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Friday, February 27, 2009

Techonomy Event - March 31 in Tel-Aviv, Israel


There must be thousands if not tens of thousands Web 2.0 startups on the Internet today. Many of these companies started with an interesting idea and implemented it based on a revenue share or advertisement business model. How many of these can survive?

The Techonomy event will address the upcoming business models and investigate how these Web 2.0 startups will turn into real companies that will drive an economy - a new economy that might change how people do business.

The event will follow the model of "American Idol": A panel of experts will hear the presentations from the startups which will focus on their innovative business solutions. The panelists and audience will decide on the winner based on innovative business model and overall assessment.

Companies who would like to take part in the action please send your application no later than March 12.

Registration is now open - click to sign up!

For more information, visit Techonomy's site.
Partners of the event are: Sun Microsystem, The Marker, Flixwagon, and Go2web20.

Special thanks to Mr. Yossi Vardi for his support on this event.
Also thanks to Jeff Pulver and Yaniv Golan (Yedda AOL) for their help in the event progress.

UPDATE:
If you plan on attending, please add your twitter username to this spreadsheet.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 3:27 PM 5 comments

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Good Way to Tweet some Music

As far as I can tell, Twitter & Music goes well together. People love music and because Twitter's becoming a big part of our daily life, it's only natural to share our music taste as well as everything else.

The most used service for "tweeting music" is blip.fm (@blipfm). They sure knows how to make a good connection between their music app to other microbloging services. You can check my previous posts about blip.fm here & here.

Twisten.fm is another service that allows you to find music, then share what you're listen to, through Twitter. This music service powered by Grooveshark.

Today I found another cool way to share your favorite music on twitter, and it is extremely easy to use, you don't need to sign up, nor to give away your twitter password:
  1. Just go to this site: http://twt.fm
  2. Enter the name of the artist/band you like
  3. Enter the track name
  4. And finally, enter only your Twitter username
This is how your tweet will look like:
click-me love the prev/next option (so smart)


The only problem is that twt.fm wont play the whole song, only a very short sample of it.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 2:31 PM 2 comments

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Future of Gmail



When you spending so much time on the web, it is more than likely that you'll develop a sixth sense of what's missing from services that you're using on a daily basis. I often find myself thinking about new features that in my opinion should have been integrated a long time ago (or at least it feels like they should).

My most used service is email. In my case it's Gmail, so this whole post is about my point view on that. However, you could apply it to any other web-based mail platform I guess.

For some reason, we all think about our email as a temple of top secret information, and the common assumption is that email is confidential and not shared (although we actually do it all the time, by forwarding emails, for example). But what if Google gave us the tools to share and publish pictures & files right from within the email itself, and on to public services and social networks? What if I got a great post from one of the blogs that I subscribed to by email and want to share it trough Twitter, Facebook etc..?

Here's what I think the Gmail email should look like in the year of 2009:

File Viewer:

This should be the easy part for Google - Making the right connections with their own services: Picasa and Youtube. It's so crucial that Picasa hosts my email pictures automatically, like they're doing with their Blogger platform for a year or so now (don't worry, it is saved to a private folder). Also a must-have would be the ability to finally watch a Youtube video from within an email - how hard is it to enable that?

Shared Labels:

This might make you a little nervous, but try to keep an open mind about this one: I truly believe that this could be a very helpful tool for groups. If I'm working with someone on a project, and open a label where I'm gathering all the correspondence between us, I think it's only logical to allow this person access (partial or full) to those emails. I'd love to have the option to share a label with the contacts I choose, so they'll be able to review the content and conversations whenever they need to for our shared project.

Shared Files:

As mentioned above, I think this is the core of this post: a more social email is needed.
Instead of downloading then uploading a file somewhere else to be able to share it, a much more useful way would exist if Gmail uploads all the images to Picasa and allows the users to share them from the email, and even create a short URL to make it available to services like chat, microblogs, social networks and so on.
For video files, some suggestions:

1. Ability to privately upload any video file to youtube as well.
2. A nicer way to watch video file from the email - like the MP3 player but for videos.
3. If someone sent me a Youtube link by email, ability to watch it right from there - and also share it externally.


RSS Reader Gadget:

If you enabled Gmail lab, you probably saw the Googledocs and Google Calendar gadgets. I think the Calendar gadget is more useful because it can really give you a glimpse on events and occurrences that you might have forgotten. There's definitely a place for a dynamic Google Reader Gadget, I don't even think I need to explain why...

Speaking on Gmail Lab..

As you probably noticed, the list of tools in the lab is getting longer, and it's getting harder to follow all the new releases. I think Google should create a better index of those tools, make it searchable, divide it to categories, and allow other people besides them to write the applications.

Bring back the Web Search!

