Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Video: Twtrtales Collaborative Story Writing Through Tweets At DemoCamp Dubai

| June 30, 2010 – 2:20 pm | comment 2 Comments

twtrtalesTwtrtales is a new project that was launched out of the UAE, which aims to enable collaborative story writing through tweets.

Users would basically get to start a new hashtag for a story, and then they’d start contributing to writing the story one tweet at a time by appending that hashtag. On the site, readers would be able to say whether they like a specific contribution or not, and through that decide what goes into the story and what doesn’t.

So in essence, it’s a new kind of publishing platform that hopes to unite tweeters/writers of all kinds, to create and tell stories, which could be general stories or written for a specific cause.

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Tweepi, A Set Of Tools To Help Manage Your Twitter Account

| August 5, 2009 – 10:55 am | comment 2 Comments

TweepiTweepi is another project that has popped up from the Arab world to cater to the ever-growing group of Twitter users around the world, presenting a set of simple tools to help users manage their following and followers lists.

The site has started off with four different tools:

Geeky Follow: This tool helps you find users who share the same interests as you and whom you might be interested in following. The way it works is that it asks for the handle of a Twitter user that you like, and it goes and gets a list of people who follow that user too, with their details, so you can see who of them you’d like to follow too.

Geeky Flush: This is for the more sensitive Twitter users who don’t like it when they follow someone and they don’t follow them back. So this tool simply enables you to unfollow people who aren’t following you back.

Geeky Reciprocate: This is the flip side to the previous tool, allowing users to find users who are following them but that they’re not following back, so that they can start following them quickly.

Geeky Cleanup: This tool enables you to go through the list of users you are following to identify users you might want to unfollow, like spammers, inactive users or the likes.

Tweepi screenshot

The tools come with Preset Target filters that help you filter the list of users to better identify the users you want to follow or unfollow, depending on the tool. They also show you a number of different indicators for each user like how many tweets they’ve sent within the last week, how many RTs they’ve gotten, how many replies and RTs they’ve sent themselves, …etc. It’s possible to customize and choose which of these indicators are shown as columns in the result set.

The site uses oAuth to link with your Twitter account and be able to perform the different actions it needs to do following your choices on the system.

Tweepi was built by ThoughtPick from Jordan, and is still in its beta version.

Watwet Opens Up Their Platform Through Public API

| July 22, 2009 – 12:38 pm | comment No Comments

WatwetWatwet, the Arab social networking and micro-blogging platform, has gone on and taken another big step forward by releasing a public API covering the different methods and functionalities of the service.

Methods covered include ones to get user and friend timelines, search, follow and unfollow users, retrieve lists of followers and friends, and of course send updates, among others.

This means that developers can now easily integrate the different Watwet functionalities into other web, mobile and desktop applications.

The full documentation for the Watwet API is available at developer.watwet.com.

Watwet

This comes not long after them providing users the possibility to link their Watwet and Twitter accounts, in a way that anything posted to Watwet gets automatically posted to Twitter and vice versa.

On another note, Watwet also went ahead and changed its interface moving to a simple “following/follower” model, instead of the previous “friendship” model that was based on reciprocal agreement from two people to become friends.

Twatweet & TN Labs: Following Tunisians On Twitter

| July 8, 2009 – 9:39 pm | comment 2 Comments

Over the past year, Twitter has taken off in Tunisia, much like everywhere else in the world, with more and more users getting on board every day, and it becoming a source for instant information and news about what’s going on in the country.

To make it easier to follow tweets coming out of Tunisia, two projects have surfaced to aggregate tweets from Tunisian twitter users: Twatweet and TN Labs.

TwatweetTwatweet is based on WordPress and uses FeedWordpress and the Twitter API to aggregate tweets from Tunisian users being followed by the @twatweet user. Users who want to be included in the aggregator can follow @twatweet which will follow them back if they’re Tunisian, and users who don’t want to be included can simply block the @twatweet user.

The service uses a theme that matches Twitter’s design so as to keep the experience quite similar.

Twatweet also includes a search engine that enables users to search among tweets by Tunisian users.

Twatweet was founded by Jazem Halioui (@jazinthecity) and Houeida Anouar (@Houeida), and currently aggregates 217 active users.

