Archive for the ‘web 2.0’ Category

Trip Advisor acquires EveryTrail

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Trip Advisor acquired EveryTrail today – see press release below.  EveryTrail, based in Palo Alto, is “a GPS travel community and interactive trip sharing service.”

These guys have been on my “radar” since I first heard about them in late 2009.  They originally focused on GPS location data being imported into their community-based trail-sharing site, which seemed niche at best.  But EveryTrail soon expanded to GPS/location capable smartphones (therefore, Compete showing them with only 41K uniques should be taken with a grain of salt).

EveryTrail partnered with Fodors last summer to release EveryTrail Guides, which are interactive travel itineraries available for purchase online via ET’s iPhone app.

“While there is a plethora of travel information online, it can be a challenge to keep this information organized and portable when traveling. EveryTrail’s Guides aim to solve that problem by partnering with travel content creators, such as Fodors, offer these customized travel guides to consumers than can be easily accessed from a mobile device.”

It was an interesting pivot for them, as they were originally all about recording and sharing GPS data and discussing one’s hike/trail/whatever.  I played with the iPhone tracking app during some of my cycling routes, not the Guides.

No word on the acquisition price at this time.

Google whiteboards its way to the future

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Google DrawingsIf you ever need to create a semi-decent flowchart (woo hoo!) or perform a similar white-boarding exercise with your colleagues, Google Docs now allows you to do this a bit more seamlessly with Google Drawings.

The nice thing about this is that you can chat with everyone you’ve invited to view the Drawing. That being said, the phone (or video chat) seems to be a more practical form of communication when discussing images.

In addition, Google revamped the entire Google Docs foundation, “all built with an even greater focus on speed and collaboration.” What this means is document collaborators should see edits in real-time now, which is a huge advancement for the suite.

As Google Docs relentlessly marches deeper into Microsoft Office’s territory, the smart people in Redmond seem more and more oddly out of step with their static desktop apps.

If Google were to take the same approach to data creation and syncing as, say, Evernote (offline and online), the game would already be over.

Twitter Offers Locally Trending Topics

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Nice addition to Twitter’s right-hand-column that I noticed yesterday, “Local Trends.”

Local Trending Topics on Twitter

A Demo virgin no more

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Demo conferenceI’m just about ready for to head to the airport and fly down to San Diego to attend the Demo fall 2007 conference, which starts tomorrow (not including the cocktail mixer tonight). I’m pretty excited to be going, as this is my first time to check out this well-established and mature “launchpad for emerging technologies” event in person.

I’m quite intrigued to see the demonstration from Glam Media. According to Matt Marshall recently, their network is the fastest growing on the Internet and has overtaken iVillage in users reaching in excess of 17 million uniques in May. Should be interesting to see what they have up their sleeve for a new product/release.

Some of this year’s products appear poised to be bought out by the Google/Yahoo/Microsofts of the world. A good example is Attendi, Inc., who have created a new twist on social search. It sounds like the perfect sort of thing Yahoo! might be tempted to buy, and try to shoehorn into Y!Mash, which actually could be pretty cool if done properly.

Speaking of interesting social networking apps, I am truly looking forward to the spigit demo as well. From at top-level view, it seems to be far superior to the typical amazon voting or digg thumbs approach.

Anyway, this year seems to be yet another interesting year for the social networks and relative app markets. Lots to see and do. I hope to shed more light on the festivities in the days to come.

Y!Mash test drive

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Mash Social NetworkMy friend Chad, who runs the Yahoo! Developer Network, was nice enough to send me an invite to the Mash beta. I’ve played with it for about an hour, and here are some of my initial thoughts.

First, I was really struck by the stark simplicity of the site. It has the ajax goodness of Flickr in many respects, albeit not nearly as well tested. In fact, the lowly Safari browser (I know, 5% of the market, big deal) can’t even update a profile on Mash yet. But, some pretty slick ajaxness is in there once you move into Firefox or (boooo!) IE.

Most of what you would expect to find on Facebook can be found here at the bare minimum. It will take some time before virus-like apps start to show up like they swarm inside FB, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I suppose we should enjoy the nothingness while we can.

Mash did take a few cues from MySpace as well, however, in the sense that you can customize your profile page’s look and feel in its “Style this profile” section. Font colors, link colors, background colors and images, even custom CSS. So, Mash will start to get “fugly” pretty soon, but that’s probably OK. Time will tell.

The “About Me” section is annoying, and I’d rather just remove it totally. Indeed, Mash really strikes me with its boxy grid as an old-school portal. There are “Remove” buttons on some widgets, but not others. That just makes the ones without that functionality seem all the more annoying and makes me want to crush them into little pieces.

The Settings section has a simple yet clean place to manage your privacy settings, people blocking, notifications and email management. There is an interesting controller called Simple URL, which will convert your Mash URL into a more vanity-like URL, using your Yahoo! ID. Now, is it just me or is that completely crazy? If you don’t go into your permissions and restrict access, changing that URL seems like you would just be begging for spam since your Yahoo! ID is exactly the same as your email address. It’s not like a vanity URL in myspace that you can simply make up – and it should be.

The Pulse page is very much the notification system similar to FB’s, where you can follow all of the Mash activity across your network. Nice that they’ve decided to move that over to another page, although I could see this being a widget I might want to add later to my top-level page and reduce clicks.

All-in-all, though, my initial feeling is Mash has serious potential. The guys over at Yahoo! seem to have built a pretty flexible foundation to add new functionality and applications. Add to that the possibilities of more closely integrating other Yahoo! apps into Mash (assuming that they can all talk together, in a platform sense) and voila! You might have a serious contender.