Welcome to the do-it-yourself web

Welcome to the do-it-yourself web
by: Wayne MacPhail

Neil Berkman isn't much into photography. But, he is into creating shared online experiences. So, the 38-year-old founder of Oortle Inc. rolled up his sleeves and turned the photo-sharing site flickr into a global, real-time picture party. Along with designer Bryan Partington, Berkman created PhotoPhlow, a real time social community built on the infrastructure, images and membership of flickr.

On the photophlow website you can log into a variety of rooms and, along with others in the online spaces, browse, display and comment on flickr photos (an earlier version of the experience - flickr Live - had been tried and abandoned by flickr). Photophlow isn't Berkman's first foray into shared web experiences. Back in 1999 he started Echo Networks, which allowed music lovers to create listening groups online. For Berkman, the web isn't something you use, it's something you bend to your will.

Meanwhile, over at groups like Give It To Me Raw and fans of the vidcast "Ask a Ninja" are using the make-your-own social network tool to create an online space to share passions, advice and content.

And at Word Press thousands of bloggers are pimping out their sites using dozens of widgets and plug-ins that make building multimedia sites like playing with multi-coloured Lego.

Welcome to the do-it-yourself (DIY) web.

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