This initiative sure looks like a great barometer of Web 2.0, and I would think that anyone following this space would want to be watching this group of companies closely. In some ways this reminds me of Demo, with the idea being that any company making this group is in good company. However, this a very different process where the nominations are determined by Webware's Editors, and the winners are chosen by readers/visitors to the site who make the effort to vote. So, it's not as gruelling as Demo, but it provides a great forum to recognize up and coming - as well as established companies.
To vote, the Web 2.0 space is grouped into 10 categories, and there are about 30 companies nominated in each category. Scrolling through these, there are lots of familiar and large names - Google, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, etc. - so there's always a risk of this being a popularity contest. Sure, they'll get their share of mainstream votes, but for those of us watching smaller companies more closely, this is your chance to speak up.
There are tons of interesting companies in here, but I want to note two in particular - Ocotopz and Mobivox. Aside from being Canadian, these are the ones from all the nominations that I follow the closest. Toronto-based Octopz made the short list for voting, as did Montreal-based Mobivox. Readers of my blog will know I've followed both companies for some time, and have posted about them previously, here and here.
Whether I'm waving the Canadian flag, or you want to support a couple of really great companies, I would urge you to check both out and decide for yourself if they're worth your vote. I have voted for both, and would gladly recommend them to others if you wanted a second opinion.
At this time of writing, the Webware 100 has tallied around 1 million votes, so this thing is pretty popular. Voting ends March 31, and the winners will be conveniently announced just before the Web 2.0 Expo, which starts April 22.
Technorati tags: Webware 100, Jon Arnold, Octopz, Mobivox