Web 2.rightnow: Vertical Platforms

The term vertical platform sounds like an oxymoron, or, at the very least, like a difficult thing to stand on unless you’re a gecko lizard. But I found myself using it when posting about Pikiware yesterday to describe something that’s going on right now.

Let’s briefly revisit the “What is Web 2.0?” discussion and recall two good answers:

  • The web as platform, i.e., if you want to build software, build it for the web and the browser, rather than for any specific hardware and operating system.
  • User-generated content, or the read/write web, or the web as Sir Tim originally intended it.

One of the features of Web 2.rightnow is the web as a platform for platforms. For example, if you want to build a social network, you should consider as your platform, not the web itself, but a platform built on the web. Here’s how the folks at Ning describe their offering.

Ning offers the latest social networking features, all infinitely customizable to meet your unique needs. The Ning Platform makes this possible… your social network on Ning runs on a programmable platform.

Then there’s Bricabox, has been described as Ning for content, the above-mentioned Pikiware, more that I haven’t mentioned, and, I’m sure, more vertical platforms to come.

Thanks to Masato Ohta for making available the vertical photo of a platform at Koga station.

Platform for T-Shirt Printers

If you want to print t-shirts using designs provided by others, take a look at Pikiware. Mashable Mark describes it as a company providing a fulfillment system designed to work with digital garment printers.

Let’s broaden the appeal of this post. Following this paragraph, there will be a t-shirt para, then a Web 2.rightnow para! And Pikiware isn’t just for t-shirt printers, it’s also for people who print hoodies! and mugs! etc!

If you’re reading this because you’re interested in t-shirts, then you might be interested to know that April 28 was the (IMHO) best shirt release Monday at Threadless for a while. My favorite of the new crop is “Attack of Literacy!”

If you’re reading this because you follow web stuff, then the point of this post is that Pikiware is the latest example of the platform trend. If Web 2.0 was about user-generated content and the web as platform, then Web 2.rightnow is about vertical platforms: platforms to enable others to build particular things on the web.

Hey, that oxymoron, vertical platform, deserves its own post.