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SXSW 2010 Archive
As with previous years, I met a ton of new people at the SXSW conference. I have to admit that I was very much looking to meet Dries Buytaert. Belgium-based Dries is the founder of the Drupal CMS. If you are a regular reader of CN, you know that all of our sites were in Drupal until a year ago when we shifted to WordPress. I always liked Drupal but the admin interface just isn’t as usable as the WordPress admin interface. Dries told me that the upcoming Drupal 7 release will have a redesigned admin interface.
Check out my video discussion with Dries below (make sure to watch in HD!). We talk about SXSW, the upcoming Drupal 7 release and the Drupal Gardens product. Drupal Gardens is a service provided by Acquia. Drupal Gardens is basically a hosted Drupal service similar to the WordPress.com hosted service.
Dries notes that the Drupal 7 release has a focus on usability (they hired usability experts to help make the product stronger). They are also making lots of improvements for developers – including better APIs and better database abstraction layers. The Drupal 7 release is in alpha and they are hoping to get it out in public within the next few months.
Continue reading “Interview With Drupal Founder Dries Buytaert” »
While at SXSW this week, I met with Shawn, the AOL product manager over the new AOL Lifestream product. AOL Lifestream brings together a variety of social services including Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, etc. The service is available on the iPhone, Android and on the desktop.
Interestingly, AOL now allows you to post status updates to AOL along with the other services you select. AOL Lifestream also allows you to follow places and find updates related to a place. So if you are interested in a certain hotel, bar, etc. you can subscribe to that location and any updates will hit your stream. To make these location pages very valuable, AOL will need to aggregate additional services including Yelp and even Google results (blog, web, news, etc.).
Similar to Google launching Buzz inside of Gmail to gain an instant audience, AOL Lifestream has the same instant audience as the new version of AIM includes the Lifestream product.
I asked Shawn about the comparisons to FriendFeed, his response is worth listening to.
Check out the video demo below.
Continue reading “AOL Lifestream Demo” »
Today is the last day of the South by Southwest 2010 interactive conference. I will probably do a wrap-up post although overall this year felt very different for me than the previous years. Here are a few more photos that I snapped over the last few days. It seems like I didn’t miss much at the keynote judging from the other posts I’ve read.
If you were at the conference, what’s your take? What were the best moments? What could the conference improve on?
It’s the squid! Scott Beale from Laughing Squid
Continue reading “SXSW: Party Photos” »
At the Mashable party during the SXSW conference, I caught up with Cliqset founder Darren Bounds to learn more about where the social service is today and where it is headed. Louis Gray also spoke with Darren and recorded an audio interview that’s worth listening to. Lastly, check out the Cliqset SXSW mashup which pulls in content from Cliqset users from the following services: Brightkite, Flickr, Foursquare, Gowalla, Qik and Twitter.
Darren described Cliqset as a real-time conversation and aggregation service. Currently they aggregate content from a variety of services from their users. Comparisons to Friendfeed are included in every Cliqset review although now that Friendfeed development has stopped, Cliqset could take over the tracks and move forward. Darren noted that their goal is to be more user-friendly than Friendfeed was.
Darren noted that the Florida-based Cliqset team is working hard to organize the social web. He also mentioned that they are looking to move to the valley soon. I think this is a smart move – when you are attaching yourself mainly to Twitter and/or Facebook, being closer to these companies is a smart move.
The company recently partnered with Evernote and the Cliqset application is available in a browser, as an Air app and also on the Boxee Box.
In terms of the Cliqset roadmap, Darren noted that they are working on a tighter integration with Twitter. The integration will become visible over the next few months. For the balance of 2010, they are focused on content people are interested in. I assume this means we will see more mashups like the SXSW mashup noted above along with pulling in additional content outside of content provided by Cliqset users.
Darren shared that they have 50,000 users and 85% of those users have created accounts since November 2009. Their overall goal is to create a place that works for both the bigtime sharers like Louis Gray and Robert Scoble while still providing a place that is comfortable for the average Facebook user.
(also note Darren’s awesome Voltron shirt – just like Voltron brought together the cats, Cliqset brings social services together. Darren wouldn’t comment regarding if there is a way to form blazing sword)
During the SXSW conference in Austin this week, Google held an all day hackathon event. The idea behind the hackathon is to allow developers to create applications in one day and also get help from Google employees on applications they are developing.
I recorded the session that discussed Google App Engine and the video is below. You can also download all of the “code labs” which are simple tutorials on how to use a variety of Google APIs and services including Google App Engine.
Continue reading “SXSW: Google App Engine Demo” »
Last year at SXSW, I interviewed Jason Aiken from crowdsourced design service 99designs. The service is described as, “We connect 62,177 passionate designers from around the globe with small businesses who need design projects completed. And, we do it in a timely fashion without the usual risk or cost associated with professional design.” Basically 99designs allows companies to create “contests” and then designers submit their designs for the contest. The company selects a winner and pays for the selected design. Some call this type of relationship, “spec work” – the concept was a hot topic last year at SXSW. There’s a group called No!Spec which discusses the spec work topic indepth.
While waiting to get into the Mashable party, I caught up with Jason to find out how 99designs is doing a year later. Check out our brief discussion in the video below. The big news out of 99designs is the launch of their logo store. Designers who have won at least one competition on 99designs can then create stock logos and place them in the logo store. Companies and small businesses can quickly select a logo for $99 with non-exclusive rights (or they can pay $300 for exclusive rights) and then the designer will customize the logo with the company name, etc. in 24 hours.
Jason also shared some current stats related to 99designs. He noted that 500-600 projects are uploaded each week, a new design for a contest is uploaded every 7 seconds and they hand out $600,000 a month to the contest winners.
Continue reading “SXSW: 99Designs Launches Logo Store (video)” »
If you’ve been working online as long as I have, you probably remember the WYSIWYG craze of the late ’90s. Everyone and their mother had a program that attempted to make building a webpage easier. The most popular (and also the worst) was Microsoft Frontpage.
Today I am seeing more “cloud” services that aim to make building websites easier. Most of these tools are web-based and are very easy-to-use. About 18 months ago we covered the launch of SnapPages (which at SXSW launched a new developer service).
Launching at SXSW, Lifeyo is a new website builder that co-founder Betsy calls the, “people’s website builder”. They have lots of themes, easy to use blog tool, ability to add multiple pages, etc. I like how you edit the pages in place and the drag-and-drop elements which requires no code knowledge. You can edit the code directly if you prefer as well. Betsy uses Lifeyo to manage her RazorBlonde blog.
The service is free (including hosting) and they will be offering paid upgrades in the future including the ability to create a custom domain.
With all of these new website builder tools on the market, it’s amazing how many small businesses still have websites that look like they were built in 1995.
Here’s Betsy explaining how Lifeyo works and how they are different than the other website builders on the market. This is my first video uploaded as HD so be sure to select the HD option when viewing. Make sure to watch the part from the two-minute mark as she shows how the editor works – it’s pretty slick.
Continue reading “SXSW Video Demo: Lifeyo – Simple Website Builder” »