E-commerce mashup company Mpire released on Wednesday a widget that lets bloggers and Web site operators embed shopping widgets in their Web pages.
The widgets will display trend information culled from different e-commerce sites, including eBay and Amazon.com, and let people buy items online from the widget.
For example, a person who runs a blog on fashion can create a widget that will display which shoes are currently selling best online and at what prices.
Mpire has created 75 different widgets that aggregate information, such as prices over time or top search terms, from eBay's and Amazon's … Read more
Many green products and services sprout on Earth Day only to wither the rest of the year. Hoping to maintain the momentum year-round, many geeks are nurturing social-networking sites for the nature-loving set.
Online communities built to help you take baby steps to green your life include Riverwired--where you can keep a blog, upload videos, and mingle with other members--and Be Green Now, a project of Green Mountain Energy. And in addition to the many green car-sharing, rental, and limo services out there, the new GoLoco site might help you find carpooling pals.
Internet services that encourage users to … Read more
Google Analytics relaunched today, adding several new visualization tools and ways to share data with others. The tool gives Web site owners a free and relatively easy system to keep track of how people are accessing content on their site, including ways to track which content is getting the most views, how much time each user is spending on the site, and the number of visits by time of day. There's also a handy map overlay which will show you where your users are, right down to the city they live in.
One of the updated features is the Analytics dashboard, which is now completely customizable and has simplified data. Users can relocate, add, and remove the various data widgets, in a similar fashion to that of iGoogle. Also new is the option to e-mail or export reports as PDFs, which can now be scheduled to be sent out automatically every day, week, month or quarter using a built-in calendar. Previously you were only able to export it as a non-human-friendly XML file.
The service is mainly an extension of Google's AdWords program, which lets site owners purchase words that link to various parts of their site via contextual ads that show up on Google or partnered search engine results. But even if you're not interested in making money it's a free Analytics solution that requires no software, just a line of code on any page you want to keep track of. If you're a WordPress user, there's even a plug-in to automatically add it to your site. Blogger users are also able to add it by tweaking their blog template.
Review Basics is a collaborative workspace for small teams and businesses. It runs right in your browser, and offers a fairly simple and straightforward way for others to share and leave feedback on photos, video files, and office documents. The interface runs entirely in Flash, so there are no special extensions to download, or programs that need to be installed on your computer. Just start up a workspace and go.
Review Basics works with a variety of common office document standards like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF. It also can handle uploading an entire zipped folder, so if you get a zipped attachment in an e-mail, you can upload it straight to the service without having to unpack it and send files one at a time. Review Basics also handles videos, although they have to be in the .FLV Flash format, which despite its popularity on the Internet, isn't a consumer-friendly standard compared to .MOV and .AVI. Files are capped off at 25MB apiece, so if you're working with any video clip over a minute or two, it's likely to be too large.
Annotating media is fairly simple. Users get five different tools to mark what's on the screen: boxes, arrows, a highlighter, call-outs, and emoticons. There is no drawing tool, which is one thing I enjoy and make use of on other collaborative workspace services like ConceptShare [hands-on] and Octopz [hands-on]. I think at a basic level it makes things feel familiar, like using a pen. There are still boxes which can be resized and color coded, but for irregularly shaped elements, you're out of luck.
To separate which feedback is being displayed, you can toggle each person's edits on and off. It's a lot like PhotoShop when you show or hide layers, and useful when you have more than two or three people working on a piece of media at a time, as things tend to get crowded.
Review Basics is very versatile for a free app, but it's missing a few things I think would make it far more competitive in this space. I'd like a way to leave audio or video notes. Some people (like me) find it easier to hit a record button, say something and move on, instead of writing it out. I'd also like to see live chat or live video conferencing, something that can take telephones out of the equation for both businesses and customers. The service is planning on moving to a paid model in the future, adding these things would certainly put it in the realm of some of the other services charging monthly fees.
The team has put together a series of hands-on demos you can play with to get a feel for the service. [More screens after the break.]
CitySearch is unveiling a newer, darker look this morning. Gone are the white and blue, which have been replaced by themed city pages, and a glassy, rounded look. The review and directory service has undergone some usability tweaks as well, including dropping the 1-to-10 rating scale in favor of a simpler five-star model and simplifying the look and feel of the home page.
CitySearch is also launching a new part of the site called My CitySearch, which keeps track of your recently searched-for establishments, and gives you recommendations based on your ratings.
The most exciting change to CitySearch's pages, … Read more
eBay has a neat new way to promote your items for free. Users can take any item listed on the auction service and widgetize it using a really simple editor. There are three options to choose from: single item, multiple item, and search. The multiple items widget has a scrolling display of item images, and is good for Powersellers, or anyone who is selling a few things at a time. What's great is that you don't even need to sign in to eBay to make one, just an item number.
When you're done creating a widget, you … Read more
Thrillist, a NYC-based e-mail list that features everything from bar picks to gadgets, has tipped us off to some pretty cool webware recently. (The site currently operates "everywhere," NYC, and LA versions with San Francisco coming soon.) They do, however, tend to be targeted toward Thrillist's key demographic of party-ready slackers. Like this one, for example: Do My Stuff. It's a way for you to find people to, well, do your stuff: lawn mowing, house painting, moving, posing for photographs (ahem), you name it.