MySpace, Yahoo, and “what is Ajax?”

December 13, 2006

CNN has a story about MySpace receiving more traffic than Yahoo in November. In actuality, the numbers of hits for each were actually pretty close (38.7 billion and 38.1 billion), and the article points out that the use of Ajax technology in various applications might have reduced the number of hits.

Now, some of you might be wondering… what the bleep is Ajax?

Actually, some of its uses might sound very familiar. Websites that run on Ajax programming include Google Maps, as well as websites that provide “up-to-the-minute” information for weather, flights, etc.

Basically, Ajax supplants traditional “reloading” of complete webpages, which is why some interactive applications seem slow and tedious. If a website runs on Ajax, visitors can exchange more manageable amounts of information with the appropriate server, which increases the speed of interaction so that it approximates real-time usage. This allows users to explore Google Maps with the virtual “hand” moved by a mouse, and to see airline delays and changes in weather conditions almost immediately in appropriate sites.

Anyway, back to MySpace and Yahoo… I have considered writing an entry on my adventures in MySpace. It will portray initial excitement, followed by disenchantment. However, I have already taken up enough space in this entry. (Like that’s stopped me before…)

Before I go, here are some links to more interesting articles about social networks:


2 Responses to “MySpace, Yahoo, and “what is Ajax?””

  1. Amber Lynn Says: provides an example of an Ajax-enabled search. For those of you who are technicaly-oriented, this Ajax application is explored in the following article:
    Wusteman, J., & O’hlceadha, P. (2006). Using Ajax to empower dynamic searching. Information Technology and Libraries, 25(2), 57-64.

  2. Jason Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Amber Lynn.

    For those of you who don’t know what to expect from trying the Ojax search in the link above, it will provide an “auto-complete” list of selections in the search field. It also facilitates “auto-expansion” of individual entries. That way, you don’t have to navigate away from the original search results page to see more details about an entry (such as the complete abstract). Instead, hovering the mouse in the right location over the entry is sufficient.

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