I posted my first ever comment on digg regarding a web-based chat-room (sound familiar?) using the "latest and greatest" AJAX software called Hive7. It's dog slow due in part to the choice of heavy graphics compared to my own effort, and I have to question the idea that everyone has to draw from the same well so-to-speak. If only I had some funding a couple of years back I think the online experience would be very different nowadays.
I tried going there.... very slow. And what do you do there? It looked similar to the last time I tried it, which was a couple of years ago. If you use AJAX for something like Google Maps.... that would be worth talking about.
I personally hate cliche (s) like latest and greatest. Terms like that have been so overused to the bone such that they contain no meaning anymore.
AJAX as an acronym has been blown WAY out of proportion to its importance as an idea. It speaks volumes about the sad state of "web applications" that using browsers in this way is a novel idea, worthy of having books written about it even.
As for that Hive7 web site itself, it provides a glimpse of one possible future web-usage paradigm (yes it's actually an appropriate term here, not just putting on airs). Instead of repeating everything here, take a look at the text on the login screen of the chat room on my web site. I'll just mention that novelists don't see future web browsing as a solo pastime.