TNLabsTN Labs, on the other hand, was developed on a Java/JSP backend using Twitter’s streaming API to aggregate tweets in realtime from Tunisian twitter users, automatically updating the timeline.
Users are added by the founder of the service, and have to contact him to be added or removed.

Some of the other features it has is that a preview of links that are posted in tweets are displayed whenever possible, by hovering on the icon next to the link; and hash tags link to their respective search pages on Twitter (not to TN Labs’ own search).

As for search on TN Labs, although it allows for realtime search, it is on all of Twitter not just on tweets from Tunisian users.

An interesting new addition is the possibility to view discussions, with an icon at the end of a certain tweet, opening up a layer with the original tweet and the different replies that followed around it by different users.

TN Labs has a rougher design as the focus has been more on experimenting with features than the overall design.
TN Labs was founded by Sami Ben Romdhane (@samiTunis), and currently aggregates around 237 active users.

Both services provide links to redirect users to the Twitter interface to retweet or reply to a certain tweet; a list of the active Tunisian users they’re following, allowing people either to hover or click through for more details about each user; as well as RSS feeds for updates from Tunisians users.

Twatweet and TN Labs are both still early stage projects, and I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more development happening on both fronts.

Twitvid.com, A Service to Tweet Videos Quickly And Easily

| May 24, 2009 – 12:59 pm | comment 2 Comments

twitvid

EatLime, the online video and file sharing service that was previously reviewed here, has gone on and released a new service call Twitvid.com that presents users with an easy way to post their videos to Twitter.

The service doesn’t just post a link to a video when the user tweets, but it uses the patent-pending EatLime technology to upload and stream the video in real time, in a way that a person’s followers on Twitter can start watching the video immediately while it’s still uploading, making it pretty much a live stream.

Users can upload their videos to the service either through the web interface, through their mobile phones (by sending an email or MMS), or through the service’s API.

Just as with other services like twitpic, the user can just login with their Twitter username and password and start uploading and tweeting their videos. Upon logging in, each user also gets an email address that they can use to email their videos directly from their mobile.

The system’s API also helps open it up, making it easy for other companies and developers to integrate the service into their own services and products.

twitvid

Among future plans is the ability to resume uploading if the connection is lost, enabling users to resume uploading from the exact point where it stopped.

EatLime, the company behind Twitvid.com, is a 5 person San Francisco based company, founded by Mohammad Al Adham from Jordan and Adil Lalani from Pakistan.

Watwet’s New Version With Twitter Link, Channels And Better Language Support

| May 20, 2009 – 9:14 am | comment 8 Comments

WatwetWatwet, the Arab social networking and micro-blogging platform, has released a new version of their web application code named ‘Suzie’, and with it come a bunch of really interesting new features.

With the recent migration to the Rails 2.2 framework, they’ve worked on better language support on Watwet, which translates into better handling of Arabic in this version, but also opens the door for other languages like French, Farsi, Turkish and Swahili, that are in their future plans.

Something interesting they’ve also gone and opened up is the possibility for anyone to create a channel of their own, without having to go through the Watwet team like they used to in the past.
It should be interesting to see how many people and businesses start using this feature; and when/if we’ll start seeing the concept of sponsored channels.
Complementing this move, the public timeline of Watwet now also shows the watwets coming from channels too, along with the watwets coming from the users.

Another good move with this version is the possibility to link a Watwet account to a Twitter account, in a way that anything posted to Watwet gets automatically posted to Twitter and vice versa. A simple settings page available under ‘Twitter Link’ turns this on for the user.
This makes it easier and more efficient for people who mainly use one of the services, but also want to try out the other, or who want to streamline their status and lifestreaming activities across both platforms.
I expect more focus will be put on the integration with Twitter in the future to try and lure more Twitter users to play around with Watwet, growing their user base and activity level through it to make the service even more interesting to use.

Other than these mentioned points, they’ve also worked on some design and layout tweaks for the interface, as well as on browser compatibility issues.

Some really exciting moves in this release by Watwet, paving the way for some pretty interesting possibilities in the future and for some other features they seem to have hidden up their sleeves.

