It's not the most innovative name but the concept may be revolutionary. Metaplace, a virtual community that is currently being tested for launch in spring 2008, was one of the most talked about start-ups at the TechCrunch40 Conference. The new platform allows anyone to build a virtual world from scratch -- for the web or even mobile applications -- without any programming knowledge. Like other virtual communities such as Second Life, There, Entropia Universe, or World of Warcraft, the Metaplace worlds can be used for gaming, socializing, and e-commerce. And they come with the usual community features: forums, user … Read more
G. Scott Mindrum considers himself lucky. He says that rarely do CEOs have the opportunity to interact with their products in a highly personal and emotional way.
On May 12, 2007, Mindrum's father, Gordon Mindrum, died at the age of 87. The younger Mindrum knew exactly what to do to memorialize his father, a World War II veteran and a doctor that specialized in treating addiction.
He posted to the Web a photo slide show that illustrated his Dad's life story.
Zuda is a new Web site from DC Comics, makers of big comic franchises like Superman and Batman. Come October, Zuda will be opening its doors to aspiring comic book creators to submit their work for a chance to make it big, or at least get their work hosted and published on DC's dime.
Zuda is giving users two ways to reach potential fame. The first is by keeping an eye out for particularly impressive submissions and offering the artist work at DC. The other is a public system that lets Zuda users vote and rate submitted comics after … Read more
Google cares what you think about local businesses and thinks other people do too. The company on Tuesday added a new feature to Google Maps that allows people to post user ratings and reviews of local businesses. The maps previously had professional reviews, but not reviews from users. More information is on the Google Blog.
I must say it was faster to do than writing a review on Yelp or CitySearch and a tad more intuitive than posting a review on Yahoo Maps.
One of the companies showcasing its wares at the Web 2.0 Expo is LuckyOliver, a stock photography service that sells user-submitted digital photographs for use on Web sites and printed materials. The service has a kitschy carnival/circus theme, right down to calling its users 'carnies.'
LuckyOliver employs several Web 2.0ish technologies to categorize photos, including tags, a cloud of similar or related images, and a prestige system for heavy users of the site. Esteemed photographers also get special badges. Other users can comment on their work, and browse through their portfolio.
As a photographer, submitting photos to … Read more
YouTube has announced a new series on content for political candidates, called Spotlight. Candidates will be able to ask the YouTube community a question and monitor comments and video responses sent in from users. They'll then get a chance to respond to the group discussion later in the week. The goal is to provide an open forum for users to know candidates a little better, and for people to ask questions directly--an option that's historically been out of reach (outside members of the press or those involved in campaign events). The project is also taking advantage of a … Read more
YouTube has launched the first ever YouTube Awards with 70 videos in seven categories. This week viewers can vote to pick their favorites of 2006. It's kind of like the Oscars, but for user-generated video clips such as Lonelygirl15 and Ask a Ninja. As of right now, there's nothing on the awards page but a bunch of comments from confused users who have made their way to the site to find nothing to vote on. Digging deeper, clicking on playlist shows a full listing of clips. We're assuming there will be a voting system similar to the … Read more
BOSTON--So-called user generated content is being built into the business models of forward-looking media companies as they venture out onto the Web, according to experts who spoke today at the MIT Enterprise Forum's Brave New Web conference on Wednesday. (See this CNET News.com story.)
Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of online video company Brightcove, said that Web is a tiny fraction of the overall media industry but that's changing because media companies are starting to distribute video over the Web. Brightcove itself is building social media features to its video distribution system which will allow people to post … Read more
SplashCast, launched today at Demo 07, is a free service that allows users to combine all sorts of media into one master playlist. That playlist can then be embedded on Web sites and blogs or sent directly to friends and family with a simple URL. It's basically the online equivalent of a mix tape. It's similar to YouTube's playlist maker, but with SplashCast, you can also throw pictures, text, and audio into the mix.
What's really cool about SplashCast is that your already-shared media doesn't need to be uploaded again. Pulling videos or pictures from … Read more