Non-profit organization Takes All Types released their very own Facebook application which will help find blood donors quickly. Users install the application, tell it their location and blood type, and choose how often they are will to be contacted to donate blood. If a shortage in blood occurs, TAT will contact users via the Facebook, email, or text message — whichever option you have authorized them to use. It’s nice to see social networking sites finally having a good use. The organization is looking to expand in to other social media sites and “advanced communication systems.”
Topicle is a search engine community built by users handpicking URLs. The community creates new Topicle search engines for topics. URLs are added to each search engine by users. Those URLs are then rated by other members of the community before being included in the Topicle. Topicle uses Google Custom Search to search the selected sites.
For example, the Web 2.0 Topicle includes reddit.com, readwriteweb.com, digg.com, and others. When searching within the Web 2.0 Topicle, only the 7 “indexed” URLs will be searched. Betaflow is added as a suggested URL, but won’t be include until other Topicle users rate the URL.
The site is an interesting mix of Google’s search power combined with crowd-sourcing. It makes search engine optimization a little less important and all but eliminates the option to spam.
Topicle was founded by Steffen Mueller and Christian Meister. Mueller was a Product Manager for Google, working on Google Maps, Google Web Search, and Froogle.
Just to show that pretty much any startup can get a little funding I’m going to tell you about Y Combinator startup MightyQuiz. MightyQuiz isn’t a grand idea, it’s not even really much of a new idea. Users write quiz questions on any topic and these questions. The questions are then presented to visitors along with other submitted questions in a quiz format. It’s an educational waste of time.
And in typical Web 2.0 fashion, there are social features to the site. User profiles, top contributor lists, most popular questions, and the ever important widget should give you the 2.0 interaction you desire.
TechCrunch was told that the potential monetization strategy for the company is to offer the service as a web label service for “traditional media site.”
File this one in your time waster bookmarks while it lasts…
- Store and serve application resources locally
- Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database
Gears is supported on Windows Mobile 5+ devices running Internet Explorer Mobile 4.01+. The software is also available for Mac and Linux users running Firefox 1.5+. Developers are working on a version for Safari/WebKit which will hopefully provide service for the iPhone when the iPhone SDK is available for the phone.
AOL Executive Vice President of Programming, Bill Wilson, announced this week that AOL plans on launching twelve new sites over the next six months and up to 30 sites by the end of the year. Plain and simple, AOL has moved in to the online advertising market and to win in that market you new impressions… lots of impressions. Wilson told Bloomberg.com, “We want to be sure we are appealing to as many consumers as we can.”
AOL sites had a combined total of 109.4 million visitors in January putting the company in fourth place behind Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. Microsoft published their own web strategy back in November with some lofty ambitions themselves.
It will be interesting to see if AOL comes up with any innovation in this move. To get traffic and maintain traffic, AOL will have to either offer a service that no one else does, or execute an existing idea better than the competition. But can that deliver innovation, quality, and quantity with great speed. We can only wait and see.
I saw the news today that Google Calendar Sync was released this week and with much excitement I downloaded the utility to give it a try. I have three calendars that I maintain: a professional calendar in Outlook hooked up to corporate Exchange, a professional calendar in iCal on my Mac, and a personal calendar also in iCal. Synchronizing all three calendars with my iPhone has become a challenge which left me to decide which calendar is most important for easy access… I chose my Outlook calendar. But, with Google Calendar Sync I should get the ability to synchronize my Outlook calendar with Google and then automatically download my Google Calendar in to iCal. Problem solved… or so I thought.
After setting up Calendar Sync the first thing I noticed on Google Calendar is that not all of my events showed up. Upon further investigation, 99% of my events didn’t show up. It turns out that Calendar Sync only sent the events that I had created and only the events that didn’t have any other invitees. Oh well, excitement averted. Back to choosing which calendar is most important.
Communiversity provides a place for prospective students to find genuine, trustworthy information about schools. It gives existing students a place to take pride in their school and share their experiences with prospective students. Students publish information about their school by using the site’s wiki format. Users can register as a prosective student, a current student, an alumni, or a visitor.
Orgoo jumped in to the video chat market with their public beta this week. The site was announced at TechCrunch40 last year. The rest of Orgoo’s features (IM, email, and SMS) are all still in private beta.
Orgoo is one of the first in the market to provide video chat all within the web browser. Typically companies in this market require a download of a plugin and mostly Windows only. At launch there was a cap of 1,000 broadcasters site-wide, but that cap is being raised daily (good idea to keep the site from grinding to a halt). I tried to check out the service myself, but there was no one online and I have no friends to chat with… I know, it’s sad.
You know, if there was any company I would invest money in, it would be one founded by M.C. Hammer: a man who was $13 million in debt and had to file bankruptcy. Ok, perhaps that is some what unfair… he has been relatively successful financially since then. But I digress…
DanceJam, founded by M.C. Hammer, and Geofrrey Arone and Anthony Young from Flock, launched in to public beta on March 3rd. The company has closed $4.5 million in funding, with a some portion coming from TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington. The company intends to bring dance battles to the Internet where users have a “dance off” against each other with viewers voting for the best. The site also offers general dance videos uploaded by users and from external sites (YouTube).
Some of the videos are pretty amusing and make me feel a lot better about my dance skills. Casual observation: not a lot of white guys showing up there.
An example of a battle can be see here: http://dancejam.com/battles/990294947