Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category
Woopra, the innovative and real-time web analytics tool, just announced that their beta program is coming to an end and that in the coming weeks, the beta label will be dropped and the waiting list for the service ended.
From then on, different levels of paid accounts will be introduced and registration will be open for anyone wishing to sign up for a paid version of Woopra. Those who are interested in the free version will still need to obtain an invitation code in order to register a site.
As part of the introduction of paid accounts, the page view limit that was fixed at 10,000 page views a day for beta accounts will be lifted, and users will be able to instantaneously upgrade to any level of traffic necessary to ensure Woopra tracks all of their visitors daily.
The paid account levels are structured based on monthly page view limits, and according to a non-final draft of the pricing structure, range from $4.95 for sites with up to 100,000 monthly page views, all the way to $99.95 for sites with up to 3 Million monthly page views. Free accounts for personal non-commercial use have a limit of up to 30,000 monthly page views.
All current beta accounts will be automatically transformed into free accounts, but their users can choose to upgrade to any of the paid versions.
Of course, for each level, other than the page view limit, there are different levels of service as well, with differences in the number of users they can create for their account, the number of months that data is stored for, whether SSL support is provided or not, and whether they have full or limited access to some of the more advanced features.
These changes should start happening over the next couple of weeks, with a number of new features to be introduced to the service as well.
All this of course is a natural step forward for Woopra, that was in the plans from the beginning, in order to start generating revenue, cover the costs of their infrastructure, and make the company and service sustainable.
For more details on the coming changes and the pricing structure, check out the official Woopra blog post.
Photojonet is a new online photo service that was recently launched in Jordan, specialized in digital photo printing, and aiming to provide users with quality photo prints at good prices.
Basically, the service provides users with unlimited online storage for their photos, which they can upload, organize into photo albums and then order high quality prints of. The chosen photos are then printed and delivered to the person’s doorstep within 24-72 hours (Free if the order amount is over 6 Jordanian Dinars).
Usage of the service and storage of the photos is totally free, as long as at least one order is done per year; printing prices range from 0.10 Jordanian Dinars for a 9x13cm print to 20 Jordanian Dinars for a 80x120cm one. Payment for the prints is done with cash on delivery.
Photojonet was officially launched in July 2009, and currently only provides its services for people living in Jordan. The company was founded by Issam Hijazi, who started work on the project as part of his graduation project, and Rami Al-Natsheh who came up with the initial idea and invested in it.
A special offer is currently available offering 10 free prints to newly registered users.
MailPacks, a new online service that enables companies and organizations to manage and send their email marketing campaigns, has just gone live with its private beta.
MailPacks promises low prices for sending email campaigns and a free tracking and follow-up system to measure the effectiveness of sent campaigns and set up follow up messages.
Using the service, email marketers can create and manage unlimited lists of email addresses, for example having lists for multiple tasks and/or lists for different sites.
When sending they can also choose to send to selected segments and target specific subscribers according to their countries, age, and/or sex.
They also have full control over the design side, as they can fully customize all landing pages with their text and design, and use an integrated HTML editor to create and design their HTML email messages as well as their custom pages. (MailPacks provides unlimited image hosting space.)
A set of pre-designed and tested templates are also made available.
Once done with the design of the message, the spam score for it can be checked, so that the message can be optimized in order to get higher deliverability.
After the email campaign is sent, marketers can keep track of the campaign’s results (opens, clicks, bounces …etc.), and set up unlimited follow up messages at the intervals of their choice.
To be sent an invitation code for MailPacks, you need to send a message to the MailPacks twitter account (@MailPacks) with a small request.
Twtlens is a new service that allows you to create your own twitter aggregator (or lens as they call it) around any group or community of users that have something in common (location, work, interests, passions, etc.), as a means to have direct access to the community pulse, and tap into what’s on their minds at any given moment.
twtlens is built on the same platform powering UAE Tweets, that was previously reviewed here, enabling you to create similar views of Twitter for your own groups and communities; customizing it with your own logo, color scheme and background image.
To create a lens of your own all you’ll have to do is have a twitter account that follows everyone within the community you want to aggregate tweets from, and then go through the quick sign up process on twtlens.
Each created lens will then aggregate all tweets from the community in one interface, make those tweets searchable, extract trending topics (words and #hashtags) from the tweets, extract the most popular shared links by the community, and list the new links that are being shared by them.
Search results and trends can be made available through RSS feeds too.
Twtlens which was developed by Dubai-based CloudAppers, is still in Alpha (with limited testing slots open at this moment), and the team are working on adding more features in the form of widgets that twtlens creators can add or remove at will.
This service is currently available for free, but according to CloudAppers, a paid model is in the works and should be unveiled soon.
TweetShell is a fun, in a geeky kind of way, new Twitter web application that provides a command line interface for users who are more comfortable working in the shell environment.
