These new wiki and blog based platforms are an example of the promise of Web 2.0. They introduce a whole new way to build collaborative, interactive, web ready applications that can be hosted "in the cloud" or inside the firewall.
Platform shifts happen every 10 to 15 years. We may be witnessing the start of a new platform shift with Web 2.0 style blog and wiki platforms.
i hesitate to call what we do a platform yet. It is hard to think of a startup that started and remained as a platform. Instead we are focusing on being a killer application first. Apps that gain widespread adoption become attractive for others to develop upon, and if managed right, become platforms.
That said, Don is right that we are at the beginning of a platform shift. Wikis and Blogs have from their very beginning afforded open source and open APIs. They make great containers for orchestrating web services to form composite applications, or for being mashed up elsewhere. And more importantly, they are collaboration and communication tools that demand and enable redesign of applications. Not just slapping them on a web page.
Weak signals that this is already happening include how Angel.com leveraged Wiki Web Services for a public wiki knowledge-base with Excel documents. Or Joe Gregario's leverage of wikiCalc and his Sparkline generator to prove out the spreadsheet as a mashup fabric:
I recently pointed to a cool thing Jon Udell did with my sparklines generator. In that article Jon asks:
How can more people be empowered to do such redesigns, for print and for the web?
My answer is based on my opinion that any solution needs to be Document Centric. I believe an online spreadsheet is an excellent starting point for building a mashup fabric: a document into which a range of online services can be combined. To that end I downloaded and installed wikiCalc and tried to integrate my sparklines service into a spreadsheet...