An absolute brilliant and definitely must read from Dion Hintchcliffe: Building Modern Web Apps? Better Have A Deep Competency in Web 2.0, Open APIs, Widgets, Social Apps, and Much More (if the link doesn't work try the Google cache)
Dion presents 7 different models for delivering online applications:
- Web sites: This the classic model for Web presence.
- Syndication: Countless aggregation services now exist that make a site's information embedded in their services as well as a way to offer users a method for pulling information from a site and experienced in a means of their choosing, from Google Reader and Newsgator to the innovative Yahoo! Pipes.
- Web 2.0 applications: in this context we're referring to the fact that Web 2.0 apps package up the 3rd major type of networked value: user participation.
- Open APIs and Web services: This is one of the most important long-term decisions most online businesses can make.
- Web widgets: Selecting parts of a Web site and it's data and packaging it up to make it run inside a portable, user distributable widget has been growing more and more popular over the last few years.
- Social networking applications: This is an amazingly fast moving field as you can see from a recent post on the latest happenings on the OpenSocial blog, to the extent it's hard even for well-funded companies to keep up.
- Semantic Web and Web 3.0: The Semantic Web, one of the original visions for the World Wide Web, has taken a while to arrive but it's beginning to look like it may hit critical mass in the next 12-24 months.
Dion goes on and explains why adopting the new distribution models is essential for new business.
[...] Unfortunately, the number of capable practitioners of these new distribution models remains relatively small compared to the large body of experts in traditional Web product development. Demand is also low for these new skills as most organizations have been painfully slow to appreciate how much online product development has changed.[...]