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Three DEMO Companies To Keep An Eye On

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CrunchGear Week in Review: School Hijinks Edition

This week we’re going to see dozens of companies launch new products. Here are a few of the companies presenting this week at DEMO that are showing some strong potential:

ffwd:

In most cases, choice is a good thing. But when it comes to online video, the abundance of content available on the web can be overwhelming. ffwd (pronounced fast-foward) deals with this by picking your videos for you. The site uses video meta data as well as user behaviors to create virtual “channels” of video, which are essentially dynamically updated playlists.

Whenever the site presents a video you aren’t interested in, you simply hit the “ffwd” button to play a new selection. The system learns from your choices to help provide more relevant channels, and if you don’t want to spend time “training” it you can simply follow a like-minded friend.

The site is launching to the public with content from Hulu, Comedy Central, YouTube and a large number of other sources. For more details, check out our introductory post on ffwd.

Rudder shares a lot in common with Mint, a personal finance site that debuted last year at TechCrunch40 (and won the conference’s top prize). Both sites present financial data in attractive, intuitive graphs. But Rudder is taking a slightly different approach: while Mint analyzes your past spending habits to help you adjust in the future, Rudder is concerned with telling you how much you have available to spend on a given day.

The site keeps track of recurring payments, like bills and groceries, and subtracts the money you will soon owe from your income to tell you “what’s left”. The site emails its updates on a daily basis, and allows users to customize their emails with a selection of widgets.

Photrade

With image piracy rampant on the web these days, a number of startups have sprung up to help users easily obtain legal pictures. Photrade has a similar goal, but it also manages to help casual photographers make some cash in the process.

Most photo directories are filled with images from established photographers – not a bad thing, but there isn’t typically room for amateurs. Photrade allows users to upload their images, which they can then offer for free to others while appending a contextual advertisement. Photograhers keep a cut of the ad revenue, giving them an incentive to keep uploading quality images, and other users get to use the images legally free of charge.

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