b-Uncut is a new kind of Web 2.0 social network. It kicked off in 2008 with a handful of artists and a big idea - to build the worlds coolest and most dynamic (virtual) art commune.
Today they boast 185 great artists from all over the world, adding at least one new artist a day. They have over 1,500 artworks loaded and showing online to the world at large. Over 2,000 art lovers visit b-Uncut.com every month and growing.
b-Uncut seem to have one of the more dynamic, lively, talented and inclusive communities around. And the industry is starting to take note. They feature both recognized and emerging artists.
And apparently they have recently been approached to increase the profile of relevant b-Uncut artists by featuring them at art fairs and gallery shows. They even have art critics researching artworks at b-Uncut for future projects and concepts.
If that's not enough b-Uncut plan to launch a publishing label - just for b-Uncut artists. Check them out - go to b-Uncut.com.
Linkedin's a changing. The CEO's out, a new President's in and the founders back. Linkedin have spouted the usual mumbo jumbo about their ousted CEO having achieved everything he needed to achieve blah, blah so he can now stuff off into semi-retirement - right.
So what's really up at the pros networking site? Well, not enough. Linkedin is a great idea that's made little real progress in the last few years. Dare I say it - Linkedin's become a bit boring. Ya know - corporate boring. They are about as design-driven as IBM is and even Facebook are eating some of their lunch.
As a Linkedin user I find them still little more than a dynamic roledex site. And I want more. I want to be able to communicate with my contacts in more dynamic and diverse ways than sending them an email or telling them what I'm up to. And why should Linkedin not help me meet new interesting folk as well as connect with those I already know. Oh and how about the mobile world dudes? Kick it up a gear guys or others will.
Apple's iPhone is about to start selling in Wal-Mart stores at a discounted price. (Good 'ol Sam). They should hit the stores just in advance of holiday sales. This will give the iPhone even broader distribution and mass market appeal.
And Apple are gonna need it since iMac sales are slipping. Finally their premium pricing versus cheapo Dell and HP laptops is starting to bite. Proving that they should have introduced more aggressive pricing with the new range of laptops and desktops that came out this fall.
Talking of mass market iPhone sales surely 2009 will be the year Apple launch a cheaper, slimmer even-more-mass-market iPhone Nano. Come on Steve!
Microsoft just launched their first iPhone app - even before it was launched on Windows Mobile. Yaagh... Live Labs dished up Seadragon Mobile a free image-browsing app that allows users to 'deep zoom' images while online. Nice.
Seadragon is a slick backbone for Microsoft's Photosynth - allowing users to take a grouping of photos and stitch them together into a 3D environment and it has a steal on Photoshop in photo-meshing for dynamic flow.
Now apparently Microsoft have so caught the iPhone bug that they're planning a bunch more including voice-activated search from Tell-Me. Jobs must be smiling.
Google's Chrome left da beta house yesterday, which for a Google product is a record dash coming only 100 days after launch. Why so rapido? They say its because they had so many internal users smash around at it before launch that they could accelerate the process. Yeah, right.
I mean Picasa and Gmail took years to get out of beta and in Gmail's case with tens of millions of users its still idling in official pre-release. So what's the vig.
Chrome is probably the single most important product launch Google have made since search. Chrome should hook hundreds of millions of PC users, another few hundred million with wireless devices and finally entice corporate folk. Chrome's their single most leveraged path, with Google Apps running across, to attempt to chip away at the heart of Microsoft's dominance and aggression. Google know its a matter of little time before Microsoft (perhaps with Yahoo search in arm) chip away at their search advertising lead and there are God knows how many start-up's trying to re-invent search tech. Yaah.
So, its time to beat Microsoft back at their own game and Chrome with Google Apps is the pack. So look to see tons more action in the Chrome camp through 2009 - beyond just funky bookmark app improvements.
Headhunter Heidricks is on the run trying to find Yahoo's next CEO. But which industry stones should they roll over? Last time Yahoo tapped big media. Now it could be mobile telecoms, Social media, software or beyond.
Crystal ball gazing is a dud bust - but given Yahoo's search sprint v Google is pretty much over there are probably just a few ways they can go to differentiate tomorrow. Portal media one stop shop, getting increasingly personal, social solutions or mobile Internet leader.
Should they der think out of the box they might even merge with a nex gen social network (how about Ning?) - surprise the market and add juice to an otherwise languid search (pun intended). If not they're gonna end up with another dud media dude or worse Arun Sarin, who did not a lot for Vodafone and clearly doesn't get the mobile Internet - just check Vodafone Live!
For any of you who can't wait any longer to get the friggin' depression/recession/any-references-whatsoever-to-1930's out of your heads - then here's one for you. Speedbreak.com. And it does exactly what it says on the tin. Speed - break - date....
