Friday, May 30, 2008

Seesmic: Video Community

Just caught wind of a new business called Seesmic who have a user-generated video community platform that's intriguing. And they have the best product overview I've seen in a while—well, the funniest and most bizarre, but it got me talking about it.

Capitalizing on the unforseen phenomenon of the video comment, a happy side-effect of youtube activity where you have the community responding to a video with a video of their own. Who would'a thunk it? I have a feeling the powers behind the pre-Google youtube only imagined users commenting on videos with text comments—at least at first. But they learned quickly from their users behavior, and maximized it. But back to Seesmic. They claim to have built a platform that is conducive to video conversations. See for yourself...

They've also got a fascinating way of running their business. It's all voted on by their userbase. From new hires to deciding which features to add to the product. Seems to be working just fine.

What it means for us? Hmmm... well, we can keep an eye on them and see how it takes off. If it turns out that folks out there happen to love having video conversations, then we might want to figure out how we can get us some a 'dat!
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Friendfeed: making the social web more social

Friendfeed is a great example of the current move toward data portability, and a truly social web. They allow a user to tap into most of the web applications out there a person might already be a member of—see the list on their FAQ page —and creates a new stream of updates about what your friends and family are doing (of course, it only publishes the stuff you have permission to see, which means, only content from those people that are your Friends in each of the sites.) So it's not going to let you know that Grandma Rose just went to the supermarket with a jarful of pennies to buy her prune juice.

A real world example would be something similar to the Mini-feed in FAcebook (or Linked In, and now myspace has caught on) which publishes a constant feed of what your Facebook friends have been doing since you last logged in.

What it means for House Party? Well, we have to accept the fact that our party people probably spend most of their web life on sites other than ours. Yes, they spend a concentrated period of time during the build up to the event they belong to, but the webs a big wild place, and recent polls and research has shown that most folks are pruning their profiles on myspace, facebook, youtube, etc.. So, what it means for us is a huge potential to give our party people a chance to bring some of their luggage with them to their House Party experience. And, conversely, take some of the new stuff they pick up during their House Party experience with them as they go their merry way into the greater web.

Something worth mulling over.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Client Dashboard: The Beginnings

I've begun preliminary sketches for a client-facing dashboard/reporting tool. I welcome input from anyone on our team—especially sales and the producers. The theory here is that we'd issue clients usernames and passwords with which they can login to our site, and see info about their event(s).

The drawing here shows the screen a client would see after logging in, and choosing an event from their list (imagine cartoon network who's done 5 events w/ us) The content is still in flux, and the amount of real estate that each module consumes is not set in stone. This is truly a beginning, and will evolve considerably over the next few weeks.

Please comment on this post if you've got any suggestions.
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House Party Event Widget

Here's a sample of what our House Party event widgets can be. Gydget, a company that creates and deploys widgets for bands has a ton of great examples.

The main takeaway is that we can develop an event widget that can live on our partner's well trodden websites, and the widget can pull in data (photos, videos, blogs etc.) from their House Party Event. Better yet, the widget will direct traffic back to the event site, thus increasing the visibility of the event.

Don't worry, not a stupid question! Because our partners most often have a ton of foot traffic which equals lots of eyeballs. Any increase in "surface area" will significantly increase the spread of our events. Why keep everything within the walls of when we can broadcast it using already existing channels? Answer: there's no good reason not to.

Here's a screenshot of a widget that has a basic structure we can imagine containing stuff from a House Party Event.

See lots more examples of widgets at

Have questions about widgets and why they're important for any web based business?

For the tech-speak hungry (brave):

The Easy to Swallow Explanation:
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