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online messaging Archive
This week on nextNYers, host Courtney Nichols sits down with NY-based Savory Cities founders Jennifer McBride and husband Chris McBride. Savory Cities was one of our first interviews on CN and back then they used MediaWiki — looks like today it’s a robust PHP solution which is MUCH stronger to me than the MediaWiki implementation.
Savory Cities provides a chef focused online video restaurant guide. The restaurants listed in SC are the ones that give you multiple forks, not the kind that you open a ketchup packet with your teeth. Currently the service is available in NYC with San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle coming soon.
After reviewing Pibb earlier this week, I have received a few requests to take a look at another player in the "new message board" space called Tangler. Tangler is really well built and certainly is more "today" than say Vbulletin. Tangler sets itself well by focusing on product development and feedback discussions.
My top suggestion fo Tangler would be to offer a way to integrate it into my web sites. Allow me to customize it to look like my site and for me to monetize it like I do with VB. I wouldn't mind paying the $85 from VB to these guys.
Tangler allows you to create and join different message groups (they have a few setup by default). Pibb seems to have more instant messaging and live chat options than Tangler.
It is just awesome to finally see innovation in the message board area after almost none in the past decade!
Update: Stephen has a good interview with Tangler CEO Martin Wells.
Check out my video review below… I will say there is a bit of rambling… :)
I thought it might be interesting after last evening’s post about the new Yahoo Messenger to take a look at worldwide instant messenger usage. So I called on my friends at comScore and they sent over some data for February 2006/2007. I also reviewed a post from KenRadio but ignore his chart as the numbers are incorrect (the text appears to be correct).
The raw data is listed below in the table, but here are the important points that I can pull from the information:
- Overall, the numbers are up for all of the major networks except for the actual AOL network. It will be interesting to look at this chart once the new Yahoo browser-based Messenger is in place. I sure hope that the stats get tracked properly and added to the counts below
- The aggregation services, eBuddy (Cn coverage) and Meebo (Cn coverage) appear to have some of the best gains of the instant messengers included in the data. I still believe that the aggregators will win out long-term because as we use more of these services, loading multiple apps becomes troublesome. eBuddy and Meebo eliminate that issue and add way more functionality. The new eBuddy beta really rocks and I am sure Meebo is pushing forward as well.
- Both tom.com and Skype IM have moved quickly into the top-10. While tom.com appears to be asian so I don’t have any data on it, Skype is currently one of my favorite apps. I expect both sites’ numbers to grow. I wish the aggregators could pull Skype in… now that would be awesome.
- IMVU appears to be a hot new instant messaging tool and had the largest percentage growth. You can create 3d icons and actually be “in” the space. Looks really cool and right now they show over 25,000 people online.
- comScore now considers Twitter an instant messaging tool. Interesting. And they show over a million uniques for February 2007. I wonder what the number is for March when SXSW was active and was pimping Twitter hard.
- Lastly, comScore does not track Google IM so that is not included. I would imagine they would be in or close to the Top-10.
|Unique Visitors (000)|
|Instant Messengers||Feb 06||Feb 07||% of change|
|MSN-Windows Live Messenger||187,333||207,777||+11%|
|AOL Instant Messenger||18,729||13,547||-28%|
|MSN Messenger Canada||11,111||13,318||20%|
|Rediff Bol Messenger||235||989||+321%|
*Unique visitors aged 15+, excludes searches from public computers such as internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs. Also, comScore noted: “Please note that AIM.com/AIM App refers to the combined usage of the stand-alone AIM application, plus visitation to the AIM.com website. AOL Instant Message refers to the IM service available to AOL subscribers. These numbers cannot be combined, since users of both applications would be double-counted.”
WetPaint has announced this morning that Wetpaint Wiki users can now send single or multi-person private messages to connect and collaborate with others about their most passionate interests. I was able to grab two quotes from Ben Elowitz, WetPaint CEO:
“When people collaborate, good things happen, whether that collaboration is taking place for the world to see or between two people wishing to have a private dialogue. By empowering users to send private messages, Wetpaint furthers its commitment to providing the easiest and most convenient means for consumers to collaborate online.”
"Publishing on the Web at the speed of thought and collaborating with mass audiences is now in the hands of every consumer."
To send a message to another member, all users have to do is simply click on the member's username and then select “send message.” Additionally, moderators and site creators can send "broadcast-style" messages to every user on their site by simply typing “All Registered Users” in the “To:” line.
Check out my interview with Ben and Kevin Flaherty (head of marketing) from January where we discuss WetPaint and where the Wiki format is moving. My belief is that the Wikipedia look and usability is only just scratching the surface of where Wiki will be going in 2007.
Today Meebo released a whole new version of their site. It looks amazing. They've updated the whole look, and added some functionality. I thought I would just give a run-through of what went down, and what all was changed.
- New visual design – Sandy and I were Photoshop newbies when we first designed meebo and we’ve been itching for an updated look. We’re thrilled to show off David’s latest work!
- Pop outs – click on that little icon in your IM window to “pop” the window out of the main meebo browser (don’t forget to disable any pop-up blockers you have for meebo.com).
- Drag and drop buddy list management – Harry A. wrote, “I’d like a way to easily consolidate and manage groups.” Mike C., Frank R., and Rafael F. agree. The ability to move buddies between groups has been our most popular feature request for a while. Enjoy!
- Skinning – we understand a few of you might be attached to the meebo’s first look and feel. If you are feeling nostalgic, we’ve introduced the ability to switch back to the old skin – just go to the preference area and select the ‘Classic’ skin. Keep an eye out for more skins in the future.
- Individual sign on and off – now you can manage your screen names one-by-one. Just click on the drop-down menu in the left-hand console area.
- Localization – In addition to Bangla, Creole, Esperanto, Iloko, Jawa, Latin, Malagasy, Marathi, Mongolian, Nias, Swiss German, Thai, Uzbek support – we’ve also translated other parts of the UI such as buttons, menus, and links. The language updates dynamically based upon your location and preference too. Thai looks really good on the new front page!
- Updated Chat Logs – Chatlogs just got a facelift. Power-users (like Sandy and Andreas) will appreciate the new design and speedier loading times.
- AIM Profiles – This has been one of the top three requests for many weeks. AIM users, check out the ‘Set Profiles’ in the console area. Mark recently got engaged, guess what he announced in his profile this week! Congrats!
- Optimization – We’re always trying to make meebo better and faster. Those of you with very large buddylists, like user rnbmelody, will appreciate the new performance enhancements.
That was a list that was taken from the Meebo blog. But really the thing that makes the most difference is the new design. Everything is now nice and glossy, just the way Web 2.0 likes it.
The other most noticeable thing is the window pop-outs. You can now use meebo as a full IM client. Now that you can take your buddy list, and even the IM windows and pop them out into their own browser window.
This is a really nice feature, and by far one of the best. Search around for more features, and let us know if you find any new ones! Here are some screenshots of what the new look is like. Check it out!