well but with Yahoo! when you mouse over the different businesses on the left hand margin, the corresponding icon on the map changes to let you know where it is. So the Yahoo! integration is as also slicker in my opinion.

The better mapping technology gets the more people will use these maps to find their way. Furthermore, the better the integration of local businesses with mapping, the more money Google and Yahoo! will make. You see it is only a matter of time before you are able to call businesses by clicking on an icon on one of these maps.

Will Google and Yahoo! charge vendors for this services? Probably. I would imagine this is the most logical way to generate revenue from such services. So VoIP now becomes a tool to not save money but instead to make it. VoIP itself, a technology that is looking for new killer apps is itself a killer application!

This is not the first time voice over IP has been viewed this way. After all Skypes sales price of 2 billion dollars plus was predicated on the killer-app nature of the technology behind the worlds leading peer to peer communications service.

VoIP is more than just a way to save money. It is becoming the fuel powering Web 2.0 application engines! It seems every few weeks that VoIP becomes the enabler for another successful business model. The power and flexibility of IP communications is staggering to me and the future of VoIP 2.0 gets brighter and brighter as more and more Web 2.0 applications start to rely on VoIP to fuel their revenue-generating success.

  • Matt Sellers
    November 5, 2005 at 4:20 am

    Just thought you’d like to know that I’ve just written an article siting yours. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Web 2.0 and possible links to VoIP, but your suggestion is so simple I can’t believe I missed it!

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