Kobe – the Web 2.0 application that wasn’t

Microsoft has released Kobe, "a getting started resource kit for planning, architecting, and implementing Web 2.0 applications and services using the Microsoft Platform" and a lot of the response has been quite critical (Ayende, Karl Seguin). While the code, architecture and lack of tests have all been thoroughly criticized I think there is an even higher-level point that has been missed -- Kobe, a Web 2.0 sample, was released and managed in a very Web 1.0 way.

Although the Kobe Project Overview video talks about a Web 2.0 application as having an online community and fostering "active and social user engagement" Kobe itself is available though an inactive, non-social MSDN page with no hint of community. The response on the other hand was far more Web 2.0, with people discussing the project through blogs and on Twitter. At this point the web page is updated to say "This sample application is being updated to incorporate community feedback. An updated version will be released shortly.", but that level of interaction is too little, too late.

I think the biggest mistake here is not releasing a bad Web 2.0 sample, but being unprepared to engage with the online community discussing your bad Web 2.0 sample. Authentic participation on twitter, informative blogging and frequent updates would go a long way here.

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