Archive for September, 2007

New email/social networking message aggregation service

By September 27, 2007

Keeping up with email and social networking messages can be hard work for young people leaving their digital footprints all over the Web. Catering to the need for a simplified online presence, a new website called Fuser launched this week. Fuser allows users to organize emails from multiple accounts (including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, AOL, Hotmail, […]

Keeping up with email and social networking messages can be hard work for young people leaving their digital footprints all over the Web. Catering to the need for a simplified online presence, a new website called Fuser launched this week. Fuser allows users to organize emails from multiple accounts (including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, AOL, Hotmail, and POP), as well as messages from MySpace and Facebook, into one all-encompassing secure inbox, thus eliminating the need to bounce back and forth between multiple addresses and sites.

Fuser users respond to emails as they would with a typical webmail application. Facebook members can even view Facebook wall posts and respond either by responding on the friend’s wall or by sending a message to the friend. Fuser also offers users a “map” of their network by ranking friends according to how many times they have sent messages/posted on their wall; these rankings can even be viewed according to specific time periods. As young people value documentation such as this, as well as the site’s primary aggregation service, the site may find an audience.

Post courtesy of Trendcentral.com

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Yahoo Mash Hoping To Be The Next Facebook

By September 19, 2007

The rumors were true, Yahoo is creating a new social network called Mash. The service is a bit like My Yahoo and similar to Facebook. There are some differentiating features, but will they be enough to create a breakaway hit? A Yahoo employee’s blog equates Mash to a social toy box. They are trying hard […]


The rumors were true, Yahoo is creating a new social network called Mash. The service is a bit like My Yahoo and similar to Facebook. There are some differentiating features, but will they be enough to create a breakaway hit?

A Yahoo employee’s blog equates Mash to a social toy box. They are trying hard to make it fun (maybe trying too hard the comments link is ‘convo’). The most unique thing is that you can create a profile for your friend and then invite them to the pimped out space. The other fun aspect is that you can alter your friends profiles. This will either be a big hit or totally freak users out. You can change the privacy settings to prevent it, but the default let’s you Mash up your friends page. I had fun doing that to a friend today. He didn’t see the humor in it.

The modules include Flickr RSS, Ego Boost, Common Friends, MyMoshLog2, Blog Module (RSS 2.0), Asteroids, Astrology, PimpMyPet, Hover, Kaleidescope, Guestbook, and My Stuff. I read that there are others on the way. The Yahoo blogger says:

One of the more popular new Mash modules I made is called “Ego Boost”. It generates random compliments, like “Jim thinks that David is Awesome!” and put’s ‘em on the public wire, and generally gives everyone a swelled head. I’m also working on a toy so you can draw mustaches on your friends.

I found a module called Wheel of Lunch. You enter your zip code and it populates a Wheel of Fortune wheel with the names of local restaurants. Spin the wheel and see where you’re going. We’ll see what else emerges when they open the modules up to developers in a few weeks. Until the public launch you’ll need an invitation to join Yahoo Mash. If you’d like one just send me your email address and your first name to scott.schablow@luckie.com and I’ll get you started.

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Interesting Cool News of the Day Read

By September 13, 2007

A pair of former Modem Media guys are introducing lemonade.com, which lets people put kiosks of their favorite products on Facebook or MySpace and make money on the clickthroughs, reports Bob Tedeschi in The New York Times (9/10/07). Tim Smith and Thomas R. Zawacki admit that nobody’s going to get rich on this (well, except […]

A pair of former Modem Media guys are introducing lemonade.com, which lets people put kiosks of their favorite products on Facebook or MySpace and make money on the clickthroughs, reports Bob Tedeschi in The New York Times (9/10/07). Tim Smith and Thomas R. Zawacki admit that nobody’s going to get rich on this (well, except hopefully the two of them!), but they believe that the opportunity to make a little bit of pocket change is a good fit for a certain demographic.

