Ok so DEMO 07 was a great show and launched some 68 different products and services and by now the Net's abuzz with chatter about the show. You can go to the DEMO 07 site and see all the presentations and you really should check this stuff out if you want to know what's going to be cool in the next six months on the web.
I moved around through this venue as much as I could talking to various presenters and of course watching the launches. I wish I had more time and I wish everyone else did as well. However, here's my top five which I present based on what I think is value that goes beyond "coolness, gimmicks or simply improved social networking".
The Ibridge Network
The Network aggregates research materials, technologies, and discoveries in an on line forum they call IBridge. Obviously innovation bridging. At this point they are working with "an initial five universities to bring together all the cool technologies and innovative ideas that researchers are working on so that other researchers and companies can make use of those innovations easily," says Samantha Lasky of Ibridge.
Through searching this site with its highly visible cloud and category searching process I can find applications, processes, and hardware. Once I find something I think will be of use, Ibridge presents the licensing options, contact information, suggested uses and essentially makes it as easy as possible for me to acquire useful techniques and technologies for the development of new therapies, processes and products. Ibridge is in beta right now and hopefully will catch the attention of more research universities. We could, I suppose, send suggestions to them to encourage the universities to make as many of the processes and applications available under the GNU General Public License as possible. Ibridge is like InnoCentive but is coming from a non-profit perspective. It should be interesting to watch these two services as they develop. Ibridge and InnoCentive are great examples of the potential for collaboration via the web.
SCRAM is cool, but can also be functional for non-profits as a novel fund raising initiative. As a new Board member of Power to Be Society, I instantly saw how this could be of use to "large" non profits for sure.
SCRAM is a private messaging system developed by Ceelox for both email and instant messaging. SCRAM hides messages and attachments inside of images that you can email. Only the intended recipients can see inside them. But what makes this cool is it is easy to use and again it's free. Once SCRAM is launched in the next couple of months, here's how I intent to use it. I can go to an advertiser like a bank or a large grocery chain or whomever and have them pay for a distribution of one of their ads within which our non-profit newsletter to members is embedded by SCRAM. So when you as a member see the email from the charity you obviously see the ad and then you open the image with SCRAM to get your attachment knowing that through this process the charity has received some funds simply by your use of SCRAM. Simple and everyone wins.
Ok here's some fun and functional stuff at Magnify.net. Want to be your own media mogul? It's a piece of cake. Go to Magnify.net and set up your own broadcast network. Magnify.net empowers on line publishers to integrate a video channel into their existing Web offerings. According to Steven RosenBaum, CEO of Magnify.net "media is no longer consumed it's consumer created." and I can't disagree with Steve as we find there are some 8 billion video clips floating around the net, never mind the blogs and photos, etc. So this enables niche content aggregation like never before. Magnify.net has enabling this with video. To get a taste of this check out FreesoftwareTV which I created in 5 minutes; but which I now have the opportunity to develop. Magnify.net will either develop into something really useful that a non-profit might be able to create their own video information site on or it'll blow over into obscurity like so many new media sites. It'll come done to how many people visit the channels of course and how much Adsense revenue gets generated for both the channel owner and Magnify.net. Enjoy, create your own and send me a link.
Next up is Shipwire
Shipwire is the brainchild of Damon Schechter, CEO and Evan Robinson, CTO. According to Evan, "we built Shipwire virtually completely with open source technologies, all components except one small piece." This company is a real testament to how you can build a successful company using free software, programming skills and imagination. Shipwire is made up of two employees (those two above) and they have over 30,000 e-commerce sites which use their technology to manage their shipping. What Shipwire have done is to make it that much easier to get into an on line business which drop ships your suppliers products from the Shipwire warehouse so you don't have to worry about inventory and shipping. Should reduce shipping and handling charges I'd hope. One simply goes to Shipwire.com and signs up and all warehousing info gets populated. How does this assist a charity or non-profit? Well it gets them into business at a lower risk.
Let's face it, we're all getting into putting photos on line, writing stories and joining various media sites. Mixpo will help because it is a personal publishing tool that lets you manage your videos, photos and audio across multiple Websites, blogs and social networks. You have central control over your posts and Mixpo helps you manage it right from your desktop. As far as how this might work with non-profits? Who knows, but I'm sure there is a something there.
So those are a few of the cool launches from Demo 07, check it out and we'll see you in cyberspace.