The Internet is getting continually more accessible at faster speeds from more devices. As a result, we are seeing the proliferation of web 2.0 applications.
meebo.com is one of my favorites. It describes itself as “a website for instant messaging from absolutely anywhere. Whether you’re at home, on campus, at work, or traveling foreign lands, hop over to meebo.com on any computer to access all of your buddies (on AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber) and chat with them, no downloads or installs required, for free!”
I’ve been using meebo for about 18 months. It is a zero-download, zero-footprint web 2.0 application that runs on just about any browser. What makes meebo powerful and popular is that you don’t give up core chat functionality like saving chat histories and using emoticons and customized fonts. Its all about consolidation. In order to chat with friends or colleagues on nearly any IM network, you only need a browser and an Internet connection. As if that isn’t cool enough, meebo added the ability to embed chat widgets like you see on the right of this page on any website. So you can chat with me by simply clicking in the widget’s type box like you would any IM client. meebo users also have a permanent chat room available for use. So I can invite five people who are signed into different IM networks (AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber) to come to my room and chat. All pretty cool stuff.
It doesn’t take a visionary to see that meebo and applications like it are the future. The implications of web 2.0 are practical, far-reaching and seemingly endless. Computers will be functional terminals, gateways to tools, media, information and settings stored elsewhere. There will be no need for physical disk drives or DVRs because everything will be on-demand, all the time. Digital Rights Management (DRM) licenses will replace CDs and DVDs. Instead of storing your itunes library on your home computer or ipod, you’ll simply own the rights to listen and/or watch media that are stored in online repositories. The future is going to be a cool place.