Gizapage Brings All Social Profiles In One Spot – Interview With Amit Jaipuria, Founder

gizapage

Starting today, you can try a new tool in the online social networking ecosystem that will hopefully boost our social productivity. Gizapage is a social networks manager that aggregates all of your social profiles into one. Just link to your Gizapage url, and your visitors will be offered to connect with you on the network of their choice, all from within Gizapage (yes, the url is customizable).

gizapage

The benefits of aggregating your social profiles are two-fold:

  1. It creates richer networking opportunities,
  2. It is a personal dashboard that helps you monitor your own profiles.

Above is my interview with Amit Jaipuria, Founder of Gizapage.

Gizapage comes at a time when social networks are battling to turn your profile into your online ID card. Gizapage has an edge in this ecosystem since it also enables you to manage the profiles you are showing, making it easier to monitor and display your online identities.

The idea has merits. Where Friendfeed takes content away from its sources and doesn’t really send it back, Gizapage enables users to keep updated versions of their online IDs. Each profiles appears in a frame withheld in a tab. It sounds like a fair deal to send traffic to social networks through frames, but this model holds a lot of limits (like mobile access), despite being the cornerstone of Gizapage’s originality. Users can do things through the frames that are impossible to do through a well-regulated API for example.

If you want to give Gizapage a try, click here.

If you want to connect with me, click here.

Loic le Meur, Seesmic: Micro-Vlogging, Beyond The Concept

Seesmic

It is undeniable: the booming trends on the Web are micro-blogging and video. Therefore, how can you doubt that a micro-vlogging formula will tear the roof off? Seesmic, the company started by French entrepreneur Loic Le Meur, aims to fill this spot in the online video space.

Seesmic

The idea for Seesmic is fairly simple: It replicates the experience of comment threads common to all blogs: People can post video comments and reply directly to each other. Uploading a video to the Web is a lengthy process, but with Seesmic, it is a click away, which makes video commenting a breeze.

The concept is very novel and still looking to gain significant traction. Everything is done to make this happen though: Beyond a video social network, Seesmic is a video comment technology provider. It offers a freely accessible read/write API (from what I understood), which is already being used by more than a dozen technology partners. If you always wanted your visitors to communicate through video on your site, well now you can enable this. According to Loic Le Meur, the API is a no-brainer.

thwirlThe Seesmic team went a step further in the social media game. In April of last year (2008), the company acquired the Twitter desktop client Thwirl, by far the most popular Twitter app on the market at the time. The team worked hard on the development of this Adobe Air app, and turned it into a real social media companion by enabling posting to Seesmic, Friendfeed (I don’t remember if you could already do this before the acquisition), laconi.ca, identi.ca, and more recently, through a partnership with ping.fm, they added at least twenty other social networks to the list (the dev team is also playing around with the newly released Facebook status API for 2-way communications with the Facebook platform).

I told Loic I would be a more avid user of Seesmic if I could record comments from my phone. He told me that

  1. iPhone/G1 don’t record video yet (good point!), and
  2. they are working on a Thwirl iPhone app.

All of a sudden, it made more sense why Seesmic acquired Thwirl, because at first it wasn’t clear to me why a video company would bother to spend time and money on a Twitter client.

The limit of the Seesmic concept is people’s natural shyness. For example, Seesmic’s most noticeable publishing partner is Techcrunch: I find it very intimidating to drop a video comment on a site that attracts several millions known-to-be-bitchy visitors a month, and I am not the only one. The Seesmic team is well-aware of people’s shyness, and Loic told me they are working on developing more private video environments. I guess that it would be easier for me to leave a video comment to my Facebook friends for example.

Seesmic already secured two rounds of funding ($12 million), which gives the company leeway to explore a few ideas before finding the winning combination.

Social Networking Boosts Your IQ – Scientifically Proven

synapse

synapseNext time your friends criticize you for spending too much time on social networks like Facebook, just tell them that you are boosting your IQ, and it won’t even be a lie.

A recent scientific study (made on fruit flies) has shown that sleep actually kills some synaptic connections in the brain:

“There are a number of reasons why the brain can’t indefinitely add synapses – including the finite spatial constraints of the skull. We were able to track the creation of new synapses in fruit flies during learning experiences – and to show that sleep pushed that number back down”

This makes an awful loot of sense. Upon birth, it has been proven that babies have the synaptic potential to adapt to any kind of environment. During growth, the synaptic/neuronal system adapts to its environment by nurturing the cells that are often called up, and letting the unwanted cells starve to death. Killing unwanted synapses is a way to polish our nervous system to make us more fit to survive in the environment we live in. In other words, refining our nervous sytem makes us smarter.