I seriously can't understand why Google is taking off the one thing they do best - Search. For years, I have been searching on the web from my Gmail account. They could at least explain to me (and other users) why they took this feature down, leaving us to find and get used to another less convenient arrangement. What I had liked about it so much was that it simply opened another tab (or window) and it was the easiest way to search for something especially for people who practically exist within their email account. But here's a compromise: Why not enable users to get this feature back from the Lab?

I guess I can go on like this forever, but those are the most important features that I'd like to see in my future Gmail account.

If you have any additional suggestions, please share them in the comments.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:13 PM 17 comments

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Is How Shopping Recommendation Tool Should Feel Like



The sfeed application impressed me so much, I don't know where to start.
Overall, you can say it's a Twitter clone for shopping. I'd say, yeah it is! But that's what makes it so fantastic. sfeed took familiar elements from Twitter, added some unique features of their own, and created a great shopping micorblog platform for everyone - Where people can review items, create sets and explore other people recommendations.

Before this thought about: "yet another Twitter post" crossing your mind, let me just say that I adores companies which understand and believes that this form of communication (twitter-like) is here to stay, so it would be better if you adapt this approach instead. Anyway, sfeed is not a Twitter tool, but if you use Twitter, you'll find it easier to adjust to.

So what is sfeed?
sfeed can change the way you discover new products from the web and share your findings with your friends. sfeed is much more than an item bookmarking service. Every product or set you share creates connections between users and items, these relations are calculated through to recommend you with items and people that might have similar interests.

After you sign in (Google or Facebook ID if you wish), you can start add items to your sfeed page while you browses to sites like Amazon, Yoox, Zgallerie, Thinkgeek and many more. The easiest way to collect items to your profile is to install the "Add to Sfeed" bookmarklet.
And seriously, that is one great bookmarklet! So simple to use, you can mark any link or word, and it automatically will be attached to the bookmark note:



You can also create visual sets of items with the set editor that you can share on your profile. Just search for an item by text or color, then drag & drop it to the stage. Use the editor tool bar to customize the set the way you want:


Bottom-line, you can explore sfeed for hours and really find interesting conversation and items based on relevant interests. And the beauty is that everything is so easy to function, so easy to understand. Simplicity at its best - literally.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 6:55 PM 4 comments

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Google Friend Connect will be your Source for Applications


Yesterday Techcrunch wrote about a new release from Google Friend Connect team - The Social Bar. If you use Google Friend Connect at your site/blog, this can actually replace the Wall & Member gadgets, and save you some space ;-)
I've chosen to leave the Member gadget because I think it's pretty neat to see readers by their faces, and the wall gadget is very nicely done. However, the comment wall is gone, and now you can comment (if you like) from the social bar itself, and also browse for other members comments.

Friend Connect also added a new playlist gadget to the directory, so you might want to take a look at this one too. The new gadget provided by iLike, allows a site owner to add a "social playlist" to its webpage. You can choose the music for the playlist, or you may allow logged-in site visitors to select and add songs interactively, all without leaving your site. (You retain full control to edit the playlist and enable/disable visitor access.)



Google Friend Connect directory is still small but I'm sure it will get larger. In fact (and I'm pretty sure I've said it before), I believe it will be an applications source (built on opensocial) for your site or blog, but also for other Google services, such as: Gmail, iGoogle, Google sites etc.

One thing is for sure: Google are full of surprises...

Previous posts on Google Friend Connect:
Testing Google Friend Connect, 1, 2, 3!
Google Friend Connect - Update!
Google Friend Connect for Blogger Users
So you have Google Friend Connect... Now What?
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:41 PM 2 comments

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweet Little Photo Uploader

I'm sharing pictures on a daily basis, whether it's on social networks, IM or email.
So of course I use Flickr but that is not the best solution always, especially if you want to share the picture with one person only, or you don't want this picture to be stuck in your album forever. Anyway, for fast photo upload use this great little AIR app: Image Shack Uploader
All you need to do, is to drag & drop pictures from your computer into the app, and immediately you get a link. You also have the ability to see the history of your uploads.


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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:41 PM 4 comments

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Twitulater is so Useful, why does it have to be so Ugly?

Twitulater is one of the smartest Twitter clients I've tested. It actually looks like an RSS reader so it's very easy to understand. The application is automatically splitting the tweet-stream into different categories based on content rather than whom the messages are from. The basic categories are: Replies, Link sharing, Questions, Happy, Sad, Chatter, ReTweets, My Tweets, All Tweets, Spam, and another category is automatically created for every hashtag found.

There are some important features in Twiturlater, such as: the automatic hashtag recognition, and multiple simultaneous user support, but the most amazing part was to see how it splits messages based on content - in real time.

However, this AIR client has some serious design problems that should be fixed real soon, because no doubt it will prevent people from using it. That will be sad though, because it's a damn fine client.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 8:30 PM 5 comments

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Semi-Solution to "Search The Web" Option from your Gmail

If you use Gmail as your main e-mail account, you may have noticed that the tab: "search from web" is not longer there. That is because Google took it down in the last redesign last week.
Since I used to search everything from there, it's really frustrating to me (I mean, REALLY!).

