Bryan Trussel, Glympse – Where Are You Doing?

glympse

Using maps to communicate a position is gaining a lot of popularity in the social networking sphere. The iPhone offers over 1,900 location-based apps in its store. Tech entrepreneurs are seeing gold in this river. It’s not just a startup thing: Google launched Latitude, a location-aware social network.

This is only the beginning of new lifestyles. Twitter created a new form of networking by asking one simple question: What are you doing? In the location-aware space, there is one app that follows the same philosophy and asks: Where are you ?

glympse

Launching public today for the Where 2.0 Conference, Glympse is the first application that lets you share your location with whoever you want during a limited amount of time. You use Glympse when you want to let others know where you are.

Glympse is dead-simple: once you installed the app, launch it, let it find you on a map, set a timer, choose a contact, and press send. For the amount of time you have set, the person(s) you have chosen will be able to see you on a map in real-time. It is called ‘sending a Glympse to someone’.

Example 1: You leave the office. Instead of calling home to let the family know you are on your way, send them a glympse.

Example 2: You are meeting a business partner at a Starbucks downtown. Set a Glympse on one hour and send it to him. It will make it a lot easier to find each others.

I have tested the app with Bryan Trussel, the Founder and CEO of Glympse. We met in the San Francisco’s SOMA for the video interview below, and thanks to Glympse, I didn’t have to show up 15 minutes in advance “just in case”: I was at Starbucks having a Frappuccino, enjoying the sun, and keeping an eye on my guest’s nearing.

Technically, sending a Glympse to someone is creating a unique glympse url with your route in real-time on it. Virtually, anyone who has this url can view you in real-time. In terms of privacy, that’s the only issue I can identify. The fact that Glympse is meant to run in the background is also an issue for some phones. Otherwise, the simplicity of the concept has a lot of merit, and I know I will be playing around with it pretty often.

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.

Will Netvibes Widgetize Businesses Online? – Freddy Mini, CEO

netvibes

Before meeting Freddy Mini, CEO of Netvibes, I thought that Netvibes was a fancy feed reader. At least that was what I got out of the service when I tried it out a few months (years?) back. Now I understand why Netvibes is so much more than that, and hopefully, after reading this article/watching this video, you will understand it too (if you don’t already).

Netvibes.com is like an iGoogle, i.e. a customizable Web portal. Netvibes main difference with iGoogle is that:

  1. It is not Google
  2. It allows many more customization features: page title, colors, choice of search engine, choice o f widgets, widget customization, tab customization…

netvibes

To add content to my page, a smart wizard can kick things of by asking me a few questions about my interests, or I can browse the Netvibes’ widget directory, which contains almost 200,000 widgets. Some widgets are feeds form popular Websites such as Techcrunch, the NYT, the WashPost and so on, but other widgets are my gmail inbox, Twitter stream, Facebook profile. Once I install those widgets, I just sign in, and I am in permanent contact with all my contacts across all social networks.

That was part 1 of Netvibes. Now if you go to eco.netvibes.com, you cann search for widgets, and you can create widgets. I created the HyveUp widget for example, that I can post on my blog, and submit it to the Netvibes directory for others to find it.

As a publisher, it is in my interest to seek a wider distribution outlet for my content. However, out of the 200,000 widgets in the Netvibes directory, chances are I will be the only one who will have my widget installed on my homepage. This is where Netvibes created a first revenue stream. I can pay (on a CPI basis – cost per install) to appear on top of search results in the Netvibes directory of widgets. Freddy Mini reveals in the video how much is the price for this premium placement opportunity. With Netvibes, you do not pay for clicks, you pay for readers.

While this is all very interesting and smart, this is just the tip of the Netvibes’ iceberg.

Netvibes nurtures the belief that personalization is the starting point of engagement, and offers its engagement technology to brands. The Premium Universe product is an opportunity for any company to re-create the Netvibes experience on their homepage. An example of this is The Daily Influence, a Ogilvy Website with a Netvibes interface. Let’s say I like the Daily Influence (which I do), I can sign in with my Netvibes credentials, and start personalizing the homepage my own way. Or I can grab the widgets I like and put them in my personal Netvibes page.

In other words, I am now in full control of my Web experience.

For Ogilvy, using Netvibes really is just a branding operation (and maybe they control the content in some of those widgets). But what if Bank Of America’s homepage was powered by Netvibes? What if I could go to BofA’s Website, grab my account’s widget, and stick it in my personal homepage? Well technically, it is possible: Netvibes’ second product for businesses is Netvibes for Enterprise, a behind-the-firewall software that could enable BofA to pull its data from its servers and serve it Netvibes-style to its customers.

Of course, the BofA story is a fictional scenario… But it makes an awful lot of sense. One thing is worth mentioning that makes Netvibes’ widget distribution model more solid: a Netvibes’ widget is compatible with Apple’s dashboard, iGoogle, Opera, Windows Vista and Windows Live. Netvibes doesn’t want to be the unique widget-builder out there. Netvibes wants to be the gateway for companies to widgetize their business.

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.

Yield Software Automates Traffic Acquisition And Conversion – Matt Malden, CEO

yield software

Without hesitation, I can say that I am really confused and lacking expertise when I log in my Adwords account to buy keywords for my business. How high should my max bid be? My daily budget? Should I diversify my keyword strategy or just focus on a few. Once I went through the process of buying keywords with a well-thought strategy, I have to track the whole thing with my traffic analytics application, evaluate the performance of each visit/inbound keyword, and include thinking about my landing page (s). A real headache! I don’t want to have to deal with this.

yield software

Fortunately, during this week’s Web 2.0 Expo launched Yield Software. The Yield Software Marketing Suite is an amazing product that will do your online marketing job for you. Well not all of it, but it will handle keywords purchase, organic SEO and landing page optimization. The whole process is automated, so all you have to do is sit back and let the machine work for you. No technical knowledge is required to use Yield Software. Yield’s algorithm will make smarter keyword-buying decisions for you, will drive more qualified leads to your Website, and convert more leads into actual customers.

The challenge for the company is to prove that by using Yield Software, I will save more (or make more) than $130, since this is the monthly price for using the service. I have little doubts on its performance, but only time will tell us if Yield’s algo is powerful enough to make us even more lazy.

Yield Software was created by Matt Malden, a veteran in the online marketing space. The application is ideal for small and medium businesses who spend between 2 to 20K in online advertising a month (so unfortunately, this is not really for me), and for marketing agency professionals looking to save time on their SEO efforts. It is no accident if Yield Software’s series A came from WPP, way before the service was launched.

For those interested, during the launch period, there is a 30-day free trial.