We’ve just launched loveme.do, an application based on Fluidinfo. Loveme.do takes your mentions of hashtags and URLs from Twitter, Disqus, and Tumblr, and brings them together. Loveme.do has a page for every hashtag and URL mentioned by its users. Go check out these examples: #olympics, #xkcd, #NYC. The loveme.do dashboard shows you what’s trending in your social network, or across Loveme.do as a whole, by showing you the top 10 hashtags and URLs. Go see what your friends are talking about. You can also see what’s trending for other users, e.g. @edyson, @timoreilly.
All you need to do is sign in to loveme.do with Twitter. You can also link your Tumblr and Disqus accounts during sign-up. Everytime you mention a URL or hashtag in Twitter, Tumblr, or Disqus, it will appear in loveme.do. Of course, you can also comment on anything using loveme.do directly.
There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari so that you can see and add comments as you browse the web. Want to read something later? Simply put a #readlater tag in a comment on the web page using the extension. The browser extensions will be the subject of another blog post soon. We hope you love loveme.do too!
Scanning different services for interesting content is time-consuming. If you and your friends use multiple social networks, each with its own activity stream, it’s even harder. Fluidinfo can show you information aggregated from multiple social networks and help you discover trending hashtags and URLs.
Today we’ve added Tumblr to the list of services we integrate with. Connect your account and we’ll collect information about every hashtags or URL you’ve ever mentioned on Tumblr. Each hashtag and URL has its own page in Fluidinfo where you can see who has mentioned it and where, follow the hashtag or URL on Fluidinfo, and comment on it directly.
Linking your Tumblr account is easy. After logging in on Fluidinfo, select Connected services from the menu at the top right of the screen. On the connection page, select Connect Tumblr and approve the request to allow Fluidinfo to read your Tumblr posts.
Once we’ve scanned your Tumblr posts, you’ll see information about your posts attached as comments to hashtag and URL pages in Fluidinfo. Your timeline will show your mentions of hashtags and URLs on both Twitter and Tumblr. If you look at the Fluidinfo page for a hashtag, e.g., #nyc, you’ll see its mentions across both systems.
After collecting and analyzing metadata from different services, Fluidinfo creates you a dashboard where you’ll see trending hashtags and URLs across your social networks. Just select Dashboard from the top-right menu to see it. You can also see what’s trending for others and their recent activity across networks, e.g., http://fluidinfo.com/user/aweissman.
We’ll connect other services in the coming weeks. We’d love to hear what you’d like integrated, so please email us at email@example.com with suggestions. Also, drop us an email if you’d like to find out how we can glue your company’s systems together, or connect them to the social web, to surface trends, patterns of behavior or to enable analysis.
Our vision is that information should be easy to create, find and use. This led us to develop our core technology: an openly writable database for storing and organizing metadata. Our database is useful for developers looking to glue together data from multiple sources, be it from the web or in-house systems. Information stored in context is more valuable. By aggregating information in one place, writing new visualizations, generating reports or performing analytics across multiple sources of data becomes trivial.
Our new user interface provides these same benefits to users of the social web. We take the most useful pieces of data from your social network- the web links and hashtags that people use – and attach activity to them from around the web. To start with, we’ve focused on content from Twitter, but you’ll see data from other services very soon.
URLs and hashtags become places where conversations can occur, as shown in the image on the right for the hashtag #euro. We save you the pain of repeatedly scanning multiple activity streams, a dashboard shows what’s hot in your social graph, or across Fluidinfo as a whole. Contribute directly, or Tweet knowing that whatever hashtag or URL you mention will find its way into Fluidinfo.
This act of gluing different sets of data together to detect signals, trends and relevant activity, also forms the basis for our new set of enterprise products. The problem that individuals face in trying to stitch together information from multiple sources to see what’s going, is magnified in any organization dealing with multiple databases. For most organizations, managing the sprawl of different data platforms is the biggest barrier to turning data into a useful asset for employees or customers.
Our first new product, Fluidinfo Enterprise helps companies take the first steps in taming their data. It bundles our new user interface with the openly writable database and enterprise grade API features to allow organizations to view and manage their data wherever it may be stored.
By co-locating metadata from existing platforms, Fluidinfo Enterprise eliminates the need to copy or move large chunks of data around, instead providing a single index for all data. This can include data that is not hosted on-site, whether it be on social networks, web pages, or 3rd party cloud services. This allows employees, partners and customers to interact with the data, via the API or UI. We believe this freedom and flexibility can turn a company into an open-data business.
FluidSense, our second product, is a white-label browser extension for Firefox, Safari and Chrome that takes this ability to expose useful data even further. It lets a company give end-users a way to engage with their unified content as they browse the web. A browser sidebar alerts users to contextually relevant company content and comments from their social network.
We are now living in the age of data. We want individuals and organizations to be able to find, share and use the data that matters most to them. Whether you are a web user interested in links and hashtags, a publisher whose core data is books, or a news company whose critical content is their articles, our new interface and products help you establish and track these important data types and allow users to start collaborating around them.
You can learn more about our new products and explore our new user interface at http://www.fluidinfo.com. We’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen to become an open-data business.
Russell Manley became Fluidinfo CEO last November. Although many people are aware of the change, we’ve not announced it until now as we’ve been busy working on the new UI, have been settling in with how Russell is running the company, and he’s been getting to know our investors better.
