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The Faces of Web 2.0

Find out who's making news and leading the way into the second incarnation of the web.

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What do you think when you hear the word "wiki"? How about "web widget"? If these terms are foreign to you now, we can guarantee they won't be in the near future. The Web 2.0 revolution is here, and it's quickly changing the way we use the internet--for the better. While some of the terms may sound complex, the movement itself is actually people-oriented and will bring about easy-to-use, fast-loading applications that should help simplify the way you do business.

The following nine companies are all impacting the Web 2.0 movement in unique ways. Find out what they're each doing to revolutionize the future of the internet.


Based in: San Jose, California, with development operations in Seoul, South Korea

What they do: Provide an online office suite application

The face behind the technology: CEO and co-founder TJ Kang.

Why they're Web 2.0: ThinkFree offers an office productivity suite that combines the best features of the internet and the desktop for a solution that allows users to collaborate with others and interact in new ways that desktop applications can't. 


Based in: San Francisco, California

What they are: A self-service clearinghouse for a variety of different web widgets (small programs that can be embedded into a web page)

The faces behind the technology: Ed Anuff, CEO; Dean Moses, CTO; and Giles Goodwin, vice president of engineering, all co-founders of the company

Why they're Web 2.0: Widgetbox has been the leader in creating a web widget marketplace that provides widgets for use with blogs, social networks, online auctions and web pages. Widgetbox 19s mission is to give everyone the power to assemble, share and integrate the best of the web. 

Hinchcliffe & Company

Based in: Alexandria, Virginia

What they are: Web 2.0 consultants

The face behind the technology: Dion Hinchcliffe, founder, president and CTO

Why they're Web 2.0: Hinchcliffe says they're the first dedicated professional services firm to focus solely on how to use Web 2.0 to transform the way a company does business.


Based in: New York City

What they are: A hosted platform that helps companies bring social networking and user-generated content onto their website using widgets

The face behind the technology: Eric Alterman, founder and CEO

Why they're Web 2.0: KickApps puts a new twist on viral marketing by helping businesses take advantage of the human networking aspects of Web 2.0. KickApp's social network solutions are now deployed on more than 800 sites across the internet.


Based in: Chicago

What they are: The world's largest feed management provider

The faces behind the technology: Eric Lunt, co-founder and CTO; Steve Olechowski, co-founder and COO; Dick Costolo, co-founder and CEO; Matt Shobe, co-founder and CDO, all co-founders of the company.

Why they're Web 2.0: FeedBurner allows users to syndicate their audio, video or text content. The company also provides detailed analytics about such stats as what's popular and viewership. In addition, FeedBurner offers traffic-generating tools and has monetized feeds with an ad network.


Based in: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

What they are: A hosted online collaboration environment that mixes wikis, blogs, calendars and file sharing to enable businesses to collaborate more effectively

The faces behind the technology: Co-founders Reid Conrad, CEO, and Lee Buck, CTO

Why they're Web 2.0: Near-Time enables companies to use self-service Web 2.0 applications to create better partnerships with customers and suppliers. The open-ended style of Near-Time allows it to be used for many different business needs: Conrad has seen businesses using their platform for marketing, sales, technical support, customer service, product development and supply-chain management.


Based in: New York City, with offices in Dusseldorf, Germany and Lethbridge, Alberta

What they are: The world's largest Mac enthusiast community

The faces behind the technology: Co-founders Holger Ehlis, CEO, and Kevin April, CTO

Why they're Web 2.0: Spymac just recently launched its sixth redesign, the Web 2.0 site called Leapfrog. In this new version of Spymac, users can upload, embed and store content, video chat, and post and find movies with no additional software required. What sets Spymac apart? Leapfrog adjusts to the needs of visitors from 150 countries in terms of page design, interface and language. 


Based in: New York City

What they are: A social networking company

The face behind the technology: Joel Smernoff, president and COO

Why they're Web 2.0: Paltalk is the largest video chat community on the internet, with 4 million active users. The site gives users complete control to build and shape online communities where a worldwide audience can hold multiperson video chats of up to 1,000 people in each chat room.


Based in: Chicago

What they are: A web-based software company

The face behind the technology: Jason Fried, founder

Why they're Web 2.0: The company offers a growing roster of lean online applications, including the project collaboration tool Basecamp, that are, according to founder Jason Fried, "simple things that people can use."