MyBlogLog, the blog community creating site operated by Yahoo which I previously reviewed, has rolled out a slick new community widget. The widget offers a glossy finish and "flyout" upon hovering on community member photos which displays details and contact information. It seems MyBlogLog has simplified the widget configurations by removing a number of features and customizations.
According to a recent post by Ian Kennedy on the MyBlogLog blog, the new widget was graphically inspired by Arlo Rose who created Yahoo Widgets (formerly Konfabulator). I like the new look and so I promptly updated the widget on Somewhat Frank.
Somewhat Frank Weekly Tidbits: 07.08.07
Facebook Sees Flood of New Traffic from Teenagers and Adults
In the months prior to allowing open registration, Facebook.com’s traffic hovered at approximately 14 million visitors per month. However, after Facebook opened its doors to the general public, visitation accelerated to reach a level of 26.6 million visitors.
Your Content is About to Be Worth $4.3B
MediaWeek reports that advertising on social networks, blogs and other venues where consumers produce content is about to become a much bigger business than it is now. It's on pace to be a billion-dollar business this year. However, by 2011 it will grow to $4.3B.
Twitter v Pownce: It’s The API, Stupid
Nik Cubrilovic compares Twitter to Pownce and believes that there are two key things that Twitter has done well that Pownce has overlooked completely.
TechCrunch quietly rolls out a web 2.0 directory of companies and services.
MyBlogLog: DNS for People
Ian Kennedy explains MyBlogLog's strategy. They want to build a platform which allows you to get to know someone through what they produce and share, collectively, across all networks and the internet.
Podcasting Toolbox: 70+ Podcasting Tools and Resources
A great list of podcasting resources aggregated by Mashable.
'Hyper-Local' Site Backfence Shutting Down
Backfence emerged about the same time, a couple of years ago, as InsiderPages, Judy's Book and Yelp. Now it appears to be closing its doors.
Classified Info: Craigslist Alternatives Compared
The online classified sites compared.
Sphere Quietly Nailing Its Business Model
Instead of focusing on building a better blog search engine (an area that Google now dominates after a recent Technorati refocus), Sphere has spent its time developing technology that automatically finds blog posts related to whatever a user is looking at
Netvibes, now with one less CEO
GigaOm reports on some changes at Netvibes which includes the departure of Pierre Chappaz. Chappaz is leaving Netvibes and instead will be focusing on Wikio, his personalized blog and news search service that is now said to have two million unique visitors a month.
Somewhat Frank Weekly Tidbits: 05.20.07
Watch TV Stations From Your Web Browser
More and more services are popping enabling users to watch full screen videos right from a web browser. They kind of all have a similar television look & feel. It even looks like some of them inspired by Joost style.
Google Launches Universal Search
Google announced yesterday its new search system intended to bring together all of Google’s broad assortment of searches into format that should be more convenient for users. Google’s vision is to ultimately search across all of googles content and to
Did Microsoft go lose it head over aQuantive?
Just how wacky was Microsoft’s $6 billion bid for aQuantive? GigaOm tries to illustrate it in this article.
Windows Live Gallery partners program
Companies and brands may partner with Microsoft to highlight their Windows Live Gadget offerings for preferred inclusion in the Live.com personal homepage, Windows Live Spaces sidebar, and the Windows Vista sidebar.
Google's Defensible Trump Card?
Google is betting the farm on personalization.
Feed Crier climbs into bed with IMified
By becoming part of IMified, Feed Crier will be able to offer more features to our users. Maybe reblogging alerts directly to your blog from your IM client. Or subscribing to alerts from sources other than feeds (think Google Calendar, To Do list reminder, etc.).
Enterprise RSS - 3 Major Vendors Show The Way
Forrester has just released a new report on Enterprise RSS. Specifically it tackles the issue of information overload in the corporate environment, now that RSS feeds are an important source of information in the workplace.