“If you talk to 13- to 25-year-olds and tell them they can make $15 to $30 a month doing this, that’s wonderful news for them,” says Thomas.The way it works is, you register at lemonade.com and create your kiosk “by browsing product categories or searching among the roughly two million items on the site.” Once you’ve made your selections, you click and drag your choices into a “lemonade stand,” that “displays a slide show of those goods, along with product headings and item descriptions.” Then you just type in your Facebook or MySpace address and your “lemonade stand” is up and running in a matter of minutes. You get paid just for clicks, but you also earn a commission if somebody actually buys something.

Gene Alvarez, a Gartner consultant, thinks it’s a good idea: “Word-of-mouth referrals tend to close more deals, and when you’re on my Facebook page and I’m selling something, you’ve gotten to know me. You don’t think of me as a dark, evil corporation.” Adrienne Durkin, who beta-tested the service, observes that people like to see what other people are buying, and besides, it takes “something that’s been a way to waste time, and actually turns it into a way to make money.” And Hilary Bowers of Yoox sees a really nifty research tool: “We’ll be able to see this audience … what they like and recommend … that’s an intimate perspective on our catalog and how this demographic reacts to it,” she says.

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Web 2.0 and the Search for Steve Fossett

By September 10, 2007

As both a technologist and a pilot, I am doubly interested in the recent turn of events in the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. For those not in tune with the events, Fossett took off in a small plane on Monday, September 3, to scout potential locations for his attempt at the land speed […]

As both a technologist and a pilot, I am doubly interested in the recent turn of events in the search for millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. For those not in tune with the events, Fossett took off in a small plane on Monday, September 3, to scout potential locations for his attempt at the land speed record in western Nevada. When his plane didn’t return a few hours later, search and rescue teams, including the Civil Air Patrol, converged on the area and a conventional search began.

Now, when I first heard the news that Fossett’s good friend and sometimes adventure partner Sir Richard Branson had called on Google to offer help via their mapping programs, I didn’t really give it much thought. Like most Web developers, I knew that Google itself didn’t own any satellites and [probably] didn’t have the capacity to access up-to-the-minute satellite imagery. However, what I did underestimate is Google’s ability to gain access to these things if needed. Over the weekend I got an invitation to participate in the search for Fossett via a special edition of an aviation newsletter I read. As I began to look into it, I was quickly amazed and impressed with what had transpired in a relatively short amount of time.

A few months ago I had read about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. I remember being intrigued with the simplicity of the idea and had even thought about some tasks that could utilize Amazon’s tool for the benefit of some of our clients. But when I read about how Google had leaned on one of their satellite image providers, DigitalGlobe, to obtain fresh images and then worked with Amazon to allow anyone on the Internet to search the images for signs of Fossett, I was really impressed.

Of course, distributed computing is nothing new. I can remember loading the distributed.net client on spare computers in hopes of cracking 3-DES or even SETI-at-home almost a decade ago. Some of my friends have even used their spare computer cycles for more lofty purposes like searching for a cure for cancer.

Maybe it’s the urgent nature of the search for a missing person, but somehow this seems the beginning of a new chapter in community involvement. We’ve seen public satellite imagery used to help in disasters and rescue efforts, from the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and even 9/11. I have personally helped a friend try to determine the status of their beach house after Hurricane Ivan, but this new level of organization really elevates the whole thing.

At one point, as I was searching almost 900,000 square meters of Nevada desert I was watching the HITs tick off. At the rate they were going, 30,000,000 square meters or more were being searched each hour. It is truly an impressive thing.

So, if you have a few minutes to spare, or are just curious, check out the Amazon Mechanical Turk, and you too could pitch in to help find adventurer Steve Fossett.

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Web ads best positioned to weather economic slowdown?

By September 4, 2007

WatchMojo is a rather interesting blog I’ve been following for awhile now. I enjoy its big picture take on the world of advertising, technology and economics. While this entry throws around a lot of generalities (not all of which I agree with) he does make a few interesting points along the way. WatchMojo Blog (HipMojo)

WatchMojo is a rather interesting blog I’ve been following for awhile now. I enjoy its big picture take on the world of advertising, technology and economics.

While this entry throws around a lot of generalities (not all of which I agree with) he does make a few interesting points along the way.

WatchMojo Blog (HipMojo)

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