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Profile – Talk Digger

Update 9/29/05: Wired published an excellent article on Meetro today.

Company: Meetro
Location: Chicago

What is it?

Meetro is an instant messaging service that works both as a stand alone client and also integrates with other IM services (AOL and ICQ for now, others to come later). Meetro determines where you are phyically located automatically (or you can override by telling it manually) and shows you other meetro users near you. It’s a cool way to see when your friends are nearby, and to meet random people who are physically close to you.

Meetro currently only works on the Windows platform, with Mac and other clients coming in Q4. The download is small – 3.5 mb, and registration was very simple.

Overall, the service works very well. I chatted with two of the founders (Wendell and Paul) and also asked a couple of random people near me what they thought of it – everyone was very enthusiastic and loved the service.

This is an application that will stay on my desktop. It will become increasingly useful as they integrate additional IM platforms, as I run five on my desktop currently (MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Skype, Gizmo).

Additional Screen Shots:

  • Andy

    As most content is loaded in from external resources, into a Flash file, and everyone uses different techniques for deep linking, I think it will be a very slow process for the benefits of this to be felt. And getting to the first page of Google for a given query with a Flash file would be a very great achievement! Perhaps there should be a competition. Anyone who gets to page 1 for “George Bush” with a Flash file!

    But it’s of course good news that innovation with RIAs, from UI interfaces to search, continues.

  • Sebastian

    Why does everybody miss the most important point here?

    –> Google and Yahoo could have created this software themselves, the SWF specification would have allowed them to do so!

    The fact that they did NOT do that – even Google, which has unlimited resources – shows, how little interest they had in Flash content.
    It’s not like Google never created parsing software for other file formats – they have parsers for PDF (open like SWF), MSOffice documents, etc.

  • Jeremy Chone

    This is definitely a good move for Flash and SEO (for consumer application). I would be curious to know if this works for dynamic content as well.

  • Laurent

    Wait a minute: flash indexing has been there for many years, when Adobe gave out swf2txt, a simple command line tool to extract text from SWF files. What would be interesting is to know how better the new version given out by Adobe performs, especially for retrieval purposes.

  • Charles

    Well put Nic.

    Two words for web developers considering flash…”Progressive Enhancement”

  • sayed sajjad hussain

    It seems to be a good news if the benefits could be realised sooner.

  • bitpakkit

    The big opportunity here is to design apps with searchable states, not to get hung up about Google and Yahoo! attempting to index UX. You still need a strategy.

  • mcaulay

    agree with Charles, progressive enhancement is key whether you’re using a swf or javascript. Our favourite method is to write out the dynamic content into the html and replace that content using a swf(which is displaying the same content, only nicer) served with swfobject, this ensures that if you’re one of the minority not using a flash player or have javascript disabled, you still have access to the content you expect to find…and so do the search engines.

  • Ryan

    None of this matters. If you have one of the millions of (designed completely in) flash sites the only url you will see in your toolbar will be THE SAME URL for every page. Think about what this means in terms of deep linking pages on your site, ranking keyword landing pages – still impossible. Organic deep linking will not happen.

  • Brad Curtis

    Ryan is correct. This is of no benefit if the content is 10 clicks deep within the flash app and not indexable by a query string. You will still need to design for crawlability from the outset,

  • Nik Cubrilovic

    Ye good point Ryan.

  • Ovi

    This is all so irrelevant. No one seems to understand that these days when it comes to serious content driven RIAs, the swf files, xap or xaml contain absolutely NO content, they are merely content pulling engines. The content worth indexing comes from databases or web services most of the time. So all the content the engines are going to find is some dummy placeholders the developers left in for testing.

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  • Greg McMuffin

    Ovi is correct, in that with RIA’s deep search engine indexing isn’t even necessary in the first place. They just need to get people to the front door and the current HTML that holds the flash/flex apps can do that with the proper tags. But people just love to bash anything related to Flash without being informed.

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