I need a place to hold the various holy shits I stumble upon and this is that place. If you’ve had any recent holy shits, please feel free to add as comments. As the year comes to the end, I’ll likely reflect back on the year, tidy this list up, and figure out who actually changed the world in 2005.
Google Maps: The initial reaction to Google Maps is “Wow, a big fat map.” I’m certain that a majority of the people that use it have not figured out the holy shit feature — you can drag the map and redraws on the fly. The Net is a buzz about the technology surrounding Google maps, but that’s not the point. The point is that web pages have suffered from an immersion problem since day one… I can’t lose myself in a web page because I’m either staring at a static HTML page or I’m confined in a Joe Cartoon sized box. Web applications have evolved in 2005. There’s more coming.
HTMLArea: Staying with the web immersion problem for a moment. I’ve been frustrated since day #1 at Netscape by the fact that HTML (and subsequent cooler technoglies) gives developers a high degree of creative freedom… except if you want to edit text in a web page. We’ve been stuck with the lame textarea control where none of the rich formatting of the web is used. Try to edit any page on Wikipedia and you’ll see a great example of this problem Making text bold is a backwards non-intuitive nightmare.
My holy shit regarding this problem occurred while testing driving Jotspot — a recent entry into the commercial Wiki arena. Go check out this page right now (user: weblog, pass: weblog) and edit it. If you’re using Firefox, you’re going to see the HTMLArea control… this is a rich text editing control (which has been around for awhile) that solves the rich text editing problem. I can already hear the collective sigh of relief from the Web when this control garners a bit more browser support.
Tags: I’m hesitant to put tags as a Holy Shit since they’re really just another name for metadata which has been buzzy for years. Still, tags are changing the way folks are managing and sharing huge piles of information. Del.icio.us is the first example which comes to mind followed closely by Flickr. The holy shit really is how tags are being used… social meta-data… hmmmmm…
More as it shows up… Stay tuned.