Friday, January 27, 2006

BlinkList adds thought cloud for blogs

Today we rolled out an exciting new feature on BlinkList that is the BlinkList thought (tag) cloud for your blog.

What is it?

Just look at the top right of this blog and you will see the latest tags that I have been using on BlinkList. In a way, this cloud represents what I have been thinking about, which is why we call it a 'thought cloud.' You can click on any of these tags to see the links that I have been blinking under those tags.

How do I get my own cloud?

Very easy, just go to our help section and click on 'Thought cloud for Blogs' under '5 blogging tools.'

Over the coming weeks, we will add lots of improvements such as:
- Giving you the ability to customize the colors
- Giving you the ability to determine how many tags to show
- Giving you the ability to display either the most popular tags (a regular tag cloud) or the most recent tags (a thought cloud).

Other ideas and requests? Please let us know.

Mike

Blink It

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yahoo! is going for the trifecta - will buy digg

Lots of online sources are confirming that Yahoo! is going to announce the acquisition of Digg early next week.

Well, to anyone that has been paying any attention to this space, they should not be surprised. It is the next logical move in Yahoo!'s push into Web 2.0. With the acquisitions of Flickr, del.icio.us, and digg, they would pretty much own the top user generated content sites on the web. Except for BlinkList of course. ;)

Yahoo! has always placed a strong emphasis on the community and I would have to say that an acquisition of Digg is a good move by Yahoo!

So, whether the blogsphere is going crazy with rumors or not, the strategic fit for Yahoo! to go after digg is most definitely there.

However, I am surprised to see more and more web 2.0 companies cashing out this early. There appears to be a new trend that the latest web 2.0 sites are all build to flip. Whatever happened to building something that lasts? Will this wave of innovation produce any new major players or are all the successful sites going to cash out early? I know that we have absolutely no intention of cashing out early, and time will tell how far we will go... :-)
Blink It

Friday, January 20, 2006

Bluepulse - the missing link

I have long been following the mobile market and been wondering when the mobile web will finally start to take off in a big way. I think one of the biggest roadblocks has been that the mobile market consists of hundreds of devices and carriers and no common platform.

Why is that such a big deal?

Because it hurts innovation since a small developer will not be able to quickly and cheaply develop a wireless app that runs on all networks and works on all machines. For innovation to take off, developing for mobile devices has to become as easy as developing new applications for the web.

Well, it looks like we have just come A LOT closer to this vision. If you are interested in the mobile market and developing mobile apps, this is the company to watch:

BluePulse

The bluepulse Open Application Development Platform (OADP) is provided free of charge, and bluepulse provides all infrastructure required to install, manage and report on your customer's mobile internet applications and content delivered via the bluepulse client. bluepulse applications (called "widgets" since they're small, efficient and quick to download) are in use by thousands of consumers in real applications around the world today.


This is a powerful new tool and approach to developing exciting new mobile apps and we might just have to create a few widgets of our own down the line.

Blink It

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful BlinkList Users

Once you start following the seven habits of highly successful BlinkList users, you will understand why our community members keep writing us fan mail like this.

"You guys rock! I have been using blinklist for a little while now and this is definitely one of the most useful sites I have ever stumbled upon. I recommend it to all my friends and for myself, I would be totally, completely and utterly lost without blinklist!” Dan


Habit 1: Bookmarking in the blink of an eye

With BlinkList surfing the net is a lot more fun because you can now blink (save) anything you find useful, interesting, or funny in “the blink of an eye.” So, there is no reason not to blink sites.

To make it fun, just make sure that you have added the ‘blink this site’ button to your browser. If you have not done so already, do this now before doing anything else.

Add BlinkList to my browser

Habit 2: Leave a breadcrumb trail (tag a lot)

When you blink sites, use lots of keywords (tags) so that you can quickly and easily find your links again. Don’t be afraid of using too many tags. Navigating through your tags is super easy on BlinkList. Use whatever keywords come to mind. Odds are if the words popped into your mind while blinking a site, they will again when you later want to retrieve you link. The next time you blink a site, BlinkList will then automatically start to suggest to you the tags that you have been using in the past. This will help you blink even faster and help you to keep your tags more organized.

Also remember that you can highlight text with your mouse on the site that you are blinking and that text will automatically be added to your descriptions.

Habit 3: Rapidly find your favorite links

While blinking is A LOT of fun, starring your favorite tags and links is equally fun and makes it super fast and easy to find all of your links in the blink of an eye.

Next to every tag and every link you will see a star. Just click on it and it turns from a blank star into a yellow star. A favorite (starred tag) means that it shows up in your favorite tab in your tag manager. A favorite (starred link) always shows up at the top so even if you keep adding more links under the same tag, finding your favorite links is easy. Once you start starring your favorite links and tags, you automatically start to build your QuickStart page – your onramp to the net.

If you are blinking lots of sites, you can also give them a quick rating from one out of 5 stars. This makes it much easier for you to find your favorite links again and it also helps your friends and your fans discover the sites you enjoyed the most.