Russell pointed me to Delicious back in late 2005, after he’d read the early work I did on Fluidinfo in the late 90s. That led directly to the founding of Fluidinfo in London. The corporate address was Russell’s home, and the two of us formed the board. Because we only needed programmers early on, we planned for Russell to join full time once the Fluidinfo architecture was developed and deployed and we had significant external interest. Last November Russell took the plunge, resigned from his London job, and took over from me as CEO.
Russell is extraordinarily competent. He spent 10 years as a “company doctor” in London. He went into a dozen companies as CFO, COO, or CEO, charged with turning them around. Walk around central London with him and it seems that almost everything you see he’s had a hand in running. The diversity of his operations and management experience is extraordinary. In 2005 he joined SMIF, a Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund, where he helped acquire, manage, and eventually sell hundreds of assets: long-term management contracts and debt on UK schools, motorways, hospitals, prisons etc. Russell was frequently in the middle of deals worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. SMIF sold themselves to Land Securities Group for $1.4B, where Russell became an Investment Director. Soon afterwards he and a few others spun themselves out of Land Securities to form Semperian. Russell became Group Communications Director and also CIO. He directed the set-up of their entire IT infrastructure in the clouds, a daring and difficult move to pull off in 2007, especially with the stakes so high (Semperian supports about $3B of public sector infrastructure). Russell devised and ran Semperian’s company systems and processes and sat on the board of over 30 companies. Just before joining Fluidinfo he spent 9 months restructuring one of their companies and then negotiating its very complex sale. In the final act he spent two full days signing the 600+ documents he’d coordinated among 28 parties involved in the sale. He knows how to close a deal.
That’s just a sample of Russell’s background and skills—there’s a lot more where that came from. As you can probably guess, we’re extremely happy to now have him running Fluidinfo
We’ve added information to Fluidinfo for all the tags O’Reilly Radar have used on their articles since 2005. For example, nine articles were tagged with “patent reform”. Select those words anywhere you run into them on the web and a pop-up will show you links to the Radar posts. Content on almost 4000 topics that have been discussed on Radar is now just a click away. Because pop-ups are triggered when you select text, they are only displayed when and where relevant.
As you’ll see in the video, we’ve also added information about all O’Reilly books and authors.
To make things easier for first-timers, if you simply install the extension you’ll see all the O’Reilly content with no need to configure anything. You can log in and adjust things later if you like it and want to customize what you see. Give it a whirl—it’s fun and interesting.
Fluidinfo CEO Russell Manley and I were interviewed by Robert Scoble at his home in Half Moon Bay a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoy talking to Robert. He’s unique in his ability to do both breadth and depth. He covers a wide array of the very latest internet technology at blistering speed, and yet he really digs in to the stuff that he finds fascinating. Robert interviewed me in Barcelona over three years ago – we spent about six hours together talking about Fluidinfo and technology in general. He was sitting in the front row during our TechCrunch disrupt presentation in 2010 (see the fun coincidence between Robert and John Borthwick at the 4 minute mark), and he was one of the judges when we won the Top Technology prize in 2011 at the LAUNCH conference. It’s great to be on Robert’s radar and to have his support.
The video is below. You’ll find some comments on it in Robert’s Google+ posting.
We’re delighted to announce that Neil Levine (LinkedIn, Twitter) has today joined Fluidinfo as VP Product. Neil has been working in the industry for over 17 years and has a great track record of taking both consumer and enterprise products to market, most notably at Canonical, where he was VP of Corporate Services and also Director of Information Infrastructure. He’s based in the Bay Area.
I met Neil a year ago via an introduction from Jamu Kakar (also of Fluidinfo). Neil had been Jamu’s boss at Canonical, and had a stellar reputation. We got on really well immediately, and stayed in contact. I often wondered if one day we’d be lucky enough to find someone like Neil to join us on the product side. We’ve always been careful and patient in hiring, looking for people we think are brilliant and who really “get” Fluidinfo at a fundamental level. People who can’t stop thinking about what a Fluidinfo-enabled future could offer. Neil certainly fits that category, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. So, please join us in welcoming him to the team!
There are about 50 million Tumblr blogs, so there’s a reasonable chance you or some of your friends are use Tumblr. It’s now possible to import Tumblr data into Fluidinfo with just a couple of clicks. If you follow someone on Fluidinfo who’s done that, and you’re a Chrome user, we have some great news for you. Have a look at this:
If you install the Fluidinfo Chrome extension and follow a few people, as shown in the video, you’ll soon be getting little pop-ups telling you when you stumble across things the people you follow have mentioned on Tumblr. Note that you don’t have to be a Tumblr user to do this, you can just follow some people who are.
Fluidinfo is now doing imports of all URLs, #hashtags, and @names that people mention on Twitter and on Tumblr and tying it all together. The chrome browser extension surfaces that information for you as you browse. We have a new Firefox extension that’s about to go into beta, and imports of Delicious and Diigo are in the pipeline, so stay tuned!
Here’s a 4 minute video that shows what it’s like to browse the web with the Fluidinfo Chrome extension:
We’re really excited about where this is heading. The extension allows you to do several tricks not shown in the video, and we have more on the way. In a follow-up post we’ll take you through some of the features.
If you’re a programmer and want to get involved, or the extension gives you ideas for something you’d like to build, grab the source code from Github. We’d love to hear what you think. Comment below, email us at email@example.com, or come hang out in the #fluidinfo channel on Freenode.