Posts Tagged ‘Lifestreaming’

AOL goes further into Lifestreaming, Follows the trends, prepares for the future.

August 15th, 2008


Two weeks or so ago, no one would have thought of AOL as a company you would associate with lifestreaming. It was just after that Frank of SomeWhatFrank revealed in a tweet that he was using BuddyUpdates that the mention of Lifestreaming and AOL conjured an association. That association landed in Mark Krinsky head and off he went to write about it. Certain major blog ran with the story a little later without giving credit of that and then suddenly everyone knew about it.

Little we did know that that week would end with the news of AOL acquiring SocialThing! For a undisclosed amount (a rumored 1 million) as broke by Techcrunch. It was weird news because it almost seemed random of AOL to have acquired a Lifestreaming Service. That impression just lasted seconds to me because of the still very fresh impression of the BuddyUpdates lifestreaming Service for AIM.

BudddyUpdates is clearly a Lifestreaming Tool, but its focus and goal is only of relevance to AIM IM users up to this moment. It is more of a Funneling Service for Updates. It lacks a common ground in terms of being a Lifestreaming service. It is more of just a bridge.

That is because it may not be meant to be more than that. SocialThing is now the base of AOL lifestreaming services.

A Boulder based startup founded in 2007 and funded by Techstars , a startup incubator from Colorado started with a little hype and then the hype died down because it was a private beta and also because it was quite snobbish and it only worked right using firefox and downright blocked IE browsers from accessing the service. Even then, I have used it since I first got in because it solved a problem for me offering support to my favorite Nanoblogging (twitter) and Microblogging (pownce) service.

SocialThing is quite unique to others even if it is often compared erroneously to Friendfeed. Even if they don`t have anything alike in principle. Something SocialThing CEO rightfully agrees with me. There is a simple why on that:

Socialthing! Is a about cross posting, lifestream aggregation and service specific replying. There is no local reply in SocialThing, there are no rooms and there is not even an actual user profile. The replies are posted in the respective service you aggregate. SocialThing serves as bridge in the same way Posty, the AIR app from Cesare Rocchi, allows you to check your microblogging (or nanoblogging if you will) rivers, cross post and also do service specific replying to notes from your contacts.

Friendfeed aggregates but also centralizes interaction within friendfeed and it exists as a social hub with a accompanying user profile. You cannot cross post, or reply to the specific note in the specific service that is being aggregated in the same way you do in Socialthing!. So please stop comparing them. The only thing alike as a web service would be HelloTXT because you can cross post and view your respective service lifestreams without being able to reply directly.

So please, could all of those saying that it somehow competes with Friendfeed just knock it off?

I even had posted about it. First as a mention in a post about that caused a response from Ben Brightwell that gave me 25 invites and I have added quite significantly to that having invited over 100 people to the service up to now.

I criticized them for their lack of IE7 support that is pure nonsense for ANY web service that wants traction, coverage and goodwill. I did the same for their lack of badges and widgets. Something that has proven a popular tool and I would say now indispensable to any web service where it makes sense. A lifestreaming service sure fits the bill. Because of that and many details I have seen while using it. I do now come to the conclusion that a acquisition was their only way out because I really doubt it would have succeeded on its own given its extremely limited set of supported services and snobbish way of doing things so far.

I am being harsh? Of course I am. The reason for that is because I believe the tool is great and it got a great potential. Mathew Ingram said that he found it less useful because it didn`t steal away the conversation in the way Friendfeed does and because it is user centered instead of note centered like friendfeed. I disagree completely. Because for me the services are completely different as I already have stated above. I think some will also agree with me on that.

Now, a whole week after the news of AOL bought SocialThing! broke loose . The confirmation from Frank Gruber gave it new life again and finally cleared SocialThing to disclose it in public.

Now it is all about how AOL gets to integrate it with Bebo and Buddy Updates. What else they can do with the service is also still a big interrogation mark. I of course wish there is a Widget involved (please frank, it would be cool, pass it along) so I can get another chance to revisit Socialthing! here at Widgets Lab.

