Some surprises in Alexa Rankings of Top-100 sites (Alexa actually does 500, but I track changes only for the Top-100).
The companies in the top 19 spots stayed pretty much the same
Microsoft's Live.com climbed to 20th position.
Xanga is happily climbing up. After overtaking The New York Times it is now at the 22nd position.
I thought no one really used Orkut much. It is right on the heals of Xanga. Need to check this out.
Rediff.com an Indian portal overtook Match.com.
Digg entered the Top-100 list (at a ranking of 100).
Did not realize that Double Click is at 99.
Alexa Rankings and now Google Trends are two good tools to use to watch some interesting trends.
XMLization of the web is bound to happen sooner are later. Already several websites deliver content in XML format. One of the popular XML tool vendors Altova of XMLSpy fame, announced Stylevision(TM) for building XML websites and converting HTML websites to XML. In my opinion, XMLization of the web is the first step towards moving to the Semantic Web.
When content travels from a backend database to the web page, somewhere along the line the semantics are lost. This problem can be avoided by keeping the web content in XML. Also, you get a host of other advantages like the easy repurposing of content, ability to exchange rich data with other applications, etc. This ability just gets us to the first step of an immensely interoperable web.
IDC predicts that the XML tools development market will reach $395 million by 2006 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41%. While most of the web publishing is about content, increasingly websites will merge content with applications. This movement opens up entirely new opportunities for XML components. It will be interesting watch evolution in this space.
Update – May 2016
It did happen (XML as the content format for web) and was dropped for html5. There are several reasons for this shift. XML, however, continues strong and appears in places you don’t expect (for example, as the definition of UX).