Habit 4: Be social and watch what your friends are doing online

One of the coolest things about BlinkList is that you can find out the latest and greatest sites your friends or other people with a shared passion of interest are discovering online. Adding people to your watchlist is very easy. Whenever you are on another users page, just click on “add to watchlist.”

Even more fun is that as you start to blink great new content, you are going to start collecting fans and we show you who is watching you. This will help you to find more users with a shared passion and now you can start to discover the web together. Since BlinkList is all about being social, take a quick moment to add a profile and thumbnail so that your friends and fans can quickly recognize you and find you on BlinkList.

Cool tip: If you use the invite a friend feature on BlinkList, your friends will be automatically added to your watchlist when they signup with BlinkList!

Habit 5: Discover more

BlinkList, is also a discovery engine that helps you find the latest and greatest sites being discovered by the BlinkList community. To start discovering more just visit the main page at www.blinklist.com. Here you will see the hottest new sites that have been discovered as well as the most recently added sites. As you can see from the counter at the top, there are thousands of sites being discovered by the community everyday.

You can also navigate to any public discovery page of your liking. If you are interested in humor, css, or news, just go to those pages and see the latest and greatest sites and articles that have been blinked. If you are looking into a particular subject area, we also surface the top 3 contributors. You can think of these as the domain experts for any given discovery page and can just start to add the domain experts to your watchlist.

Habit 6: Venture outside

BlinkList is all about RSS so you can add any discovery page, user, or tag that you want to watch to your RSS reader. This way you find out right away when new information has been added to the topic that you are keeping track of.

You can also very easily add your favorite links into your blog. This makes it far easier to maintain a blog roll of your favorite bloggers or show the latest links you have been discovering online. Either way, adding your BlinkList links to your blog is very easy. Just click on the RSS button that you see at the bottom of every page.

Habit 7: Get a little closer

BlinkList is all about our community. This service is being developed for you and no one else so take ownership and start to contribute. If you have ideas on making the service better or if there are things that you don’t like, please let us know. I will always personally reply to each and every email that I receive form our enthusiastic community members. If you just want to say thank you, that is also greatly appreciated since we are working nights and days to keep making this service better and better. If you have more questions about using BlinkList, you can also always check our help section that we are constantly updating.
Blink It

Monday, January 16, 2006

BlinkList puts 'social' in social bookmarking

Today we added an exciting improvement to the BlinkList discovery pages. The new enhancement is the "Top 3 Contributors" that we are now surfacing when you browse on the public discovery pages on BlinkList.

With this enhancements we have made it far easier for you to:

1) Discover the topic experts for any given tag
2) Find people with a shared passion and interest

Here is an example page that shows the top three contributors to the social bookmarking tag on BlinkList.




http://www.blinklist.com/tag/social%20bookmarking/

As always, there is more on the way!

We look forward to your comments and suggestions to make this service better for the BlinkList community.

Mike

Blink It

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It feels good to be appreciated

Today we received probably one of the single best customer support emails from one of our BlinkList community members! It was just so good that I wanted to share it with you. Here is a copy of the email that we just received:

"You guys rock! I have been using blinklist for a little while now and this is definitely one of the most useful sites I have ever stumbled upon. I recommend it to all my friends and for myself, I would be totally, completely and utterly lost without my cloud. But best part is you keep making it better. Every day I notice some little improvement that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (okay, not really, but the improvements are great). So thanks for the awesome app!" Dan

I wanted to extend a big thank you to our team and in particular to Jiangti, Hannu, and Dani that are constantly working on making BlinkList better and better! It is because of them that our community is rapidly expanding!

Mike
Blink It

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

MindValley granted MSC Status



Our Lab in Kuala Lumpur has finally been granted MSC Status by the Malaysian Government. The MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) is South East Asia's version of Silicon Valley; a tech hub where IT companies can come together to pool resources and benefit from tech infrastructure and perks from the government.

What does this mean for us?

Well, we won't get taxed on revenues for the next 10 years so we can re-invest in research and growth. MSC status is also really respected here in Malaysia and this means we'll now be in an even stronger position to attract bright minds to come work for us. In addition, it makes it far easier for us to hire the best and the brightest from anywhere in the world since the Malaysian government will speed up the visa process.

More details on the MSC here: http://www.mdc.com.my/
Blink It

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

AllPeers a Killer Peer Publishing and Sharing Tool

If you have not heard of AllPeers, you will hear of them soon! Why? AllPeers is a great new file sharing tool that people have been waiting for, for a long time. By the sound of it, it should make it very easy to share files between trusted peers, which is something that most file sharing clients have not enabled before.

I see a lot of the potential in AllPeers that I initially saw when I was close to incorporating Peer Publishing Inc with friends from Stanford. That was in the summer of 2003. While I decided to start MindValley instead, it is nice to see that others are moving forward with this idea.
Blink It

A delicious new toolbar for BlinkList

In case you missed it, there is a great new FireFox Extension, the BlinkList toolbar that you can download from mozilla. We have to thank Jan Ole Peek for contributing to the BlinkList community and helping us to developing this excellent toolbar!

If you have not done so already, download the toolbar now and please let us know how we can make it even better and better.

Mike

PS: Click on this link to download the new toolbar

Blink It
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