Preview: Streamy--yes, it's a Digg killer

Streamy is a new do-it-all RSS reader meets social network. We get an early look.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, Streamy is a Web service I've been looking forward to getting my hands on for some time now. Well, to be exact, it's been just more than a month since I first heard about it, from a mysterious YouTube video that caught my attention. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the still-private service earlier today. I've been testing it for the last hour or so and am already impressed. Not because it looks really flashy (which it does), but because it has the groundwork for a very socialized surfing experience without requiring you to install a new Web browser, or discontinue using services you're already familiar with.

In a nutshell, the service is a hybrid between Digg, Facebook, your favorite instant-messaging client, Google Reader, Twitter, and Del.icio.us. By its very name, Streamy is a mashup service. It pulls together a variety of your social streams: be it your favorite blog feeds, news alerts, or friends updates, and rolls them up into a slick package.

On the social networking and bookmarking side of things, every user gets a profile and an online presence. You can fill the profile with all sorts of information about yourself, but the real clincher here is a listing of what feeds you're subscribed to and groups you've joined. The feed reader itself lets you subscribe to as many RSS feeds as you'd like and view them all without having to leave the page. If there's any embedded content like video or music players, that comes along for the ride too.

If you find anything interesting while browsing, you can share it in several ways. There's the typical "e-mail this" option and quick links to publish it to the Streamy community, to a group you're a member of, or your friends. Much of the interface is drag and drop, and as an "aha!" moment earlier, I shared something with another Streamy user by simply dragging a story headline onto their buddy icon. Cool.

I intend on giving Streamy some more of my time to really get a feel for how it handles a huge influx of feed subscriptions and a growing user base as the service opens up. In the meantime, here are some screenshots of the interface. There are several more after the jump, so be sure to click the "read more" link below.

The front page of Streamy shows off the hottest stories of the day, along with story recommendations for you based on your RSS subscriptions and what you've clicked on. CNET Networks

Each Streamy user gets a profile, and if the user is online you can start up an IM session right in the browser--no software required. CNET Networks
Streamy isn't just about showing you links, you can also read them right in the interface. If you find something you like, there are built-in bookmarking and sharing tools. CNET Networks
To share a story, just drag its headline to one of the three easy share buttons, or on top of someone on your friends list. CNET Networks
Streamy has your typical topic-based RSS feed directory. There's also a Top 100 cloud that shows the 100 most popular feed subscriptions. The more popular subscriptions appear larger in the cloud. CNET Networks
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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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