MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Social networking has clearly been a hot space in the last couple of years. With sites like MySpace selling for $580 million back in 2005 and with the recent valuation of Facebook at a staggering $15 billion, everyone's looking to get a piece of the action. The four companies pitching their Webwares at Tuesday morning's Under the Radar social media and entertainment conference here, are all about social networking, and changing the way we interact with our friends and families.
On Tuesday I will be moderating part of the Under the Radar: Social Media and Entertainment conference in Mountain View, Calif. Several of the 47 young companies presenting at the event have never been seen in public before, so this should be an interesting show.
Of the companies I haven't seen, these are the five I'm most interesting in learning about:
CrowdSpring: Another piecework job marketplace for creatives, but this one is focused on illustration and design. What makes it a bit weird is that bidders submit actual mock-ups to get job, not just proposals. Ffwd: This is … Read more
Josh and I spent a day working the Under the Radar conference last week (see all stories). Actually, Josh was working; I was onstage hustling start-ups on and off the stage. We saw about 40 business-related Web 2.0 companies. Most of them were very early-stage, so you might not want to entrust your business to them. But there were several apps that were more developed, and a few that are worth looking at even though they're not.
My final Under the Radar session today focuses on tools for business collaboration. In the past year, Webware.com has covered each of these four applications, but now they're each back with something new to bring to the virtual table.
Blist, an easy, engaging online database, will be releasing a premium version for small and midsized businesses. The easy, rich database environment can be used for business needs such as data storage and applicant-tracking, and features 3D graphs, drag-and-drop query-building, and document storage inside a database.
Next week Blist will add the capability to use others' data structures as … Read more
The Rolling Stones were wrong. Sometimes you can get satisfaction. These four companies, presented at Under the Radar, offer Web apps for users to get, ask for, and give feedback better.
FeedbackFX puts a spin on the usual way people provide feedback to businesses--usually via e-mail, online or paper forms, or in-person focus groups. The screen shots in the demo show FeedbackFX as a slick media player, and gives users a lot more wiggle room to review multimedia content like video and designs directly on the media itself, in the exact location under review. This saves time writing up detailed … Read more
Flashy presentation tool SlideRocket is easily one of the best-looking services I've seen.
CEO Mitch Grasso's presentation at this afternoon's Under the Radar session about the virtual worker (using SlideRocket to present) got several oohs and ahhs. In many ways it takes a cue from Apple's Keynote product with great use of fonts, reflections, transparencies, and transitions to put together presentations that use hardware acceleration and cutting-edge design templates to impress clients, co-workers, and potentially your boss.
The app uses Adobe's Flex technology and has an offline client meaning users can create and edit presentations … Read more
Security, reliability, and stickiness were key talking points at an Under the Radar session showcasing online business collaboration tools. Presenters included Act-On Software, Magento, Mumboe, and NetBooks. While all presenters emphasized their company's ability to offer software as a service, Magento and NetBooks especially focused on tools for small business.
The Cisco-funded Act-On Software combines Salesforce.com's leads database with WebEx's large-scale conferencing to add invitation and follow-up services and pull data between the two. For example, Act-On runs as a tab within Salesfoce, WebEx, and Microsoft applications, and can show Salesforce data after a WebEx conference. … Read more
In my preview of the Under the Radar conference I questioned the business viability of the document management product DocSyncer, which, among other things, takes users' Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and synchronizes them into a Google Docs or Google Apps account.
After taking a closer look at this business, I think there's something very valuable here, at least for the short term. Businesses that don't want to install Office on all employees' machines can, with this tool, still give them easy access to the files that the high-zoot Office users are working on. Of course, … Read more
Virtualization technology lets apps--even entire servers--coexist with localized software, for example, your computer's operating system. Virtualization's value to consumers and businesses is in producing fast, resource-saving experiences that boost productivity for businesses and consumers. Four newly launched companies using this technology share their products at Thursday's Under the Radar Conference, hosted at Microsoft's Mountain View, Calif., office.
First up is DeviceVM's Splashtop, a virtual operating system that hopes to break the cycle of long computer boot-up times by producing the Splashtop desktop a few seconds after the BIOS screen blinks on. You can access the … Read more
The Under the Radar conference kicked off this morning with one of my favorite panels: three video and voice companies that are trying to take services we're already using and make them better.
First up was Eyejot, which we've covered several times. The core service revolves around video e-mail, although it has recently moved into other areas like Eyejot This, which lets you annotate Web pages with video clips from your Webcam (and even share them via Twitter). There's also a platform that lets site owners add video notes and mail to their service.
There are two … Read more