Do you Twitter, Joost or Swarm?

Sometimes I’m dumbfounded as to why some technologies and processes explode in popularity and that others (some with better approaches or technology) do not.

With video on the ‘net all the rage, any new developments in this space are receiving quite a bit of attention. Consequently, the awareness of Joost — a peer-to-peer (P2P) video sharing offering — makes sense because of the success the founders of Joost had creating Skype. Every technoweenie interested in this stuff wants to see if these folks can repeat that success in this new, hot arena. Same thing with Bram Cohen’s Bittorrent, another P2P technology for sharing any file, since they recently received an infusion of venture capital possibly keeping them in-the-game.

But how many of you reading this have heard of Minneapolis-based Swarmcast?

The brains behind Swarmcast have created a high definition-centric process that looks very promising and certainly is as interesting as Joost or Bittorrent, “The patent pending Swarmcast technology is
one of the leading solutions for the delivery of high definition video
content via broadband.
” They’ve been working on the technology and their approach for several years. Will the perfect storm being created by a critical mass of Web based delivery (e.g., YouTube and the allegedly Google insider name for the TV network version, ClownCo.) along with AppleTV, continued falling prices of HDTV’s and continued delivery of empowering tools for those of us creating media bring Swarmcast to the forefront? If so, how will that happen?

Another example…

Everyone is buzzing about Twitter, which is a fun but not terribly useful technology in my opinion.  Lord knows I’m interrupt-driven enough as it is without a steady stream of Twitters (and I just read one on this cool mashup with Google Maps called Twittervision that said, “I’m taking a dump and re-reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged”.  I’m so sorry to be remarkably uncool, but this does nothing for me or my life.

But how many of you have heard of Swarm-it? To me, Swarm-it is a “useful Twitter…with more swarming goodness” or as they say on their site, “Swarmteams is a multichannel messaging system which allows mobile groups to communicate and collaborate via the web, email, SMS and IM anywhere in the world.” There are several groups and client teams I’m involved with that are roaming all over the place. At least a few times per week there are urgent messages that each of these “swarms” of mine need to know and Swarm-it let’s you notify them regardless of location or device but they have more control over the interruptions and flow.

Is it all marketing that differentiates who gets buzz and who doesn’t?  Unfortunately it’s not just the superior technology or approach that gets people excited. Often it’s the influencers that make
it happen, as evidenced by the cool kids who were all aTwitter at SXSW and which really made Twitter a topic of conversation in the blogosphere.

Will blogs be the way that people like me will point out other possibilities and say, “Hey! If you’re looking at “X” then you really owe it to yourself to look at “Y”?”  Maybe…but I continue to come across truly phenomenal mashups (look at ProgrammableWeb for hundreds) and Web 2.0 hosted offerings that offer extremely good functionality which have been out for some time and NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THEM. Without a critical mass of users and a way of monetizing their efforts, however, most of them won’t survive, that’s a shame and there’s got to be a better way that some directory listing them or miscellaneous bloggers chatting them up.

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  1. Ed Kohler on March 28, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Interesting points. A lot has to come together to make a hit. Like it or not, PR buzz plays a roll too. And not just with tech products. The same thing applies to, say, consulting, where there are many smart people who are technically competent but incapable of communicating this fact to prospective clients.

  2. pete on April 1, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Other potentials: linkedin, myspace, friendspace, stumbleupon, youtube, msn groups, apple widget community, blinklist, yahoo groups, magnify, thebeststuffintheworld, vox.

    RE: video and tv. offers social features as an internet tv aggregator. – free live internet tv allows you to watch web TV from all over the globe, they even let you create your own personal MyTV profile page and have lots of features, like channel search, countries, genres, multi-lingual descriptions, channel commenting, automated 24/7 channel bitrate quality monitoring, rss feeds for your blog, even live stream embedding, full screen, mini screen options, works with all browsers and platforms… !!

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.