Yesterday Google rolled out video alerts to its Google Alerts service. If you've never used Alerts, it's a handy way to get Web content updates delivered straight to your e-mail inbox based on keywords. In the case of the new video search, Google will deliver links to videos it's indexed. So how is this helpful? Say you're a big video fan, and you dig seeing those Diet Coke and Mentos videos online. There are always some crazy teenagers out in the suburbs doing new things with them, and that equates to a lot of new videos. … Read more
News aggregation community Digg has announced a number of new features designed to take the site's social networking beyond simply "digging" and "burying" headlines and blog entries.
Starting Wednesday night, members of the site can further customize their account profiles so that they more closely resemble something on a social-networking site--more personal information, bigger photos, and a more extensive record of site activity. They will also be able to use their friends lists as content filters so that their "social news" comes from a select group rather than the Digg community as a … Read more
Single-page aggregator Netvibes quietly launched a mobile version of its site in February. It was a bit of a hack: If you created a "mobile" tab, then when you visited Netvibes from your mobile, the feeds you put in that tab would show up.
Today, Netvibes has gone to the next step with two new mobile sites. The lightweight mobile version of the site, m.netvibes.com, doesn't require any special tabs. On your mobile you can select any tab you've created on your desktop or laptop, and it displays almost everything, formatted for the small … Read more
Yesterday I recorded a podcast on the challenges of managing multiple social network profiles. Today I took a look at a new tool that's supposed to help you do that: Profile Builder. It's an aggregator service. You tell it where you blog, what your main social network is, what networks (like LinkedIn) you're on, and it creates a nice widget for you that you can set to pop up when people press a little "P" icon that you put next to your name, like this: Hi, this is Rafe Needleman . (Note that my profile is … Read more
With today's release, when Conduit users add toolbars after the first one they have, each becomes an option on a drop-down item within the toolbar. Conduit is also releasing multitoolbar packs with preloaded combinations of toolbars. There's a Blogs pack (Webware is included in it) as well as Music, Sports, … Read more
If you ask new-media pundit Jeff Jarvis, the humble hyperlink ought to be counted high in the ranks of digital-age phenomena that have transformed the face of news reporting and consumption.
"The hyperlink has changed everything," asserted Jarvis, who runs media criticism site BuzzMachine and political blog PrezVid. Citing the motto "do what you do best, and link to the rest," he said that news outlets can achieve new levels of efficiency through the ability to direct readers to click elsewhere for more information. In one sense, it's the 21st-century equivalent of a newspaper running … Read more
Webwag is a single-page aggregator that's been around for nearly a year now. Like other similar services, it lets users create one or more customized start pages, filled with modules of content that update continuously throughout the day. These feeds can be searched and browsed through a fairly large directory, along with the capability to drop in any old RSS feed. What's a little cooler, however, is Webwag's Widget-on-Demand tool, which will let you grab a live snippet of any Web page, and turn it into its own widget. If you're familiar with the Webclips service … Read more
Since no one blog can keep up with all the new Web 2.0 products these days, we've added a new feature to the Webware site: More Web 2.0 Stories. You can see it in the right-hand sidebar, under the Categories box. It's a news stream that pulls headlines and links from other popular Web 2.0 blogs (currently: Center Networks, eHub, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and TechCrunch). I hope you find it useful.
Our goal is to have this feed link to Web 2.0 product announcements and reviews, so we're only including blogs in the lineup … Read more
Pageflakes has just updated their service this morning with a handful of new features. The company is calling this latest release "Blizzard." Users now get their own profile page and can link up with other Pageflakes users as friends. They can also browse through users by interest, based on items they've put together on their customized Pagecasts. The goal is to make the service feel like less of a solitary experience and make it easier to share user-created Pagecasts.
Also new is the option to completely customize a page. There are themes and simple color arrangements for users to pick from, and a tool to create your own. In the same vein, there are now media pages from third-party content providers and sponsors, nearly identical to what competitor Netvibes rolled out with their Universes feature in mid-April. Pageflakes is launching this feature with themed content pages from CNN, AOL, Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post, among others.
To help users find content to add to their pages, Pageflakes has also redone their widget gallery, which they call "flakes." There are about a quarter of a million widgets, which is about twice that of Netvibes.
The Blizzard release also opens up the door to users of Apple's Safari browser, who up until now have been unable to access the site. However, there's no news on whether an iPhone-friendly version of the start page service is in the works. To see more shots of the new features, click the read more link below.
Profilactic, which I covered previously, is now available to the public. It's a personal feed aggregator: You tell it where you post online, and it pulls all the feeds together. You can point people to this "mashup" page, or use one of the site's widgets to embed that info in your own profile page or blog.
Another social site I use, Jaiku, has a similar function--it consolidates personal feeds into one feed. Profilactic is much easier to set up, though. It has a list of sites it can read from (Twitter, Pownce, Digg, Flickr, and several … Read more