FineTune is a music discovery service that launched last year and is focused on letting its users build sharable playlists of popular music. You're able to browse and search through a fairly large directory of popular artists and pick out full versions of their songs based on 30-second previews. There's also a really simple music discovery system that automatically builds playlists for you based on your artist picks (see Pandora). The whole package is wrapped up in a slick, user-friendly interface. There are also some basic social networking features. You can add and subscribe to your friends' playlists, … Read more
GabJam is a viral video service made for user-generated content, but think more soapbox-standing and lonelygirl15-style personal musings than, you know, cat videos or pirated clips of Colbert.
That's because it's all short recordings made on a Webcam. The company is called GabSight, and it offers two services: GabMail, which is one-to-one video messaging, and GabJam, a threaded, reply-all version of video messaging.
CEO Mark Lipsky and I chatted by phone (I wish I could … Read more
There are a lot of easy ways to get a free site on to the Web right now, from MySpace (not a bad solution if you want to advertise your group to 40 trillion teenagers) to Wiki services like Wetpaint, but Nexo's focus on group dynamics pays off. The site is a good option if what you need is to keep a … Read more
Hey, style freaks: here's another reason to spend more time on the Internet. ShopStyle is a search engine that will paw through the inventories of all kinds of online clothing sites to find exactly what you're searching for. I'm not much of an online shopper since I like to try things on before buying them, but I can see ShopStyle being a very valuable search tool for people who dig the bargains that can be found on clothing sites.
Okay, here are some things that tick me off: irritating cell phone ringtones, fast food, the Comic Sans font, Paris Hilton, bad grammar, and SpongeBob Squarepants. Generally, they don't get on my nerves nearly enough for me to want to tell everyone about it--but sometimes the annoyance reaches a level where I just want to...vent.
Enter VentBox, which is basically a forum for complaints. Type in something that irritates you, write whatever you want about it; not only will it post your vent on the site, it'll also connect you to other VentBox users who are ranting … Read more
You know, the sports world has made a much smoother transition to the digital age than I'd thought it would. Maybe it was the stereotype lingering in my brain of jocks and wannabe jocks having a disdain for anything nerdy, but I would've thought that sports Web sites and social networks would be slow to get off the ground. Man, was I wrong--just look at fantasy sports, as well as some growing social networks like Takkle. Here's another AlwaysOn attendee, PicksPal, which is a community for people who follow sports so closely that they think they can … Read more
The presenters at the AlwaysOn conference earlier this week might have primarily consisted of companies that are marketing toward the advertising and media communities, but there were still plenty of consumer-oriented start-ups. So many, in fact, that we still aren't finished writing about them. Here's another one you all might find interesting--3jam, which allows you to send reply-all text messages to a group of your friends.
There are a bunch of different ways to use 3jam. On a basic level, you can start reply-all groups by simply texting 3jam's number, or you can use a downloadable … Read more
Wait, we've heard this before, haven't we? MyBlogLog (recently acquired by Yahoo) shows you who is viewing a Web page when you visit it. It's a really interesting app, but can be quite creepy.
A similar idea: Me.dium, which is launching its new "semi-public beta" at Demo 07 (which means it's an open beta, but new signups could be shut down at any time). Like MyBlogLog, Me.dium shows you who else is on the site you're on. It also shows you where your friends are hanging out online. And it shows … Read more
Unlike Zagat, which has its own volunteer army of reviewers, Boorah scours reviews from sites like Insider Pages, SFGate, and blogs, and extracts content from them. The site parses all the data and assigns scores for food, ambiance, and service for each restaurant.
The site has a relationship with OpenTable (my favorite Web site ever) and will let you make direct reservations for restaurants that take them.
What I liked about Boorah: it has a very good search engine, … Read more
Attendio helps you avoid that dreaded circular conversation: "What do you want to do tonight?"---"I don't know, what do you want to do?"---and so on.
More specifically, Attendio is a social-events discovery service that continuously feeds events directly to a calendar program based on specified interests and geographic location.
Launching here at Demo 07, Attendio is not shy about how new it is--its tagline is "seriously beta." (Speaking of names here at Demo, can we talk about that? Attendio, Yodio, Vringo ... the names sound to me like a series of … Read more