At the 2006 EDUCAUSE annual conference the Evolving Technologies Committee presented an overview of their annual reports identifying "developing technologies and the evaluation of their impact on higher education." The six evolving technologies are Web 2.0 applications; cellphones; vortals; podcasting; open-source learning management systems; and wireless.
Malcolm Brown from Dartmouth College investigated Web 2.0 services http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/DEC0606.pdf - "web-based applications that people use directly." Although much has been written about Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, wikis, social networking (MySpace), media sharing (Flickr, YouTube), and tagging (del.iciou.us) sites, these are stil evolving technologies that are attracting millions of users.
Brown points out that it's too early to predict how far this trend will go with "legitimate questions concerning reliability, longevity, and security" still unanswered. However, Web 2.0 services offer users many advantages in terms of "a tailored netowrk experience, a social venue, and the opportunity - through blogs, tagging, and voting - to shape their environment."
I found the following particularly interesting in Brown's report:
WebOS and the Web Desktop
WebOS is a software platform that interacts with the user through a web browser and does not depend on any particular local operating system.
Online replacement for Microsoft Office
Word Processing AND Spreadsheet (and More)
Google Docs (was previously Writely) & Spreadsheets
Access from http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/
Other web services sites
Zimbra (open source messaging and collaboration)
Jotspot (wikis and mashups)
Pageflakes (personalized start page)
For an overview of the 6 evolving technologies, see Pioneering New Territory and Technologies http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm06/erm0659.asp
The full white papers for each technology can be downloaded at http://www.educause.edu/EvolvingTechnologiesReports/.
Emily Chang's eHub site
"...a constantly updated resource of web applications, services or sites with a focus on next generation web (Web 2.0), social software, blogging, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, location mapping, open source, folksonomy, design and digital media sharing."
What is Web 2.0? - Tim O'Reilly's 2005 seminal overview