Yep, its for singlers with a need for speed - both gettin' out of the country fast and doing 'fast' holidays - i.e. on skiis, snowboards, jetski's, bungee (hey, if its cool for Beck's it's cool for you too). Anyway - you get it.
Blogger's launched Friend Connect - Wordpress has partnered with KickApps and Typepad has just launched Typepad Connect. Each initiative a clear pointer to the fact that mainstream blogging platforms are finally going social.
And this is just the first step to converting 1st generation static content blog sites with a little comment interactivity action into fully blown, multi-media, social Web platforms that will one day even include Wiki style features turning every blog into a community of interest and its own niche, multimedia Which guide.
Then Blog 2.0 can develop and blogging platforms will become fully blown, all singing all dancing, media publishing platforms. Nex gen media ventures will start-up from kitchen tables and be powered by Blogger or Wordpress. Broadband, software platforms, laptops, digi cameras, camcorders and smartphones as granted - all costing but a few hundred dollars. New, new media founders imaginations the only limit. Welcome to the new dawn.
Letts' hot new London based incubator, blur Group, has just launched a Web 2.0 start-up venture, called i-Revolution, aimed at tech innovators and entrepreneurs. It's in closed beta, but looks interesting. Already a bunch of pretty cool entrepreneurs and even investors have signed up and started using the tips, tricks, content and network to help them develop and hone their ventures.
Social sites have a useful role to play for entrepreneurs and innovators in helping them develop and brainstorm ideas, enhance their network of potential partners and peers as well as gain greater profile as a network to prospective investors, corporate bus dev guys and even standards bodies. Makes sense. The key for sites such as i-Revolution will be the quality and filtering of their members. So, tech entrepreneurs, check out i-Revolution.org.
UK based start-up Ultraknowledge - (are they?) have come up with some powerful search technology which could enable media companies to monetize a greater portion of their content. Apparently they can tag and search deeper down into the bowels of your current and archived content to enable more relevant search and deeper monetization of your digital assets.
And if you think that sounds too jargony for you - just wait... Ultraknowledge use a content indexing and data storage engine that retrieves relevant content by comparing so called 'Concept Signatures' that are created for each indexed article. These signatures can be thought of as 'Digital DNA' (apparently) with each article creating its own unique set of patterns which allows for the analysis and comparison of content at multiple levels. I.e. they search deeper into your content layers. Watch out Google? Not quite yet.
But if you're still reading - good on you. Either way, we think they're worth a look in 'cos big UK media is starting to buy into them and we like the approach. We'll keep a watching brief.
As Internet users gather increasing volumes of applications, services and media to their data cluttered lives there is, apparently, a growing need for order. Orwellian order it seems to free us from our Internet jumble. And the oddly named Power.com (no, not some new Greentech venture) wants to chip in and de-clutter our prolific social networking lives.
So if you're active on multiple social networks Power could help you multi-task your Facebook, MySpace or Orkut existence and friend wagging. 'Cos they provide a universal dashboard to these services and others so helping you sign in once and access them all in a single neat dashboard. Bingo, you can then communicate in parallel rather than Website sequence. Potentially neat. The bad news is Power only tidies your Web life if you are a Latin American or US user.
Squace are trying to do something similar as a universal interface to the mobile Internet utilizing their neat square and grid system. It all reminds me of the corporate portal days - anyone remember Plumtree? God, what happened to them...
Google Friend Connect is now live here at Techboard. Implementing it was slick and simple - be careful to size the application right for your column - 'cos it seems tricky to resize.
This is a small leap for Google into the social networking space. It'll be interesting to see how Friend Connect will evolve. Perhaps looking more like KickApps. Either way, Friend Connect in its first version is a neat little cross platform app to drive relationships within your site or blog - but little more.
It'll need to get deeper to make a real impact on the likes of Facebook or MySpace going forwards. Let's see...
Xing are changing their management team for growth - starting with a new CEO.
It looks like Xing are gunning to catch up with Linkedin. They have 6 Million members versus Linkedin's more than 30 Million. Proving that Web 2.0 style online networking is still hotter than ever. Particularly for professionals.
Mind you both need to add services and value fast - 'cos Facebook is after their patch.
The Huffington Post, the worlds No1 blog site, has just closed a $25 Million Series C round of financing which apparently values the worlds leading blog site at around $100 Million. They want to use the cash to expand beyond politics, including sports and a new world page. Der, covering world news.
Top blogs are hot. TechCrunch now has more then 1 million techo's reading it every day. So get scribbling - maybe your blog could be worth a buck or two when the worlds stopped feeling all depressed with itself. Burn that midnight oil.
Feels to me like leading blogs could go the way of CNET - maybe even getting snapped up by the likes of NBC for a couple of billion in another 5 years. I mean traditional media juggernauts have done dumber things. Right?