Zude: Mix and Rip Your Personal Page

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zudelogo.pngZude is a new social webpage network. I say “social webpage network” because Zude isn’t so much about making friends and commenting on on profiles as it is about creating your own personalized webpage.

You create a personalized webpage from modules that hold your own content or clips grabbed from the web (even embed whole webpages). Each module can be placed anywhere on the canvas, edited, layered, and have it’s transparency adjusted. By their May 1st launch, these personalized pages will be templated into individual, family, group, and business zudes.

Currently Zude only works on IE with an ActiveX control installed and Javascript turned on.

Zude differentiates itself from other modularized webpages through an easy drag-n-drop interface to add content and the openess of the platform. With their ActiveX controller, Zude lets you take content from your desktop or the web and easily drag-n-drop it onto its own module on your page. This means you can quickly add photos from your computer by dragging them onto the site, or a YouTube video by dragging in the embed code. Zude does this by overriding the action your browser takes when you click, drag, and release your mouse button while over the browser.

Content modules are not widgets, but capsules that can hold any webpage code (HTML, Javascript, Embeds). Zude isn’t aiming to create its own widget standard, but simply allow people to host embedded widgets from other sites on their platform. At launch each of these modules will be taggable, ratable, and sharable, meaning if you see a module you like on another site, you can grab it for yourself (like WebJam). The release will also feature their first module with dynamic content, blogging.

Zude is still very much in beta, with a lot of the properties for the modules (over 50) still labeled with technical jargon. While the launch will focus on the social networking aspect of page creation, the founders, Jim McNeil and Steve Repetti, also talked about other applications of their modularized webpage platform. Some ideas were a collaboration tool, where group members can mash related content together. Another is as a mashup tool that grabs data from web services like weather.com and mashes it with an API in another module, like Google Maps (similar to Teqlo).

The whole platform is based on the parent company’s (Fifth Generation) database, webserver, and scripting language, allowing developers to remix the functionality as they see fit. They plan on rolling with the punches after launch and seeing where their community wants to take it. My only concern is that the platform is too flexible and that users faced with too many choices will shy away from the service.

Update: Concerning comments on this post, Co-founder Steve Repetti states that Firefox support will be coming by the May 1st launch.

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