So I was playing around with the Discussion2 stuff, which is pretty neat, but it got me thinking about the whole AJAX stuff and competition in general.
Slashdot (and Slashcode) seems to be really evolving lately, with tagging, CSS and improved commenting system. I don't know this for sure, but I gotta think that it's because Digg has put on some competitive pressure.
I always thought Slashdot was the 2-ton gorilla in the room that no one could mess with, but it goes to show that there's always a way to topple the giant.
I'm not saying that Slashdot is dead - there's a place for editorial control (save for April 1st), but they've certainly lost a lot of power to Digg, at least IMHO.
Some people refer to the onslaught of AJAX as AJAXturbation, which is crude, but seems to really get at the heart of current approaches.
Opening up your web application to AJAX techniques dramatically (and exponentially) increases the amount of traffic between the user and your server(s). So while we've saved bandwidth by converting from tables to CSS, we're going back with these little bursts of requests and responses as the user is on one page.
Another random thought is web analytics and statistics - do these AJAX requests/responses affect the stats
For example (and this is probably not the best example), pudge mentioned you can click on the 'read further' link and viola! AJAX will bring the rest of the comment into view without the fuss of going through a page refresh. My point is that this will lead to a user playing around with it more and thinking less of the "cost" of clicking those links. So I (the user) play around with hiding/showing comments with less concern, devaluing the content and at the same time, hammering the server with these tiny requests.
Probably a better example would be the Wall St. Journal's recent right-click search. That will add to a lot of playing around and at the same time, it's annoying to have two right-click context menus.
Let's hope with all these requests flying all over the place that the Net Neutrality Bill passes (and that the DRM/Broadcast Flag people don't try to slip in some of their wishes).
But maybe that's the way the Web (2.0!) has to go, in order to become the next OS... what do you think?