The DEMO Spring 2011 conference wrapped up yesterday in Palm Springs, and echoing the current climate in the Valley, day two of the conference belonged to startups focused on social technologies. From social CRM platforms, photo sharing, and social networks to aggregation and reader engagement tools to video and group chat, the day’s startups showed that the interest in the “social” Web only continues to blossom.
Here, in no particular order, is a look at seven new interesting startups worth keeping an eye on:
The widget is similar to other real-time commenting platforms (like, say, Disqus), except that Marginize puts interaction and commentary back into the hands of the individual user, rather than allowing the owner of the Web site to control and moderate what’s said. In a way, Marginize is akin to a private Twitter feed for Yelp, because the widget creates this pop-out tab (or “margin”) on the side of every Website, where users can provide supplementary information about the site, write reviews, or discuss the site’s credibility.
Though the company launched six months ago (and was mentioned even before that on TC by Don Dodge), yesterday at DEMO they announced an amendment to their product strategy, now offering publishers and content creators a chance to enter the game. The company added a “publisher widget”, which allows publishers to seamlessly insert the feature on any Website so that the tab is visible to both publishers and users. The idea behind Marginize itself may not be new, but the product has an eminent usability and interface that sets it apart from those that came before it.
Users define the type of audience they want to canvass from an exhaustive list of categories, and Gut Check then uses the profile to select a targeted group from their bullpen of 5 million research participants. Following that, the service allows you to perform interactive interviews with individual participants through its portal while sharing images and asking questions.
At $40-per-session, I can see this relatively cheap tool coming in handy for both big and small companies that make frequent updates to their products or services and want to gather feedback from a targeted consumer in near real-time.
The Enterproid apps appear as a separate home screen, yet enables both your enterprise and personal homescreens to be aware of each other, alerting you if you receive a personal email while in the enterprise section, for example. Enterproid also offers a set of rules that can be accessed by the corporate IT department, allowing IT to change security setting and shut off access to a particular app when worried about security issues. Though VMWare is planning a virtualization platform that allows a user to have two profiles on an Android phone, Enterproid’s platform is likely to be very appealing for small businesses, especially in terms of cost optimization, as employees can now keep their personal phones for business.
Users can pull in videos and annotate them with voice-overs, drawing mark-ups, or add typed comments in a dialogue box. Videos can be slowed down to enable this annotation, made into links that can later be shared, stored on-demand, watched simultaneously, and synced with Facebook, Twitter, and Google. While it may still be too early for a social TV solution to gain mainstream adoption, enabling an interactive and social viewing experience on the Web is a very appealing idea.
HeyStaks uses a comprehensive back-end social search algorithm to drive highly relevant community filtered recommendations. The idea was developed over a number of years by group of scientists in Ireland and is now teamed up with Jonathan Dillon, former VP of M&A/Integration at Yahoo!. Dillon was part of the team that acquired Delicious, which offered a scaled-down (and relatively unsuccessful) version of Heystaks beginning in 2005. Part of the reason it didn’t take off, according to Dillon, was that social graphs and networks were not yet as pervasive as they are today.
HeyStaks hopes to leverage the now more mature social graphs and collaboration technologies not by becoming a search engine, but by improving your Google and Bing results through the addition of community-sourced content to the top of those pages. To target those with a common goal or shared interests to better parse results, users can create “search staks”, or collections of the best Web pages from a group of users on a particular topic. These “staks” can be made public and easily shared with colleagues and friends via email, Twitter, or kept private or shared on an invite-only basis. Heystaks currently offers an iPhone app, a Firefox plug-in, and a Chrome extension still in alpha. I’m not positive that this can work, but the presentation was intriguing. Check it out here.
With the growing influence of Facebook’s social graph, several DEMO startups became advocates for the value of incorporating the social network into both our personal and professional circles. So, for good measure, I’m including a bonus: Two startups that caught my attention for how they’re attempting to improve upon the Facebook experience — both at home and at work.
Pixable’s WonderRank technology, which reminds me of Pandora’s Music Genome, takes your friends’ photos and analyzes the metadata associated with the photos (think “likes” and comments) to create combined and categorized viewing, as well as an easier way to rank and discover new photos. The app also allows you to like, comment, or tag photos, follow your closest friends, and receive alerts when they upload new photos. Knowing the importance of photos to Facebook’s overall success (and evolution), I wonder if Pixable could become a potential target for acquisition? We’ll see.
Check out Day 1 coverage here.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Pena
Marginize augments every page on the web with an independent space owned by the visitors where they can meet each other and interact freely. Marginize pre-populates that space with existing Twitter content about each page, and allows visitors to “check in” to the page and comment. The most active community member becomes the “curator” for that site, and other recently active users are shown after they check in. Browser add-ons for Chrome and Firefox are available on http://www.marginize.com, and a bookmarklet...
GutCheck is a new category of online market research that enables businesses and agencies to gain quick and simple feedback, directly, from target customers using IM functionality to perform interviews. GutCheck, an online DIY tool, simply and quickly facilitates a one-to-one dialogue between a business and target customer. Target customers are found by using the GutCheck Recruitment Engine to choose the appropriate target demographic and offers the ability to further screen for a target customer through asking custom questions....
Enterproid helps organizations and individuals get the most out of mobile technology and corporate BYOD policies by providing a dual-persona user experience that is secured and cloud-managed by IT. Enterproid’s flagship Divide™ platform combines cloud-based management with advanced on-device technology that ensures enterprise security and control without compromising personal freedom and privacy. Founded by former mobile executives and engineers from Morgan Stanley, Enterproid is headquartered in New York, with offices in London and Hong Kong. Enterproid’s investors include Comcast Ventures,...
What is eLive? eLive is a media enhancement service. From your browser, you record your voice while adding links, pictures, or videos from external sources. Friends can join you for a multi cast and viewers can tune in live and revisit your creation as a VOD later. Media contents aren’t fused together but synchronized on the fly. Spectators see exactly what you show during the cast and can interact with it: setting the volume of a video separately from your voice,...
HeyStaks is a unique technology that allows searchers to harness their social graphs as they search on their favourite search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc), effectively bringing together the content sharing world of the social networks and the query-based search world of mainstream search engines. HeyStaks delivers community-enhanced search results that are more personalised and relevant than SEM (search engine marketing) or conventional SEO (search engine optimised) results, and is fully integrated with the leading search engines.
Fetch Plus Inc Pte is a Singapore-based social media SaaS development company with offices in Australia and the US. Its product FetchFans.com helps brand franchises quickly to deploy brand compliant Facebook Brand Page apps for its local franchisees, whilst giving those franchisees flexibility to adapt them to suit local market opportunities. Founded in late 2010, Fetch Plus aims to be the leader in SaaS social media marketing technologies for brand franchises worldwide. Focused on developing tools that mirror the business...
With hundreds of millions of photos and videos being shared every day it’s easy to miss out on the ones that actually matter to you. Pixable finds the best photos and videos shared on your social network so you never miss an important moment. Pixable, founded in 2009, is a start-up headquartered in SoHo, NYC with MIT roots. The company has enabled more than 6 million users to manage and enjoy their online photos. On September 18, 2012, Pixable...