Archive for the ‘Sharing’ Category

Tvosz.com, New Egyptian Video Sharing Service

| July 17, 2008 – 12:23 pm | comment 6 Comments

TvoszTvosz.com is a new Cairo-based online video sharing service, which aims to be an alternative video sharing website for Egyptian and global internet users alike, and a place for family-friendly content.

Anyone can have access to upload, download, view, share and experience everything from short clips captured on mobile phones all the way up to full-length, high-definition feature films.
However all videos are submitted for approval by the website’s team to ensure that all posted content is family-friendly non-offensive material.

Every video available on Tvosz is compatible with over all major manufacturers’ consumer electronics devices, making it easy to play back videos anytime anywhere.

Videos can be made public to be shared with the whole world or private for sharing with family and friends, whom they can invite and connect with through the websites social networking functionalities.

Finding interesting videos to watch is really easy by navigating through the several channels and groups; surfing through the different tags; checking out the latest, most watched, top rated or some randomly chosen videos; and of course also by searching the website using the built-in search engine.

Users can leave comments on videos, rate them, add them to their favorites, and even download them to their desktops, which is something other video sharing services don’t usually natively offer.
Users can also always go back and find videos they’ve watched by visiting their online playlists.

Tvosz screenshot

In the same spirit of sharing, videos from Tvosz can be directly posted to users’ favorite social bookmarking services; or embedded in users’ blogs or homepages easily using a provided bit of code.

The website is very well designed, organized and really easy to use. The interface is in English only for the time being.

Tvosz was launched from Cairo, Egypt, by Ahmed Samir, Osama Awwad and A. Abdel Aziz.

# Tvosz.com

Dahsha, An Online Arabic Encyclopedia

| July 13, 2008 – 3:29 pm | comment 8 Comments

DahshaDahsha is an Arabic online encyclopedia and one of the serious efforts to enrich Arab content on the internet. A lot like Wikipedia, the encyclopedia relies on volunteers to write articles and publish content.

Volunteers can post books, reports, studies, articles and even video, audio and useful programs to the encyclopedia.

Even though I usually encourage Arab users to try and focus on enriching the Arab version of a global encyclopedia like Wikipedia instead of launching smaller regional or local versions, this project is still a pretty interesting one as it covers some types of content that Wikipedia doesn’t support.

The system isn’t as open as Wikipedia though, as users can’t change or edit articles by other users; they can only reply or comment on them. Which means that the site’s administrators have to be more involved in reviewing the submitted content, its quality, and whether publishing it violates any copyright laws.

It’s a good service overall, even though I think there should be some work done to enhance the usability of the posting, replying and commenting features. And as it’s an interactive service built on user contributions, it’d also be interesting to have more details about these user’s profiles, and some more social media features like content rating, bookmarking and suggestions according to the reader’s interests.

The encyclopedia already has a big volume of content published in it covering different categories and topics from computer science and technology related content to art, literature and religion.

Dahsha screenshot

The interface is Arabic only for the time being. The service was launched by Jordanian software and web development company Jordan Tek.

# Dahsha Encyclopedia

Questler Online Learning Network Launches New Version

| July 9, 2008 – 8:35 pm | comment No Comments

Questler LogoQuestler, the online learning and knowledge network, just launched a new version of their service today, with a sleeker looking logo and a new navigation system.

This new version brings a number of changes beyond the design, like:

Channels: New channel pages have been introduced for each user, where you can browse all their contributions, whether quests or comments, per their learning interests or all tags of their posts. Users can go to their settings to customize the design of their own channel.
They plan to launch specialized channels from companies and organizations that have quests to share soon.

RSS Feeds: It is now possible to subscribe to Questler’s everyone feed, as well as to RSS feeds for any specific user channel. RSS feeds are also available for tags and keyword searches, enabling you to follow topics of interest to you.

Extra Tagging: Now everyone can add more tags to any quest when they post a comment on it, this way other users will be able to filter through the Quest View page to see their comments per tags they’ve added.

Quest creation from a comment: Users can now post a comment on a certain a quest as a new Quest; the two will be linked and can be viewed in the Related Quests tab.

Related Quests: When viewing a quest’s details, all related quests will be listed on the same page, enabling interested users to further explore the topic. Recent quests as well as latest quests by the same user are also available now.