Somewhat Frank Weekly Tidbits: 03.11.07
My Yahoo! Gets Web 2.0 Makeover
Just as Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel hinted at last week, the new My Yahoo Beta was launched this week to offer an drag and drop experience that mirrors the current Yahoo home page. There were a number of media reactions to the product. Steve Rubel feels that the new My Yahoo is abandoning the geeks. Erick Schonfeld thinks Yahoo is chasing web 2.0 dreams. While Greg Linden explained how Yahoo will be adding more personalization to My Yahoo.
Freebase Will Prove Addictive
Freebase, launched this week to create an online database, is to centralize as much data as possible to allow participants to freely add and access data - developers can extract information from Freebase via a set of APIs and add it to their web applications. This application, if true to its mission, could be huge.
A Roundup of Tools & Applications For Developers
Brian Benzinger pulls together a hardy list of web applications for project planning, system administration, usability testing, collaborative development, and web services to help "Developers, Developers, Developers…".
Criteo’s AutoRoll: What Readers are Reading
Eric Olson showcases a new blog widget by Criteo called the AutoRoll that displays links to blogs that your readers should like similar to the way MyBlogLog offers up popular links in each blog community. Based on each unique reader's affinity for each specific blog, the Criteo Recommendation Engine will compute on a real-time basis the relative affinity of all blogs.
Google Phone: Team of 100 working on Blackberry like….?
Is Google planning to follow Apple's lead into the phone industry?
Clearspring Raises $5.5M for Widget Service
ClearSpring, the Arlington, Virginia-based widget marketplace, which helps content owners widgetize and widget makers hook up with web and desktop distribution platforms, has raised $5.5 million in its second round of funding, for a total of $7.5 million raised.
Start-up to launch FREE wireless network in Silicon Valley
Meraki Networks, a Mountain View, California-based start-up is planning to build a free wireless Internet network in central San Francisco, and all residents have to do is put a small wireless router supplied by the company in their window or rooftop, to bring free wireless Internet access.
Five Principles to Design By
Web designer Joshua Porter gives five principles he designs social media web sites by.
Newsgator Online Beta: Better Than Before - Still Not Good Enough
Marshall Kirkpatrick gives his perspective on the recently released Newsgator online feed reader beta product.
Feedable Puts a Memetracker in Your RSS Reader
Steve Rubel reviews the new Ajax feed reader called Feedable and expresses his liking of its "memetracker" feature. The "memetracker" is built right in and shows you what the hottest items of the day are.
Me.dium offers an innovative and compelling application that blends real-time web attention-data with instant messenger social networking capabilities.
Similar to MyBlogLog, you can see when others are visiting a particular site you might be visiting, the major difference is that you can see what sites others around the web are visiting too. Me.dium offers social network capabilities allowing users to connect with other Me.dium users you encounter via instant messenger (shown in the left pane of the screen-shot to the left).
Me.dium requires that you download a browser extension or to be able to interact with others. Me.dium incorporates social interactivity which could act as a discovery mechanism. Me.dium also creates a browsing profile for each of its users and then acts as social matchmaker by connecting users with similar browsing profiles. Stowe Boyd made the following comparisons:
"This is very similar to the Eyebees concept that a client of mine was working on years ago, or other similar ideas, like lluna. However, the design of Me.dium -- embedding this navigator in the sidebar -- is truly great."
I first encountered Me.dium at the TechCrunch 8 event (early November 2006) as they demonstrated their latest creation and they have been busy perfecting the experience every since. At first sight I thought Me.dium offered a unique community feel however I also instantly thought about potential invasion of web browsing privacy. However, I particularly liked the way that Me.dium handles turning on and off the tracking capabilities they refer to as "sharing" thus putting my privacy concerns at ease. The Me.dium Firefox extension places a "sharing" on/off toggle in the upper right corner of the browser (shown to the right).
The latest version was showcased at the most recent 2007 DEMO conference - watch the Me.dium demo here. Or if clicking the demo link is too much work you could just watch below as Kimbal Musk, Me.dium CEO, demos the product on the Scoble Show.