The site’s idea is to provide a way to use everyday shell commands to interact with twitter. So for starters, users might want to run a man command to discover the available commands and how they work within the twitter context.
TweetShell is still in early alpha and doesn’t cover all Twitter functionalities yet, but it very nicely covers the most basic ones, enabling the viewing of user timelines (using directory commands like cd and ls), tweeting (using wall), logging in to your Twitter account (using the ssh command) and more.
The site’s tag line is quite a fun one as well: “You know, in linux they say everything is a file. In TweetShell everything is a tweet!!”
Tweepi 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.
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.
Google Friend connect, the online service by Google that allows users on the internet to connect with their friends on different websites, and aiming to expand the notions of social networking throughout the web, has just announced that the service is now available in Arabic, in addition to another 46 languages.
According to Google, over 5 million sites are currently using Google Friend Connect to connect and build their communities, and this step aims to make it easier for site owners who prefer to use other languages than English to implement the system on their sites and take advantage of it.
The main Google Friend Connect site is now available in all the newly added languages, making the setup of sites easier for webmasters more comfortable with those languages; and through the interface webmasters can specify the language of their site, and have most Google-created gadgets they’ll be using automatically rendered in that language.
Other than Arabic, Friend Connect is now also available in Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lingala, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Oriya, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
For more details or to start using the service, check out: google.com/friendconnect.
Developers working on OpenSocial applications and gadgets for Friend Connect can check out the documentation on localizing OpenSocial applications.
Microsoft has gone on and launched a new application called ‘Maren‘, making its entrance into the Arabic transliteration space.
Microsoft Maren was developed to be a Windows extension that allows you to type Arabic in Roman characters (Romanized Arabic, Arabizi, Arabish or Franco-Arabic) and have it converted on the fly to Arabic script. Maren integrates seamlessly with Windows and works in most Windows applications and websites.
Users around the Arab world widely use romanized Arabic in instant messaging and on social networking sites, and Microsoft’s Maren is following in the footsteps of Yamli and Google’s Ta3reeb in offering these users the possibility to have whatever text they type converted into Arabic.
Up to this point Yamli has been the user favorite in the region, with a number of portals integrating their service, a Firefox toolbar extension that many people were glad to get and even an unofficial Yamli extension called Arabzi that exists for MSN Messenger. Yamli also uses its transliteration technology as a basis to enrich and provide better Arabic search online.
What Microsoft’s Maren offers as a plus is the possibility to integrate the transliteration technology into Windows, and use it everywhere, not just online through a browser; so basically users can use Maren while typing in a Word document or on Instant Messenger or any other Windows application.
The fact that the tool is installed on the user’s machine also means that the solution is available to the user even when he’s offline, and it could even be a bit faster than other solutions that have to send requests back to a server.
It should be really interesting to see how much user adoption Maren will get, but however that works out, this is quite a good effort from Microsoft.
Microsoft Maren was developed by the Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center (CMIC), a Microsoft group representing the company interest in applied research and development initiatives in the Middle East and Africa.
Update: I talked to Habib Haddad, co-founder of Yamli, a bit after the publication of this story, and he commented “I guess big companies recognize a good idea when they see it, as an Arabic startup we are flattered to see this happen. As you know our focus has always been on the user so stay tuned for new releases from Yamli.”
Folowen, the social media search tool that aggregates social profiles of people and organization’s on several social media sites into one search result, and that was previously covered here, has just gone into public beta.
The tool makes it easier for users to follow a person or organization’s social web; be it a Facebook profile, page, group, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile, a YouTube channel …etc.
Currently, folowen uses Google AJAX Search API to find user profiles in 20 social media sites.
A number of new features have been introduced with this public beta, based on the feedback received from the private beta users, among them are:
- Search is now open without sign up.
- Search results will list up to 4 links for each service for you to browse through to find the account you want to follow.
- Direct Follow: It is now possible for you to directly follow the person/organization you searched for directly from the search results page. This feature is currently enabled for only four services (Twitter, YouTube, FriendFeed and Facebook) that you need to connect folowen to from your Settings/Direct Follow page.
As promised when they first launched the mobile version of their mapping service, Ayna.com has gone on and launched a satellite imagery feature for this mobile version, allowing users to see a high-resolution aerial snapshot of the location they are looking for.
Users of the service can now enter any address in the Middle East on Ayna maps, and click on the “Satellite” link to locate and zoom into the wanted area till having the closest image.
The satellite imagery service on the mobile is empowered by DigitalGlobe technology and updated for 2008, allowing users to view the entire world and zoom into 26 Middle East and North African cities, with streets, malls, points of interest, geographic information, buildings and more, directly from their mobile phones.
The satellite map has the same features existing on the normal map: finding points of interest, getting directions, saving favorites, sharing with friends …etc.
The satellite imagery feature should also be available on the web version of Ayna maps soon.