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Friday, May 28, 2010

What Is Your Mood?

I love simple services, with simple ideas - This is why I like Moodler.in so much. It's not complicated or attempting to be the most sophisticated application, it is just a service where you can share your current mood with your friends. The application lets you show your mood right now by displaying a sweet icon to express that sentiment. After a quick sign-up (god, I love those easy forms), you are able to share notes with your friends. You can also download Moodler's AIR application and do the same from your desktop.

While I fell in-love with this sweet, simple application immediately, I just can't understand why they didn't connect this to Facebook and Twitter services yet. Even while it's so easy to sign-up and invite friends, I don't see why I need to bring my friends unto a new closed service instead of sending updates to where the places they already reside in. What I would suggest to the guys at Moodler is to add Facebook connect ASAP in order to allow people to connect with their already existing list of friends.

The service reminds me one of Facebook applications called Emoting, which was very famous back before the days when Facebook took all the fun applications and hid them under a tab deep down in our profiles. I say, bring the fun back, Moodler, and let us send cool messages to our friends, but don't make it harder on us, just connect with Facebook and Twitter so when we do send an update through Moodler, it will show up on these social networks as well. Plus, a notification system on the desktop app is needed.. Just saying.
Moodler
posted by Orli Yakuel at 7:20 PM 4 comments

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Add Sharing/Search Bar to your Blog or Site - In a Snap

I've added the Apture bar because of its sharing option, but it was only later that I understood it is its search ability that makes it ten times better.

You won't actually see the bar unless you scroll down the page. Then you'll be able to first share the post, but when standing on any word at the post, a search button will appear and you'll be able to search the term you were looking for.


You can also freely write anything in the search bar to your right - So lets say you are looking for Scoble, you get to see results from Wikipedia, CrunchBase, Blogs, Google and Twitter. The great thing about it is that you don't need to leave the page in order to see all of these results. Moreover, you can jump between one twitter user to another with ease.

2010-05-14_175152

Additionally, you can search for pictures and video clips which you can also see directly over the page you are standing on.
Apture bar 2

And it all boils down to one line of code that you as a blog or a site owner, can customize the way you want.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:28 PM 5 comments

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Israel Delivers Current Technology You Simply Can't Ignore

Although Techonomy 2010 took place three days ago, it's only now that I have the time to actually relax and write my personal impressions of the whole wonderful experience.

What is Techonomy?
To put it simply, Techonomy is an event created two years ago when the recession was hovering above our heads and forcing start-ups and large companies to think in a more responsible fashion. If you are familiar with where the web space was five to six years ago, you must know then that it was very common to open a startup first and think about its business model later. Much later. Today it is a whole different story (well, it's been like that for a while now), if you have an idea or a start-up and you don't have a clue about how you are going to make money out of it, you're in trouble.

Techonomy, the term, stems from the fusion of: Economy & Technology, obviously. We encourage companies that participate in the event to come discuss their business model, or at least, gather suggestions and feedback from the panel of expert judges on how they might earn some money from their hard work.

The Panel of Judges
Over time, I've learned that the selection of the panel of judges is one of the most important parts of organizing this event. They add such important value and impact for the companies on stage... The event's success actually depends on their knowledge and experience as well as the content itself.

This is why we picked a variety of people with wide diversity and expertise: Bloggers, Investors, VC, Entrepreneurs, a UI expert, and most importantly, people who truly understand the web of today, and can offer insight about how to also stay relevant in the future.

This year we had some really great judges and I have to congratulate them on doing very good job.

The Content
The other part of having a successful event is choosing the correct content that offers value and is relevant to our audience. Luckily, we really have great innovation going on here in Israel. Sooner or later you'd probably know about it with or without the event, but I want to especially thank the companies who showcased their products for the first time on the Techonomy stage for allowing us the exclusive preview - Thank you for participating!

Here are the Techonomy companies and my thoughts on each:



Interlude.fm (Winner of Techonomy 2010)
Interlude is a digital media start-up company that designs, develops, and markets interactive music and video technology allowing users to interactively compose a unique version of a music video based on pre-recorded audio/video segments of a song. The company’s vision is to bring the next generation of online music videos to the web browser space by creating a new and engaging experience of viewing and listening to music that integrates the Internet, television, and radio mediums, and empowers consumers while protecting and respecting artists’ original works. Watch the presentation

This product definitely WOWed me. But beside its wow effect, I really think this technology can change the face of web and mobile advertising. Now, I know Interlude has done some music related partnership before, and aims to go in this direction since its entrepreneur is also a gifted musician, but I personally suggest that they push themselves into the advertising world where it is really important to create something that will be worth the click. Lots of companies have tried to make advertising more compelling and engaging, but I believe this company can really take it there.

