On this site, cloud-watching serves as the backdrop for hunting down that perfect search keyword, as Google or Overture give you a push in the right direction. Intention Cloud gives you a cloud of search phrases related to your keywords and a glimpse of what others have looked at.
The site’s soothing colors and illustrations remind me of Orisinal, sans the Flash. Of course, if there ain’t no Flash, there’s gotta be AJAX at least. It’s quite the catalyst to easily making web utilties like this. (That and RoR, but the visual effects of AJAX are easier to perceive and enjoy.) Plus, it’s comforting to see they’re talented not only in coding but in designing as well. Again, it’s easier to perceive and enjoy.
Although short of being full-blown weblications, Intention Cloud, along with WebSnapr, its kid Preview Bubble, and Try Ruby are just some of the interesting tools I’ve bumped into the past few days. They’re hardly venture capital gold mines but more like handicrafts the hobbyists would like to share to the world.
As you can see, not all of “Web 2.0” (if that is even proper to describe such niche sites) is about cashing in on the output.
Some totally unrelated foonote:
I heard a quote once that said, “Big companies take extraordinary people and make them do ordinary things. Startups take ordinary people and make them do extraordinary things.” I think the magic of Google comes from taking extraordinary people and letting them do extraordinary things. – Niniane Wang, who first learned LISP at 10 years old.
Oh, and Eskwela is now featuring a ton of new schools, including high schools. Still buggy (I am a “Student Forever”!), but it’s improving!