*Yes, yes, I know this is one of those unusual posts that somehow get into Widgets Lab even if there is not a Widget involved at all (at the moment) but at least I am not posting about big foot like Techcrunch….nope, I am not joking. They posted about big foot.*


Chirp 2.0: A easy to use full twitter client in a Mac Dashboard Widget

July 25th, 2008


Chirp is a full twitter client Mac Dashboard Widget. this is the second version and while the first was more of a simple way to read your tweets, chirp 2.0 is also a simple way to post and reply. a good solution for those looking for a  good Twitter Widget for the Mac.

The changes are many and quite radical from version 1.0:

Version 2.0 is a major update, bringing many welcome improvements to the original Chirp:

  • 1.-Added support for picons(personal/photo icon), relative time, links, and @ Replies.
  • 2.-Added alerts to warn of problems with Twitter.
  • 3.-Faster downloading of tweets.
  • 4.-Smaller file size.
  • 5.-New source parameter (displays "from Chirp").
  • 6.-No longer allows posting or viewing of updates if the username and password are not entered.
  • 7.-Automatically prompts for username and password if not entered.
  • 8.-Updates exceeding 140 characters are automatically truncated before posting.
  • 9.-Fixed a bug with messages containing "&" being truncated by Twitter.
  • 10.-Displays the poster’s full name instead of @ Screen Name for each tweet (the @ Screen Name can still be seen by hovering the cursor over the poster’s picon).
  • 11.-Hovering the mouse over a user’s full name displays their followers count.
  • Color schemes re-branded with Chirp logo.


Chirp 2.0

Plurk Widget Editor Updated, Adds Customization and High Spread Sharing

July 1st, 2008


A nice update for the Plurk widget is now out and they have solved all of what i don`t liked in the first release.


Now you can customize the user details, the size and the colors of the widget so you can integrate it better to your blog.


There is also a live preview of the widget so you can make as many versions of your plurk widget as you want. if you want to save those versions before deciding which one you are going to use just save the code each time you come up with a version of your liking. preferable if you are going to be using the embed code directly.

If you are fine with just one version and don`t want to copy and paste the embed code yourself. don`t worry about it. the Plurk Widget Editor now counts with a High Spread Sharing module powered by gygia.


The guys at plurk aimed this release for blogs only so the options quick install are only for Blogs. but they have said they will add Widget- App versions for MySpace and Facebook very soon. i would add Friendster, Hi5 and Bebo while they are at it.

Other than that. no complains for it with this release.but if they can release a release a Vista Sidebar Gadget, that would be cool to have next.

It also got a extra perk for IE7/IE8 users because the Plurk Widget will render faster and with a extra option in the widget:

Quick Plurk subscribing so if anyone visits your blog and checks out the plurk widget, they can join directly from the widget by doing their first Plurk note right there on the spot and also follow your plurks immediately after they have joined.



via Plurk Blog

Ustream: now with overlay ad banner

June 25th, 2008


Not content to be left out of the possible money to be made in Online Video Advertising. Ustream. the biggest video Lifecasting provider will now “try” (more like adopt from the top) Overlay advertisements with some of the most notorious or  popular users in the service. pretty much the same that YouTube has been doing and what other are going to do in this space.


And calling them proper overlay ads would be wrong. they are going mix with the “live comment track” in the player and if you hover the advertisement in the video you will get another front overlay with offering. i have seen the ads already and while the execution is a no brainer. they got several problems to me:

  • 1.-They are ugly.
  • 2.-They are not truly translucent
  • 3.-They have not been well thought out.

These are not even on the level of youtube overlay banners. but the good news is that they got a good company behind the ads. YuMe. the same that will be providing help to Microsoft. so they should do fine. at the pace online video advertising is pushing i would say we should expect overlay ads in some capacity or execution on pretty much all mayor online video providers by the end of the year.


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