Fiddme
Fiddme is a visual guide to the culinary wonders of the city around you. Fiddme's is built as a social game, encouraging people to meet, go out and explore new places, and share their opinions. Using Fiddme you can go and see local foods, read a review, comment or even try it yourself. With Fiddme, you'll get acknowledged for your experience and passion, be followed by others, and connect to your friends. Watch the Presentation

You might not know but Fiddme has been around for quite some time within the Israeli scene, so they surely have the experience and knowledge to expand and go worldwide. It's not gonna be easy, of course since the users are changing from one locale to another. However, this is what I think: Food will always be there, it's a necessity and for a lot of people also a passion and an art. We as users of a very social web are already open to share almost any activity that we do (well, almost any), I don't see it any different when it comes to food. I actually think it is a platform that can raise the quality of your meals based on friends' recommendations. I'd suggest they keep their horizon wide and listen to users from all over the world, not just in their own backyard.

* Also more information on their 'About' start-up page is required.

Omek Interactive
Using the latest USB 3D cameras, Omek's proprietary Motion Game System software translates natural body motion into seamless 3D movement onscreen. The player's body controls the action, making interactive entertainment truly active as healthy movement replaces sedentary inactivity during gaming sessions. Omek creates both original PC games and motion gaming middleware. Watch the Presentation

By far the most mind blowing product I've seen in a while. Like everyone else I also thought about MS Project Natal immediately and as much as I like it, I have to hand it to Omek, their product actually works, and outside of the Xbox. While visiting their office I got to understand the product better and hear about the motion tools they built surround it. Yes, I think that Microsoft has something to worry about, or at least they should be aware of this company.

My vision would be to see the company open their motion gaming framework API up to developers to build their own games -from what I understand, this is the company's vision as well. If you are a developer, you know a company like Microsoft wouldn't be offering this, not this quickly, right?

Zbang.It
Zbang integrates all your online activity into a single place, allowing you to seemingly work across different platforms, without having to flip from one site to another. Zbang.It is an innovative developer of integrated online communication applications. The Zbang platform offers users one place to connect, share and collaborate with everyone. It offers a cross-application platform that allows boundless communication, centralization of content and integration of contacts. Watch the Presentation

Yes, I'm not a fan of desktop applications, but this one is doing it right, bringing all your web to your desktop, and syncing all your content on both channels. You have to try it to actually understand how good Zbang.it is, but in a nutshell, with it you'll be able to connect all your social and personal life much better. The only thing I'd have to suggest is loosing the Outlook look and feel.

AppsFire
AppsFire offers an interactive visual guide for discovering apps that people will use and not just download by matching not only their own need with their peers' but also with several parameters related to their experience on their computer. On the back-end, AppsFire offer developers a tool to display, market, and analyze their apps better, like an equivalent of tinyURL that tracks conversion in the app store, embeddable widgets, and more. Watch the Presentation

There is no doubt that iTunes is a tough competitor to beat, but I see AppsFire as a complete product that makes it much easier to find applications. If you own an iPhone, don't tell me it's been easy for you to find apps, needless to say free and/or new ones, because I won't believe you. But it's Apple, we'll use it anyway, right? Yet, you should try AppsFire because what they do that apple isn't - is to connect you with your friends and do the one thing we like best on the iPhone: exchange suggestions.

Bulloonz
Bulloonz offers an online financial service that synthesizes the Internet’s vast commentary into meaningful information for nonprofessional, professional, and institutional investors. Using innovative technology with unique capabilities in text analysis, pattern detection, and other modeling algorithms, Bulloonz tracks, analyzes, and interprets investor sentiment. Watch the Presentation

We are so used to real-time everything now that it wasn't a big surprise to me when Bulloonz first showed me the way they can help investors to become better investors by informing them what's going on in the stock market in the moment - I just think it is a smart move to bring this social aspect into the world of finance.

SircleIt
SircleIt is a web-based social application for anyone who faces daily problems and questions. Whether the issue is personal, social or professional, SircleIt directs them to the right "circle" of responders. The appropriate responders are assembled from people that share a particular social or professional profile (the "social graph") and who have an incentive and the ability to help or advise their peers with their skills and knowledge. SircleIt comes with complimentary features from the social networking world, providing an easy graphical application for its use. Watch the Presentation

I knew it won't be easy on SircleIt to present at this event. When you release Q&A product on the web, you need to know the history of the ones already released, and in this area, we already have some major players. What I personally like about this one is the ability to create lists of people that you really care about to answer your questions. But I would suggest they first start as a Facebook application or make a good Facebook connection (similar to Zinga), because I doubt my friends will follow me to a new place just to answer my question.

The Audience
It's not so common to talk about an event's audience but I want to do it anyway. What you probably don't know is that we have a really nice group of people in our community (some of the the most talented people here in Israel ) that like to meet in Tweetups, Garage Geeks, and other social events. The reason they like to come and participate in these sorts of events is, among other things, because they totally support the Israeli tech industry. We had a stream of Twitter showing during the event and you had to be there to believe how many tweets a group of 350 people can create. I was personally touched to see such a united audience, and the event would not have been the same without their active and passionate participation.

Personal Notes
To see all the positive comments from the event is overwhelming but also scary. I don't want to set everyone's expectations so high for next year. I only wanted a platform to show the world we have other things going on here, we can be proud of our innovations and leading technologies, and we would surely like people to visit us here and discover it for themselves.

More coverage of the event at: Techcrunch, Newsgeek (Hebrew), and more.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 6:09 PM 7 comments

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