AJAX Good or Bad Part II (or What should publishers do with AJAX?)

The talented Paul Scrivens and Sean Bonner both casts their votes for “empower the user” over “protect the page views” in the AJAX debateI brought up the other day.

Paul agrees with my argument that making compelling user experience drives repeat users and points to DIGG‘s 1.0 vs. 2.0or page reloading vs. non-page reloadingtraffic stats. The GMAIL example I gave yesterday is an even better example of how powerful this transformation can be.

Think about it, for the past five years there has been no difference between Hotmail andYahoo Mail. Web-based mail sucked and power users used it as a last resorta backup at best. Then, overnight, the power users loved webmail. Why? Because it became faster.

Flickr is the other perfect example. Photo sharing was everywhere, but the interfaces were slow and dorky. Flickr was slick, but most importantly fast.

So, I agree with Paul 100%.

However, aside from making commenting faster I’ve yetto find an amazing AJAX idea out there for blog publishers.

Sites where the purpose is to click benefit from AJAX. Sites that let people rest their mouse and promote reading don’t really gain from AJAX. I guess that’s kind of obvious.

So, to be clear: I’m a big fan of AJAX, but I don’t see the amazing payoff for publishers at this point. Give me some killer feature and I’ll add it. I just don’t know what that feature is.

If someone out there is an AJAX wizard and wants to work with us to come up with a killer feature email me at jason at weblogsinc dot com with AJAX idea in the subject line (and/or just post your idea in the comments below).

What should we do with AJAX? Tell me!