Services & Software

Early standouts from AlwaysOn Stanford

More than 30 companies are pitching their stuff this morning. We look at two of our favorites from the bunch.

PALO ALTO, Calif.--There are nearly 30 start-ups promoting their wares today as part of AlwaysOn's Stanford Summit--and that's just before lunch. Many have been profiled by Webware in the past, but I wanted to take some time to dig into two of my personal favorites from this morning's CEO presentations.

MyTrybe. This is a behind-the-scenes service for site owners who want to add recommendation features to their content. It uses a sliding scale happy face that you can drag on tagged pieces of content like stories, videos, and pictures to establish a ranking. MyTrybe will take that information and give you recommendations for other content you'd like, along with friend suggestions for others who liked similar things.

The service is about to launch a location-based service that will recommend things for you to do in a city (be it your home or while you're out traveling) based on previous preferences and tastes. This information can be compiled into one central location, and viewed by anyone who has used a MyTrybe-integrated site.

MyTrybe keeps track of user ratings from various integrated sites and displays the information on a Google Map. CNET Networks / Josh Lowensohn

Seen above is an example of this in action for finding art gallery recommendations. Unlike Yelp, MyTrybe's rating and recommendation system can be used to filter in what you might like based on previous ratings and the ratings from your friends.

Funny or Die is one of the few video content providers that's got both a plan for comedians to make money from content they create, along with some really amazingly well-done videos done by mainstream actors.

Much of the site's professionally-produced content has been wildly popular when it hits social news and bookmarking sites. In fact, 140 of their videos have gotten on the front page of Digg since launching in April of last year.

What's smart is that the same model that works for comics on Funny or Die can be scaled to other genres like snowboarding (ShredOrDie), Food (EatDrinkOrDie), and gaming (PwnOrDie). CEO Dick Glover told the audience here that they've gotten celebrities to do all their videos for free simply for the sake of getting their names out there. Celebrity videos are separated from the other content, but don't make up for the mass of traffic and page views which come from user-submitted content.

ZipClip is a very simple service that relies on a browser plug-in to port content from your Web browser to your phone. Once installed you can send things over by highlighting them and using your right click. I remember Mozilla was on to something similar with project Joey, and it's pretty cool if you want to save some time sending things like addresses, pictures, or articles to a mobile device without going through e-mail.

ZipClip's "Ace" (it says that on his business card) Jeff Ralls walked me through a demo of using the tool, which will run on most mainstream phones short of Apple's iPhone or Windows Mobile smart phones (although Ralls says a native iPhone application is on the way). One of it's cool capabilities is that any video you select will be converted and optimized to stream on your device, just in case the original site was not compatible. You can also search and sort through all of your archived content right on your phone.

Stay tuned for more coverage. Some of the companies coming up deal in mobile broadcasting, so we'll see what they've got up their sleeves.