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AUG 2010 
 
 
 
Networking with a human touch
 
By: Ask Bob                                                      Aug 10,2010
 
 
What's new on the Internet? By now, all of you may be aware of the social networking phenomena and how it has started permeating the 'Real World'. Sites like Facebook that command 500 million followers and so on.... Yet, only of a few may probably know that despite these "giants", there are other startups out there trying to make a mark in the world of online socializing. Whether they will taste success or not cannot be predicted but our job is to inform readers of their existence. www.zahdoo.com is one such site launched last year, that aims to bring family and friends together. It's philosophy is to "humanize" online relationships. To “enhance” your social networking, www.zahdoo.com uses what it calls a “personal cognitive utility” with augmented socio-cognition. There is no explanation given for this, though. The website’s owners say it belongs to that class of semantic applications that enhance user’s content and experience by analyzing, linking and building relationships contextually while seamlessly integrating user’s content and experience with the external content and services. After several months in “private beta”, Zahdoo announced the launch of its limited edition in April 2009. It has features like auto-tagging, MindU and CADIE, which is it’s semantic context guide. It is not clear though where the site is located as the information is missing in the ‘About Us’ section. The guys at Zahdoo say what differentiates it from others of its ilk is the fact that this social player allows users to automatically categorize their activities, information and connections into high level contextual mappings and tags. It helps users build their customized network of content and connections which “mimic” the ‘Real World’.
 
Our View
 
Name: Zahdoo    
10/08/2010
 
Design - 3/5       Utility - 2/5     Nav - 3/5     Download - 4/5                                  Score - 12/20
 
 
 
'Donate' for good content, earn from good content
 
 


Making money on the Internet has always been such an uphill task (for us too). There are the (by-now) traditional means (banner advertising, et all) of doing it. Then, there are the new-age methods, none of which have been "roboustly" successful. Now, our webspiders tell us of Flattr. Actually what stopped them in their spidery tracks was the bit of news that WikiLeaks (yup, the same guys who recently exposed the Afghan War Diary) had decided to adopt Flattr to raise revenue. Gotcha?
Both WikiLeaks and Flattr are based in Sweden. But this report is not about the former, it is about how yet another method has been devised to earn revenue in cyberspace. The Flattr guys say their service was started (this year itself) to help people share money, not just content. Music to the ears of online publishers. Flattr works on a 2-way philosophy – if you like a content or a “thing” as the fellas at Flattr like to call a blogpost or a story or a news report, you donate money to the fellow who wrote the article or to that blogger whose post you loved. That way, he gets to earn a little money from what he wrote. On the other side, if you are a publisher yourself, then you put a Flattr button on your blog or website and every time someone clicks on it because they liked some content on in, you (the publisher) earn money.
This is how it works on the ground:
You as an individual or sponsor or publisher have to open an account with Flattr. The account holds a “Means” and “Revenue” balance. You have now become a Flattr button owner. You then deposit, every month, a certain amount into the “Means” part of the account. It could be as low as 1 Euro (that’s the currency these guys deal in as they are based in Europe) and as high as….well, any amount. At the same time, you may (if you publish anything) submit your content (which means the URL of your blog or website) to Flattr. Then, whenever you, the account-holder, come across some great story which you really like, just click on the Flattr button to signify that you want to donate part of your monthly fund to that writer or blogger. At the end of the month, your donation in the “Means’ balance shall be equally divided among all the holders of the Flattr button, i.e. if you have put 10 Euros in your account at the start of the month and then pressed 10 buttons in one month, each writer stands to earn 1 Euro from your account. If you have pressed the button only once, then that sole writer stands to get the entire 10 Euros. If you have not pressed the button even once, the entire amount is given away to charity by the Flattr guys. (Why no roll-over of the monthly amount is not allowed is something we could not fathom). So, there are 2 simultaneous processes on – you are giving away money for good content and earning money from your own content (but someone has to like it first).
 Kind of clever because in one sense, a part of this webservice’s marketing is taken care of by users themselves. See, if a blog does not have a Flattr button, and you wanna donate money to it from your Flattr account, you will then be encouraged to tell the blogger to join Flattr to allow you to donate to him.
So how does Flattr earn its bucks in all this?Well, it gets to keep 10% of your monthly revenue. After all, those guys, too, need to earn a living, right?
 
 
Our View
 
 
 
Name: Flattr       
03/08/2010
 
Design - 3/5       Utility - 3/5     Nav - 4/5     Download - 3/5                                     Score - 13/20
 
 
 
A lens with a view
 
By now, all  of you are probably suffering from Facebook, Twitter and Orkut (or whichever social networking site you are on) fatique. The constant criticism that keeps coming up against these sites is that of boredom - after a while it seems, users are left with nothing concrete to do. So, what's new on the web? Now, there is a new kind of social networking site that uses video as a hook to get you on its online community. Called Stroome, it is for those of you out there who wanna create/edit something out of what they have captured on their cameras - both still and video. Any one, from students to professional "shooters" can become a member of Stroome. All that is required is a camera (it may not even be your own) and as its designers say, "a point of view."  
What can you do after joining Stroome. You can:
·         Stream your own content (read videos) to this networking site to enable others to see it
·         You can connect to other aspiring or well-established content providers/editors/producers
·         You can edit and remix your content with your own network of friends in real time
·         You can then publish those edits and remixes on all the social networking sites.
 
A user can upload any kind of files – audio/video/images directly from his/her own PC, or camera or even from other sites like Photobucket and MySpace. The other positive about Stroome is that it is free and there is nothing to download; the whole thing is browser-based.
Launched in 2009, Stoome is a service provided out of California, Los Angeles, USA. The name Stroome, say the guys who run this service, comes from ‘Stromen’ as the Dutch say, while they wanna tell you “To Move Freely”.
So if you wanna mix and mash up your videos, plus wanna connect with new, like-minded individuals around the world, you may probably realize that Stroome is the place for you.  
 
 
 
Our View
 
 
Name: Stroome 
24/07/2010
 
Design - 3/5       Utility - 3/5     Nav - 4/5     Download - 3/5                                  Score - 13/20