Home/Dashboard: To make posting quests easier, it is no longer necessary to go to the quest page to post, it can be done directly from the home page. A new dashboard also helps browse through the latest conversations quickly.

Questler New Version

Another detail worth mentioning is that the Beta moniker has been dropped from this version, which does feel more mature as an online service, more organized and better rounded at the corners.

# Questler

meOwns Launch New Version, Redesign & More Features

| June 26, 2008 – 11:15 am | comment No Comments

meOwnsmeOwns, the social web application that enables users to publish personal collections of the different things they own, that was previously reviewed here, just launched the new version of their service, with a new design and a set of new features and enhancements.

The new layout and design, brings increased usability throughout the website and its different sections and functionalities, looks a lot nicer, and just feels more organized.

meOwns screenshot

But the new version doesn’t stop at the aesthetics, it brings a number of interesting additions as well:

  • More options to navigate the website, by going through the lists of recently added stuff; recently wished for items; hot, beloved or interesting stuff; and the enhanced search and tagging systems.
  • Users can now also rate items they own or that other people own.

Other features that we should be seeing on the website soon are:

  • The listing of related and similar items that you might be interested in on item pages.
  • Knowing who else owns a certain item that you own or someone else owns; or who wishes to get that item.
  • Integration of microformats.

# meOwns

Shoof TV, Arab Media Group’s Video Sharing Service

| June 25, 2008 – 8:50 am | comment 4 Comments

Shoof TVShoof TV is an Arab video sharing website, which was intially launched by Arab Media Group, one of the largest media companies in the UAE, back in April 2007.

The site’s content is user-generated, with videos submitted from users all over the Middle East.
Users can upload files in several popular video formats, with file sizes up to 50MB. For larger files they can be sent via regular mail to Shoof TV for inclusion on the site.
Uploaded content is screened for objectionable content before appearing online.

The site visitors can vote on the videos using the ‘Applause’ feature, and also leave their comments on them.

As well as hosting user-generated media content, Shoof TV also hosts a number of competitions, with various prizes, to encourage more talented people from the Middle East to submit and share their content. Winners are selected by a panel of judges and by public SMS voting.

Shoof TV Screenshot

Khadeeja Al Marzooqi, the General Manager of Shoof TV, recently talked about the future plans for Shoof TV, and how a TV station will be launched towards the end of 2008, with 100% user generated content, relying on the clips people uploaded on their website.

# Shoof TV

Interview With Questler Founder Razan Khatib

| June 16, 2008 – 11:04 am | comment 7 Comments

QuestlerFirst of all, I’d like to really thank Razan Khatib, the founder of Questler, an interesting Jordan-based startup which was previously reviewed here, for taking some of her time to answer some of our questions about Questler, offer us some insight into the startup, the experience so far and where it’s going, as well as tips and advice for other entrepreneurs.

How would you describe Questler in your own words?
Questler is an informal learning network which allows its user base to learn from each other on any topic they have in mind through posting Quests and commenting on them. Quests in Questler are mini-blogs of information categorized into 6 types, Query, Observation, Discovery, Research, Media and Story. Each of those types represents an informal aspect to everyday learning. It’s not only a Q & A site, as some users keep comparing us with Yahoo!Answers. Questler is a place for mini-blogging, conversation, discussion, opinions and recommendations from peers rather than experts. The word “Questler” was chosen because learning starts with a quest!

How did you get the idea for Questler? and what made you feel passionate about this specific idea?
The initial thoughts on Questler came in late 2005, I basically stumbled on facebook while searching for learning technologies, and thought immediately of the power of social networks in learning rather than just social connections. I felt that there is a great space here for innovation yet I let sometime over 10 months before I started seriously working on Questler. Had to make the jump into entrepreneurship and that took some time to kick in! I was always enthusiastic about self-learning and learning from others, I find this form of learning (informal) is the real learning everyone does when they start working as opposed to what we learning in formal settings.

Did you face any difficulties or challenges taking Questler from idea to project to company?
Yes of course I did, financing from one hand was a challenge, trying to find the right partners as well as trying to create something new as opposed to imitating other sites. Still a challenge with the number of web startups launching everyday, the hardest challenge is your ability to adapt and keep trying to differentiate your project/product. We made numerous mistakes along the way, but working on Questler was and is the most exciting and fulfilling work I’ve done in my life, the adrenaline rush when launching a release, when traffic takes a hike, amazing experience.