Bottom-line: Me.dium offers users a unique interactive experience while visiting any web site which could lead to discovery of new friends and web sites.
Launching a product with the "beta" tag is the way of web 2.0, but the "beta" tag is not meant to be ever-present. I expect that eventually the ever-present "beta" will not be
legally acceptable. In the meantime, Museum of Modern Betas recently polled its readers on the best beta's of 2006.
I interpreted it as the best betas launched in 2006, though I have to admit, it is difficult to recall when products actually launched as opposed to when they became popular. After revising my list to remove a few products that launched in late 2005, I selected:
Readers of Museum of Modern Betas encountered the same issue and so the poll results were weighted by year with older betas receiving less points per vote. According to the MoMB poll results the Betas of the Year 2006 are:
What are your favorite beta products that launched in 2006?
What are your favorite beta products around in 2006?
MyBlogLog, the product focused on creating a connected blogosphere community, appears to have slipped a new pictures feature into the product. MyBlogLog users can now upload images to their account to be on displayed for the rest of the community to view. The picture functionality (shown below) is a very primitive single photo upload which hinders the number of images I would upload to the service. Additionally, all items posted are public as it does not appear to offer security levels.
I am a big fan of MyBlogLog as explained previously on Somewhat Frank. MyBlogLog was also recently acquired by Yahoo. It will be interesting to see how the picture feature evolves. MyBlogLog asks you for various acquaintance levels (friend, family or admirer) when adding a contact to your profile similar to the way Flickr, another Yahoo property, handles photo privacy so it may make sense for them to lean on Flickr for advice. Or is an integration with Flickr already in the works?
MyBlogLog recently launched enables bloggers to create a community around their blog by putting a social networking spin on site metrics. Like many site metrics packages MyBlogLog tracks web site traffic, however MyBlogLog also identifies and displays when other registered MyBlogLog users visit another registered MyBlogLog site. In a similar fashion to the photo site Flickr, MyBlogLog allows users to interact with other MyBlogLog users through contact and comment features. Each registered MyBlogLog account is assigned an author page which can you can add as a contact in addition to a community page focus on building a community around a blog or site. You can add me as a contact or join the Somewhat Frank community.
MyBlogLog offers free usage which delivers access to all of the main features yesterdays metrics with referring links, most popular out-clicks and most popular in-clicks. A premium offering is available for $3 per month or $25 for the year for real-time metrics.
Similar to the widget I configured above, I recently added the MyBlogLog widget to the left rail of Somewhat Frank. As you can see it is displays "Recent Readers" of Somewhat Frank that are also MyBlogLog users. The widget is pretty out of the ordinary as it displays individual metrics data which stirs up privacy concerns. One thing you have to keep in mind though is that all MyBlogLog users opt-in to have this metrics data shown. Mike Arrington recently tackled this concern and came to the conclusion that:
“So for now I am enjoying seeing what sites everyone else is visiting (and I love the fact that this person is a TechCrunch reader), but I’m not going to give away the sites that I visit just yet.”
In addition to the rail widget MyBlogLog has two other interesting features for blog owners. First, MyBlogLog displays the popularity of links on a particular blog page when a link is hovered over. Second, MyBlogLog displays a MyBlogLog profile photo inline in the comments section of a blog. Check out the comments section of this blog post as an example of inline profile photos.
MyBlogLog was founded by cofounder Eric Marcoullier and Todd Sampson two Florida natives. Scott Rafer is currently ceo and has leadership experience a a former ceo of Feedster and is the current chairman of WINKsite.
Bottom-line: MyBlogLog is a wonderful discovery mechanism. Upon signing up I found myself clicking on an endless number of other blogs and user in search of new and interesting people and blogs. Not to mention, I am seeing a number of new referrals from other users that have found my blog through the service. MyBlogLog helps transform the social media landscape into a better connected community by helping to introduce and place a face with a name in the blogosphere.