Flash guru Michael Battle has created a 3D version of Digg. You can zoom around all the popular stories on Digg's technology page using your mouse and scroll wheel. It's not exactly the most useful interface, but it's a ton of fun and it's very slick. If you get lost, just refresh your browser. There's also a complete list of advanced navigation instructions here.
To take advantage of that, last Wednesday New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a program that lets witnesses of crimes or other "dangerous living conditions" use their camera phones to transmit images or video to the police by using 911 or by uploading their shots to the city's Web site.
My first run-in with Spymac was a completely accidental encounter a few years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a site that had its own visual style and appeal. It pulled in some design cues from Apple but kept its own sense of personality. This week Spymac has relaunched itself as Leapfrog, a portal for user-generated media.
The old Spymac featured a variety of user services, including e-mail, blogs, and user forums. It was a community-driven site. The new Spymac Leapfrog is all about media. Think YouTube with Google's pastel color palete. Users can browse popular videos, pictures, … Read more
Social networking site Facebook is one of those sites that tends to churn out a steady stream of small updates and modifications rather than releasing massive "2.0" and "3.0" revamps. It looks like they've recently gone through a few of them, too:Easier "wall" posting. (See image at left.) Instead of navigating to a different page to post on someone's "wall" (basically a free-for-all bulletin board at the bottom of a Facebook profile), there's now a cool little text field that lets you post right from the … Read more
Question-and-answer Web sites can connect the curious with the well informed, but some fail to live up to their promise. For instance, Yahoo Answers covers a vast array of subjects, but too often it attracts too many teenyboppers. With the new LinkedIn Answers, however, you can tap into the wisdom of a professional crowd.
This could be a great way of reaching out to those in the know without having to directly contact individuals who aren't so familiar with you. You can close a question to all but a small circle of chosen contacts. I also like that LinkedIn … Read more
Geni.com just launched. It's a family-tree-making service that's easier to use than any other competing system I've seen. And it's free. It also has a straightforward way to invite other family members in the hopes that they'll put in their own data.
I covered competitor Amiglia last year. Like Geni, it has a Flash-based interface for adding people to your tree as well as for navigating it. Geni is not as snazzy as Amiglia, but it is much easier to use. Data entry is a snap, because when you're first building the tree, … Read more
There are a few niches of the "new Internet" that are just about full. Social networking that doesn't gear to a particular sub-group is one of them (though I'd argue that there's still ample room for niche social networks, like this one that we looked at a few days ago). So is broadband video. But start-ups in both those categories keep trying to find ways to stand out: one of those, I've seen, is by putting an emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO). In the video category, we saw this with Veotag. And on … Read more
Trig is a new social-networking site based out of Sweden that's aiming to steal you away from MySpace with its devastatingly good looks and indie branding. Trig has a gorgeous welcome page. It first caught my eye when I saw it featured on The Museum of Modern Betas. It seemed to have everything MySpace did (and more), but with a unmistakable visual appeal. I was hoping the actual site would have a similar luster, but Web sites (like books) can't be judged on outside appearances alone, and Trig is unfortunately proof of this.
Trig is a work in … Read more
Anyone who has planned a party before knows that one of the hardest parts is making a cool invite and sorting through your contacts to figure out who's coming. A new party collaboration tool called MyPunchbowl launched this morning, aimed at making invitation creation and guest lists a little bit easier. It has Google Maps and directory services built in to help your guests find the party, and to help you find local stores to buy streamers, pirate hats, and silly string to your heart's content. Most important, it's just easier to use than Evite, the most … Read more
Most social networking sites are built to help people make friends and play nicely with each other. In this era of digital exhibitionism and surveillance, however, a new generation of Web sites exists to out people for their public wrongdoings. This Wall Street Journal story (free preview) tracks the rise of "the snoop next door." Some highlights:PlateWire lets you connect with other drivers by their license plate numbers, whether you need to express road rage or puppy love. Caughtya lets you tattle on those who park in the disabled spot. Holla Back NYC exposes pervy Santas and … Read more