The study mentioned above shows that this refinement happens during sleeping hours. More interesting in this study is the previous finding from the same research group that fruit flies were getting more sleep when they had richer social interactions:

Shaw’s lab had previously determined that fruit flies sleep longer following social interactions, rather like a human who has been through a busy day.

In other words, interacting with others boosts your synaptic activity, which in turn makes you tired, to finally doze off and kill all that unnecessary nervous mass that slurps your precious proteins. So poke around and write on walls and make new friends: Your brain cells will love you for it!

Girl Ambition Is Myspace For Tween Girls

girlambition

For internet safety reasons, online social networks like Facebook and Myspace are PG-13. This opens up the door for the competition to build age-appropriate social networks, and recruit users at a younger age.

Girlambition is a site for tween girls, from age 7 to 12, that re-creates an environment that is fit for younger girls. Beyond targeting tween girls, the site’s goal is to offer them tools to build up their self-esteem through constructive online/offline activities. Compared to a regular social network that lets users figure out ways to interact between one another, Girl Ambition pro-actively encourages girls to try out new things, cook, express their desires, share feelings, film their tween’s adventures, and overall feel that they can too accomplish great things.

The tools accessible to the users on Girl Ambition are IM, email, video uploads, and a bunch of different pages to share activities. To secure the platform, parents are asked to approve their daughter’s ‘buddy list’, which is the list of contacts the girls are allowed to interact with through their email or IM accounts.

Signing up your daughter to Girl Ambition will cost you $4.99/month. This paying model also contributes to the girls’ safety: you do not want the management to start selling your daughter’s info to third-party marketers because they can’t figure out a revenue model. This being said, I think there will be partnership with brands going on in the social network, something that both the brands and the girls will find beneficial.

Girl Ambition is an ambitious project: Creating a secure online environment is one thing, promising to boost pre-teens self-esteem is another thing that requires less technology and more socio-psychological knowledge and practice. I am going to keep an eye on Girl Ambition, hoping that the company will focus on analyzing how technology and developmental psychology work hand in hand.

Dead-Simple Social Network Creation – Crowdvine

crowdvine

I met Tony Stubblebine back in November 2007 actually the same day this Techcrunch article went out. The article announced the launch of Crowdvine‘s new product, a social network creation tool designed specifically for conference organizers.

An increasingly number of companies offer businesses the opportunity to roll out your own social network (good list here). In this pool of colorful competition, Crowdvine stands as the simplest way to connect to each other. The simplicity starts at the creation of the social network. The creation process lasts 5-10 minutes max: Simply pick a name, description, logo and color theme, 3 introductory questions and invite people to join in by email. You can connect from Crowdvine directly to your Facebook profile and invite your friends from there.

To lively up the group, write blog posts to attract attention and launch discussions. If time doesn’t allow you to write blog posts, hook your Crowdvine network up to your external blog’s feed. You can also connect it to your Twitter account for live regular updates. As Tony Stubblebine mentions in the video, Crowdvine’s best use case is for conferences. Conferences are hotspots for meeting existing and new professional contacts. Knowing who’s going to be at the conf helps attendees connect before the event. A little pre-networking makes the event more predictive, therefore less stressful.

At the end of the day, the conference organizer can still use the dedicated social network to communicate post-announcements and invite the members of the group to a new event. For a new event, simply create a new social network in minutes: Crowdvine lets you easily re-connect with the people you already connected with on the platform previously.

Honestly, Crowdvine made creating a social network as easy as creating a personal profile. Plus if you have any trouble finding your way around, Tony himself will assist you. I didn’t ask, but it could be that new features are cooking under Crowdvine’s hood. Recently, the Founder launched a public competition to re-design the company’s logo. Where there’s smoke…

Read more:
Are we simple enough? Are we dead simple? – Crowdvine blog
Crowdvine offers both free and paid versions of their event networks – Web Community Forum
Crowdvine versus SWIFT – Free Range Librarian
Going Solo on Crowdvine – Crowdvine applied to a small event
Crowdvine: The Facebook for conferences – Social Media Research Blog