Beta Stuff

The last 2 to 3 weeks I’ve been testing some beta online web applications & sites that I discovered recently. I haven’t done testing yet, and not all of them are ready to go… hence why they call them beta ofcourse. For some of those betas you will need an invite, but just type in your email address and most of the time you get almost instant access.

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk: This new service from Amazon let’s people do really simple tasks, but extraordinary difficult for computers. An example would be to check photographs if there’s a car on it or so. This they call a HIT – Human Intelligence Task. Not really what I see my self doing, but I can imagine people will start doing this to make money.
  • Digg: Digg is a technology news website that combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allow an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do. Still need to figure out what real advantage is, don’t see it yet.
  • Newsvine Inc.: Newsvine is fun (after sign up) you get access to a news website that combines news from the wire (AP) with stories that Newsvine users have been writing, or even just links that people have ‘seeded’ to Newsvine to point to good, related stories. You can easily create your own column that will feed the news. Maybe an even better integration to already existing blogs would be cool, but still looks really good.
  • Opinmind: The Opinmind search engine, searches blogs by your keyword on opinions. The query results in a 2 colom results page, with positive blogposts at the left side, negative at the right side of the page. There’s also an overall Sentimeter to give the total score based on the posts. Nice.
  • Protopage: This Protopage is one (of many) new services that offer to possibility to create a personnalised homepage, but this one almost only with RSS feeds. I prefer my Live.com.
  • Previewseek: The slogan from Previewseek is “the world’s most advanced search engine”. Not sure if they are, but there is some nice stuff to it. One of the best parts is that it actually gives a direct answer to every query you make, which is something Microsoft is trying to do with their search engine: provide answers instead of just search results. Previewseek is doing a good job at that.
  • Retrievr: Retrievr is an experimental service which lets you search and explore in a selection of Flickr images by drawing a rough sketch. Although the actual search on the sketches I made were not really giving good results, it is very useful if you’re looking for an image that uses a specific color. Most professional image databases like they use in creative agencies also offer tools like that to look for that perfect image to use in an advertising. So keep up the good work, hope you really recognise my sketch one day (and yes, I’ll learn how to draw in the meanwhile)

2 Comments

  1. Another beta site that you might like to check out and play with is http://www.blinklist.com. We are still a pretty new service but it is easy to get started. You can just import your bookmarks in a few seconds and off you go. If you do check out our site, I would love to hear your thoughts since we are hard at work on making our service better and better. Mike

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