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TR: How does imeem work?

DC: Imagine you’re chatting with someone you know, and there’s a button that says “View Profile” on it, and when you click that, instead of just seeing some tiny little profile like you would in AIM [AOL Instant Messenger], you actually see a full social-networking profile, with unlimited photo sharing, tagging, and so forth, right in the context of chatting with that person. To me, it seems like such a natural and fluid way of doing things.

Then we have the “What’s New” mode. Whenever somebody in you network shares photos or makes a comment, you receive a notification. It’s sort of like tracking people on your traditional buddy list – you can guess where they are by seeing their “away” message. We translate that into a person’s whole digital life.

TR: There is a lot of discussion about Web 2.0 as the new paradigm for Web companies. As you know, the idea is that sophisticated software services can be delivered via the Web, using programming approaches like AJAX [Asynchronous Javascript and XML]. What’s your take on that trend, and where does imeem fit into it?

DC: When the phrase Web 2.0 first came out it sounded interesting, but it’s become sort of a dirty word. When we hang out with people from other companies, we talk about Web 2.0 and crack up a lot. I think AJAX is very interesting, and the user interfaces and tools that some of these companies are coming up with are very interesting, but there are so many layers around it, it’s become a meaningless term. And I don’t think any of the Javascript stuff is revolutionary. I love it and I use it, but you could have done all this stuff with Javascript back with Netscape 4. People have now blazed that trail and built libraries that you can use to make it easier to build AJAX applications. But it’s gotten overblown.

TR: But another component of Web 2.0 is the idea of building large sites around user-generated content – whether it’s profiles or blogs or photos or real-estate listings.

DC: We’re obviously right in the middle of that one. And if you dig down deep to look at what’s actually shipping today, I think we’re doing a much better job than most of the stuff I read about, in the sense of taking user-generated content and making it easy to share it, tag it, and rate it.

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