Thursday, February 17, 2005

new products everywhere :D

since i've had a little more downtime than usual, i've had a chance to check out a few of the really cool products that are floating around on the web. i guess i'd been pretty focused on the projects i was working on while at microsoft and google; somehow, i had missed a bunch of innovative things happening on the web - the blogosphere, for example :O

the first thing i played with today was bloglines. i may be biased since the only other aggregator i'd used was a .net app called sharpreader, but i think bloglines is great. it gives me the exact features i need and has some extra ones too. i can now quickly browse the feeds i'm interested in and "clip" entries that i find interesting for future reference. plus, the entire system is on the web so all of your feeds and clips are available from any terminal. if this weren't cool enough, they also provide firefox plug-ins that are really neat like the bloglines toolkit and livelines. the toolkit has a ton of "nice to have" functionality and integrates very smoothly with the browser. meanwhile, livelines just makes your life easier when browsing and subscribing to feeds.

next, i checked out again, very cool stuff. basically, allows users to tag websites (kind of like providing your own meta data for a site) and these tags are shared with all other users. together, the community is able to create tag topics which someone can then browse by and retrieve all sites marked with that particular tag. as a bonus, your bookmarks are now portable since they are stored on' servers. there seemed to be a cool feature called the inbox where you could monitor new entries for specific tags, but i couldn't get it to work - maybe it's still in progress. nevertheless, i think this app has potential for a lot of interesting scenarios.

finally, i just finished playing with technorati. searching through blogs is neat, but the real power is that technorati is indexing in realtime. as in, as soon as a post goes up, you can see it in search results. then, they also have a feature called "watchlists." they let you specify a url or keywords that you want to monitor and then they create a rss feed that aggregates and republishes links to entries that match the supplied address or terms - it's like a continuously updated, saved search. i see they also announced a tagging feature, but i don't see it integrated into the main user experience yet; i'm sure they are working on it. a little twist here is that instead of having users tag pages, they seem to be having blog owners tagging their own pages using the tag.

i also spent some time playing with flickr (as i mentioned in a previous post :)), pluck, rojo and filangy. filangy seems to be invite only for now, so if you really want to check it out, leave me a comment or e-mail me.

i'm sure lots of people out there are playing with these products as well. what do you think about these nifty tools?


Blogger eduard said...

As a web developer, I absolutely agree with you on those services you mentioned. My Bloglines Feeds has become my firefox homepage and I have been avidly categorizing all my blog links there. Although I don't blog much there, the blog roll is really central to my browsing experience.

My page is also quite active, and I particularly like their folksonomies implementation, which quickly gives me branching ideas based on my own tags and links.

Flickr is something I got into only very recently, and while it's great for browsing, the paid account requirement is a deterrent from using it heavily for my own media (I shoot a lot of music scenes and have my own online galleries).

This being said, I was so inspired by the first two communities that I started developing two blog communities myself: a free blogging platform and since a few days ago, a music link feeds community which grabs the user's musical selections live and then allows sharing them (the information, not the actual music) using tags and searches. Both of my sites are free so I encourage visitors.

The reason I mentioned my own projects is not to spam your blog with my personal projects, but hopefully to discuss more about these type of community sites which appear to me as a revolutionary way of organizing information for large numbers of users and providing them with a technology which brings people together. And that's what excited me about the online world in the first place.

2/17/2005 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger eduard said...


it's not even half-finished yet, since I only worked on it a couple of days :-)

It will however work both for music folksonomies and for organizing music collections, something I haven't yet seen in music blogs fully implemented yet.

The somewhat complicated aspect is that music-listening is tied to many software devices, whereas blog browsing is usually done from one of out 3-4 universal browsers.

2/17/2005 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ang said...

Bloglines is the best!! It has saved me so much time, and my list is now at 140. (I really should stop adding blogs to it)

2/17/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/17/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

I would love to give filangy a go.

Name : Keith Mander
email :

2/17/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger zmarties said...

Smart and cool applications abound at the moment, and I'm always on the lookout for more to try - hence I'd certainly appreciate a filangy invite:

zmarties @ gmail . com

A few other suggestions for you to try:

* furl* Map24not forgetting the fun new releases from Google

* Google Maps* Picasa

2/17/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger geckorules said...

Hi Mark, I'd like to try out Filangi if you can invite me. It looks really cool. Thanks

2/17/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger markjen said...

Hi Geckorules, I'm going to need an e-mail address ;)

2/17/2005 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Webmiztris said...

sorry you lost your job. that sucks! but it's cool you're getting so many hits! hmmm, too bad I don't have anything juicy to write about the symphony I work at. lol


2/17/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger geckorules said...

sorry, it is

thanks again

2/17/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like an invite to filangy,

2/17/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hey Mark -

If there's any more filangy invites left, I'd love one.


allkindsoftime at

2/17/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Krishna said...

Can you invite me to filangy? My email :

2/18/2005 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger spi said...

I wouldn't mind a filangy invite.

spisaacs at

2/18/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger geckorules said...

thanks for the invite to Filangy,
Have you checked out Furl at all curious what you thought of it.

2/18/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Darnell Clayton said...

I would also love to try out Filangi. If you want, I'll exchange that invite for one at (Microsofts version of Orkut). Let me know! Selah!

2/18/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I guess everything old is new again. I love that bookmarking is making a comeback, because it all reminds me of Backflip.

If possible, send me an invite to Filangy.


2/20/2005 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Damon said...

Filangy looks awesome, but unfortunately it was not developed with security in mind. There's not a lot of information to be had, but it's the principal, and who knows what other problems there are...

2/24/2005 08:13:00 PM  

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