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Peter Yared is the CTO/CIO of CBS Interactive, a top ten Internet destination, and was previously the founder and CEO of four enterprise infrastructure companies that were acquired by Sun, VMware, Webtrends and TigerLogic. Peter's software has powered brands from Fidelity to Home Depot to Lady Gaga. At Sun, Peter was the CTO of the Application Server Division and the CTO of the Liberty federated identity consortium. Peter is the inventor of several patents on core Internet infrastructure including federated single sign on and dynamic data requests. Peter began programming games and utilities at age 10, and started his career developing systems for government agencies. Peter regularly writes about technology trends and has written for CNET, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, AdWeek, VentureBeat and TechCrunch.

Many thanks to Bob Pulgino, Dave Prue, Steve Zocchi and Jean-Louis Gassée for mentoring me over the years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Make the Web Come to You with Feeds and Widgets

Lately I have noticed that an entire day can go by without "surfing" the web. Instead, the web comes to me. I scroll through all of the news and information that I am interested in using Google Reader, and sometime dig into the things that people are linking. My iGoogle home page tracks stocks, weather, top newsfeeds, and other just-in-time information. About the only actual website I go to nowadays is Facebook, mainly because there isn't a widget that shows me the friend updates, especially about what apps they are checking out (which is of particular interest to me nowadays).

When I want to find out about something, I use vertical search in the Firefox toolbar to select Wikipedia, IMDB, LinkedIn, Dictionary.com, etc. I very rarely use Google search unless I am looking for something obscure.

Net net, I never see any advertising, especially with Adblock Plus. Nielson is cluing in to this, they just came out and said that pageviews don't matter. For example, I don't remember the last time I saw a travel-related ad, but I have the TripAdvisor logo on my Facebook profile on a widget that shows the cities I've been to and subscribe to a couple of travel related blogs.

What does all this mean? The web is getting turned upside down. Web sites will matter less than fragments of websites delivered through iFrames and widgets. Advertising is going to shift from push mechanisms like keywords and banner ads to opt-in pull mechanisms like widgets added to people's profiles and blogs.