KuWeet, Your Window To Kuwaiti Tweets

| May 3, 2009 – 10:04 pm | comment 3 Comments

One of the biggest factors of Twitter’s success and popularity is the wealth of third party tools and solutions built around it and using its API.

Just recently, I came across an interesting little project built around Twitter that aims to open a window on tweets coming out of Kuwait, and about Kuwait, by the name of KuWeet.

The way it was built is really simple: an account @kuweet was created for twitter users in Kuwait to follow, and then what happens is that all followers of this account are collected and placed in a list. All tweets originating from people on this list are then aggregated into a a public timeline of Twitter users from and about Kuwait.

kuweet

According to its developer, it’s based on an integration of Twitter2html into WordPress, with a theme that is pretty much identical to the Twitter interface.

New tweets are fetched every 10 minutes through a planned cron process.

KuWeet is a project by well-known Kuwaiti blogger and tweeter @nibaq.

Minixr, A New Microblogging And Lifestreaming Platform

| November 25, 2008 – 11:14 pm | comment 3 Comments

MinixrMinixr is a new Microblogging and lifestreaming platform launched from Algeria. 

The service enables users to post and share their status updates, links, different types of files (videos, photos, audio) and events with their friends through the website.

Basic social networking features, enabling users to find and follow their friends, building their own personal network on the service are of course integrated.

On the other hand Minixr also offers the ability to automatically pull user activity on a number of other websites (Digg, Last.fm, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, …etc) and centralize them on the user’s timeline for all followers to see.

If compared to international services, Minixr looks pretty much like a mix of Pownce and FriendFeed.

Minixr also offers users the possibility to send status updates through their mobile phones, or through IM (Google Talk, Jabber, AIM).

The service mainly targets young adults, between the ages of 20-35, from Francophone countries and the Middle East. The revenue model is planned to be solely advertising based.

Minixr

The service is currently in Beta, with the official launch slated for sometime in January 2009.

The interface is pretty simple and uses pretty much the same format as other microblogging services out there. It is available in French only at the time being, but other languages will be added soon.

Minixr 

Wikeez, A New Social Entertainment Platform

| November 6, 2008 – 2:00 pm | comment 12 Comments

WikeezWikeez, is a new Lebanon-based startup, focusing on user generated content around entertainment topics, which was founded by Kuv Capital with a seed investment of US$250,000.

Wikeez aims to allow people to publish and exchange on their favorite subjects centered on entertainment topics (tv shows, movies, celebrities, music and sports).

Each topic is fragmented into 3 tiers:

  • Top Stories: Information on the subject; latest news, Bio,…
  • Blog Stories: content produced by Wikeez members
  • Micro Stories: reactions shared by Wikeez members

Wikeez will also enable people to create their own blogs, fan clubs, get the latest news centered on their passions, as well as socialize with other fans.

Wikeez

The site is still in alpha, with a beta version coming pretty soon.

The company is currently looking to recruit in Lebanon; You can check out their open job vacancies on the StartUpArabia Job Board.

Update: Wikeez is offering invites to their alpha version to all StartUpArabia readers; if you’re interested, just send an email to: invite@wikeez.com.

Wikeez

Artwitter.com; An Arabic Interface For Twitter

| October 11, 2008 – 11:30 pm | comment 6 Comments

artwitter.comEven though there is an Arabic micro-blogging service called Watwet that is very similar to Twitter in functionality, a lot of Arab users have chosen to use Twitter instead, maybe because it has mostly become the international poster child for micro-blogging, or because most of their friends already use it and it’s just easier to follow the crowd. Anyway, many of these users choose to tweet in Arabic, but as the Twitter interface is in English, thus left-to-right, Arabic script which is right-to-left gets quite annoying to read through the English interface.

So Mohamed Al Rehaili, with the help of a number of other Arab bloggers and friends, launched an Arabic interface for Twitter that can be accessed at: Artwitter.com

Artwitter.com uses the functions provided by the Twitter API, to bring its main friend timeline, replies and posting functionalities through a simple right-to-left Arabic interface, without storing any user data on its server.

artwitter.com screenshot

The site is still in early beta, and it’s still not possible to view a certain user’s timeline or search for tweets, but I’m guessing these functionalities will be implemented soon enough, especially if the service finds success between Arab Twitter users.

Artwitter.com

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