The above post title was a comment that Dave Recordon from SixApart made during his talk on Thursday at Web 2.0 Expo on Open Web 2.0 Platforms. In his talk he pointed out how AIM was the most closed, “walled garden” messaging network in the space 3 years ago. Now AIM is the standard in building an open synchronous network, from our SDK, Web APIs or documented protocol you can build on top of our network if you are a Linux C++ developer, an iPhone Objective-C developer, a Flash developer or PHP/Script jockey. Thanks Dave for the kind words.
Open AIM is not the only property at AOL getting love today. Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch wrote a cool article about AOL’s strong growth in our sites. The reason for this growth is all the revamping we have done on sites like webmail, AOL.com and even AIM.com. Things are definitely getting exciting here at AOL as we continue to build on the success of our open platforms and products.
After last years Web 2.0 Expo where I only saw business development and product management people, I had little hope for Web 2.0 this year to be the technical juggernaut OReilly promised. I am glad I was wrong. This year there have been few, if any, vaporware announcements and developers are all over the place. We continue to see tremendous interest in Open AIM and we have fantastic swag to hand out at our booth in Moscone West.
Yesterday’s keynotes were really quite good. Microsoft showed off Live Mesh, which is very interesting as a content distribution tool and storage backup. If I take a picture on my mobile device from the conference, I can use Live Mesh to share pictures instantly with all of my ‘mesh.’ Mesh will run on XP, Vista, and eventually it will run on mobile devices and Macs. Microsoft, internally, has 6 mobile devices and Mac support working and say it will be released later this year. Clay Shirky spoke about how today’s youth spends their free time and how interacting with entertainment is important for them, not sitting idly in front of the TV. Max Levchin from Slide defended his company’s $500 Million valuation and how Slide is staying ahead of the curve with regards to monetization. He believes business models being used in Asia in the form of micropayments and premium services will be the next phase of Slide and other social network apps revenue streams.
Edwin Aoki spoke in front of 4000 people about Open AIM. He borrowed parts of my talk on the History of Open AIM which is a case study of how and why we opened up our APIs. Edwin did a terrific job and it was awesome to have an audience this size hear about AIM.
We are starting to see some cool results with the Top Coder Open AIM competition where we are giving $100,000 in prizes and some t-shirts as well. Recent additions to the AIM Gallery include an IM Whiteboard plugin, a very cool mashup that allows you to chat with buddies while watching videos, and a neat bot that tests your skills in math and logic. You can find these submission and a bunch more at gallery.aim.com. The site also is host to many other Open AIM plugins, clients, bots and mashups that the community has built. Check out all these apps and more here.
For my trip to India I decided I would write a bot that can return the latest Cricket News, Scores and Cricket videos via Truveo Video Search. This is super important today as India is in a test with South Africa. Of course I have no understanding of cricket, though the employees here in BDC are definitely watching closely. The bot was written in C-Sharp, which I maintain as the best way to write a bot. The reason being, you have full access to the Open AIM API, you do not have to worry about deploying the .net framework with the bot, and with C-Sharp you get easy to write code with auto complete via Visual Studio. The bot code is posted here for everyone to check out.
This week I am at our Bangalore Development Center working with all the great people here. I was part of an American Idol style Innovation Competition judging great innovative applications developed and created by engineers, testers, and even project managers. Hopefully we will see some of these innovations up on the AIM Gallery very soon. I also have been presenting to the teams out here about how we built the Open AIM APIs and what Open AIM 2.0 is all about. India is truly an amazing place, the people are friendly, the traffic and riding in the car is super scary, and development is happening at a break-neck pace.
Here are few pictures from the trip. Tomorrow I will share a bot I worked on specially for the Bangalore office.