(more…)

Filaty 2.0 Now Open For Public Beta

| June 6, 2008 – 8:51 am | comment No Comments

FilatyThe Arab file and photo sharing service Filaty, which was previously reviewed here, has just launched a public beta of its new second version.

The new beta version can be accessed at: http://beta.filaty.com

The design used in the beta is really simplistic and neat, to rather put the emphasis on the functionality. The system was rebuilt from scratch based on a new Arab programming framework that was launched not too long ago.

The main focus for this second version was upload speed, so that was tweaked, optimized and tested rigorously to attain the best results possible.

The design will be changed a bit before the official launch of the new version, conserving the simplicity and ease of use of both the upload page and the file/image detail pages.

filaty beta screenshot

The beta goes on until June 25th. A quick form is integrated into the upload page for testers to send in feedback, faced problems, or suggestions directly.

# Filaty 2.0 Beta

meOwns, A Social Tool To Publish Collections Of What You Own

| June 5, 2008 – 1:10 pm | comment 3 Comments

meOwnsmeOwns is a new web application that helps people complete another bit of their public personal profile on their blogs, social networks and other personal web pages by publishing personal collections of things they own.

The idea behind the service is that you might not be able to tell what kind of person someone is just by the way they look, but that you can get a better idea by knowing what they own.

As a user you can use the service to build and maintain collections of the items you own, create a personal wish list or import one you already  have on Amazon, as well as add items from other people’s collections and wish lists to your own.

It’s also possible to get in contact with other users directly through the site, by sending them a message and choosing which of your contact details you’d like share with them for the reply (Email, Yahoo ID or Windows Live ID).

The meOwns blog talks about the possibility of launching a garage sale for items you want to sell, as well as the ability to request to buy items from other people. It seems these features still haven’t been officially rolled out, but they sound really neat. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole buying/selling/price details will be handled.

meOwns allows users to integrate many of the service’s basic functionalities into their personal blogs and websites through a customizable widget, which lets them directly maintain their collections and items, and also lets other users interact with it and the items in it. The widget is also available as a facebook application that can be added to the user’s profile.

meOwns screenshot

Items from other users can be found through popular tags, popular types of items, or searched for using the quick or advanced search options. You can also check out other user’s pages and see what collections and items they own by searching for them or browsing the top users list.

meOwns was launched from Alexandria, Egypt by eSpace Technologies.

# meOwns

Al-Fawaed, Arab Social Knowledge Sharing Service

| May 15, 2008 – 1:23 pm | comment No Comments

Al FawaedAl-Fawaed, which means “benefits” or “useful things” in English, is an interesting new project, which lets users share the useful and most interesting points they’ve taken away from reading a certain book or article, listening to a lecture, watching a television program, or even from a personal life experience.

There are two ways of sharing these useful points; either by writing a summary resuming and listing them, or by posting a mind map diagram explaining the ideas behind them; in either case presenting the information in a simple format that can be passed on easily; the possibility to tag and categorize these points further organizes them and makes them easier to find.

The aim behind it all is both to be able to go back to these noted useful ideas at a later date, and to share them with the community of users, thereby sharing knowledge in a simple and effective way.

Like all social sites, other site users can vote these summaries and mind maps up or down according to how useful they find them.

Al Fawaed Screenshot

Al-Fawaed was launched in 2007 from Saudi Arabia, with an Arabic interface only, by a team consisting of Nawaf Hareeri, Abdulrahman Al-Harithi, Rakan Yamani and Khaled Hareeri.

# Al-Fawaed

Ikbis Arab Video & Photo Sharing Site Launches New Design

| May 12, 2008 – 9:55 am | comment 8 Comments

IkbisIkbis, the popular Arab video and photo sharing website, launched a new design last night. The new design feels a lot neater and more organized, which is great and isn’t that easy to achieve for a media content site.

A new ‘Contests’ tab has been added, so it’s clear Ikbis are going to be launching more and more contests to encourage users to post more high quality content.

A ‘Coming soon’ banner, showing two primitives and a mosquito, promises a new surprise soon; I’m guessing it’ll be a cool cartoon series by the talented Ikbis designers.

According to Ikbis, this new edition starts to reflect their evolved thinking and some of the new strategies they’ll be rolling out in the upcoming months.

ikbis screenshot

# Ikbis

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