So until Google will think it's a good enough tab to bring back, or for at least as a feature on their lab, I found this half solution:
  1. First of all, read this: How to Add Gadgets to your Gmail Account
  2. Then add this URL to your gadget list (just copy-paste it):
http:
//widgetserver.com/syndication/GetWidget/googlegadget/db39ece5-1e0c-4fac-92d0-31d02bd2f91d

This is how it should look like at the end, and when you'll search for something, it will popup a new window/tab:

I'm not such a fan of Widgetbox, so if you find a widget that is cleaner, please share.
(but I can ensure you, I've tested quite a lot of them, and this one was the best choice so far).

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:52 AM 8 comments

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Maybe (just maybe), you can find your Valentine on Twitter

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 every year in most countries around the world. Since we're very closed to this date, a sweet Twitter app called Be my Valentwine, has been released.

The service allows you to calculate compatibility between two people who uses Twitter. You can also pick your favorite friends from the latest 100 people you have started following - Just click on their name to see if there's any match between you two.

In addition, the services enables you to send a secret tweet (anonymously) to anyone (?) on Twitter who you want to be your Valentwine. (and I have no idea how can they pull this one off..)

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:12 AM 1 comments

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

200 Invitations to test Trigga.me - Group Based Updates



Trigga.me is a Germany-based application which allows you to send one message to multiple social services that supports statuses. Meaning, if you use Twitter and Friendfeed and Facebook (plus many more), you can send a single update to all of these services at once.

Additionally, you can watch your timeline, replies and previous updates, and you can also create groups from the social services that Trigga.me offers. That means you can choose to send a message only to a certain group. This gives you more flexibility while sending an update to the world.

There are other services that lets you do pretty much the same, especially the 'send to many' part, I'm actually a fan of HelloTxt myself, and of course there's the famous Ping.fm... but I like the simplicity of Trigga.me, and I do recommend you to give it a try as well.

For that I've got 200 invitations to give away- All you need to do is to write Go2web20 in the Invitation Code.

Enjoy.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:10 PM 1 comments

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Monday, February 02, 2009

The Best Picture Dock I've EVER Seen


I seriously hate to download software to my computer. Unless it's an AIR based one, I'm trying to avoid the hassle. Why? Because I'm almost sure we can find all the tools that we need, online. However, after I watch the Ginipic Demo, I just had to download it and boy, what a wonderful software it is!

You can spend your time watching the Demo, or you can click download now, because frankly the video shows only little from what it really is.

Israeli-based Ginipic, is a desktop application that enables you to search multiple image search engines, and photo sharing sites, and use the pictures in a drag & drop to your workspace, whether it's on the web or on your desktop.

Once you download Ginipic, you'll be able to search photos from the best sources on the web. You can search over 10 sources (including your own stock) simultaneously. You get all the results and all the flavors in one simple go:

When you find the picture you like, you can easily share it to all the social networks out there, or simply copy-paste a link, or an HTML code to embed in your blog or site. You can also download the picture to your computer, save as favorite, or tag it.

It is most amazing to see the compatibility of Ginipic to services like: Photoshop, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Paint, OpenOffice, etc., and all you really need to do is to drag & drop the desirable picture to any of these workspaces. Imagine that you won't need to upload the picture from your own computer anymore. You just search, find, then drag & drop.

The only obstacle is that you need to also download Microsoft .NET Framework to be able to display Ginpic (that is if you don't have it already), but I can honestly tell you that if you're a designer, or someone that build presentations regularly, you'd want and need this client.



I set the Dock to auto-hide mode and I'm telling you, this baby stays on my computer.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 7:12 PM 11 comments

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According to Stimator, Twitter worth: $54,057,814



Stimator is a real-time website value estimator that aims to deliver the most accurate economical value that a website could worth by collecting important data from different sources as well as market places.

There are six major factors involved in the calculation:
  • Top Level Domain - Stimator take in account the strength of a TLD.
  • Financial - It uses Yahoo Finance to get all data needed to perform the variations of the financial market.
  • Real Sells - The service was built to delivery real results (at least the most possible ones). The math used to determinate a website value was study using real website sells such as: Sedo, Sitepoint Marketplace etc.
  • Web Factors - Stimator collects information from the website itself and from several major sources during the calculation stages before presenting the final estimated result.
  • Estimation - The calculations are made to give what is called the "economic value".
  • Observations - The main mission is to avaliate domains and sub-domains. After each calculation, Stimator presents a report with the main relevant factors that it can extract from the examination. This factors will give the users an idea of how the site is performing.


I don't really know how really accurate is this tool, but while I was checking on several websites, some of the estimations simply made sense.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:49 AM 3 comments

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