What you see above is not a video or a slide show, it is a Flowgram. If you click on it, you will be taken to a full-screen player with what appears to be a screencast with a voiceover. Except that you can control the pages by scrolling up and down, watching any videos that might be on the page, or clicking on the live links (which takes you out of the Flowgram to that Website, but if you hit the back button it picks up where it left off). You can also add comments and share the Flowgram via a widget like the one above, which is muted and requires you to click through for the full experience.
If you want to make your own, we have invites for the first 1,000 readers who register here with the code “TECHCRUNCH”.
It’s an interactive screencast, a way to synthesize the Web by pulling different pieces together The voiceover acts as the glue. It can be used for slide shows, travel guides, tutorials, sales pitches, or just to explain something to a friend.
The best way to understand a Flowgram is simply to watch a few. Here is founder Abhay Parekh explaining what a Flowgram is (above) and another one he made specifically for TechCrunch (below). Flowgram’s are also great for narrated photos slide shows. Investor Joi Ito did one about Google Zeitgesit Europe and another one about an amazing restaurant in Tokyo (also below).
Parekh was previously the co-founder and CEO of FastForward Networks, which sold to Inktomi for a cool $1.3 billion in 2000. (Those were different days). He then did a stint as a VC at Accel. He founded Flowgram in June, 2007 with $10,000 and raised $1.3 million in September from a high-profile group of angel investors, including Reid Hoffman, Josh Kopelman, Caterina Fake, Stewart Butterfield, Bud Colligan, Kevin Lynch, Joi Ito and Rajeev Motwani.
To make it easier to create a Flowgram, Parekh’s team is building a set of importing tools for Flickr, Facebook, RSS feeds, and Powerpoint slides. And as more people create Flowgrams, the service will be able to recommend similar ones. Parekh plans to make money with either ads or a premium subscription version for sales people and marketers.