Buzz about Streamy has been making it’s way around the web lately. It’s even been touted as a Digg killer by some. I recently had the good fortune to receive an invite to the closed beta of Streamy.
The first thing we need to get out of the way is the “Digg Killer” moniker. Streamy is by no account even a Digg competitor let alone a killer. Streamy’s all about targeted news.
It all begins on the start page, It’s the Streamy homepage it shows you a selection of “hot” stories which are selected based on popularity and relevance to your areas of interest. You can view this list for recent entries or entries over the past day, week or month. Whatever algorithm they’re using to select these stories has been very accurate for me so far finding mostly tech and politically oriented stories in my case.
After checking out the Start page you’ll want to add some of your own feeds so you can head on over to the Subscriptions page. They make it very easy to move your RSS feeds from another reader by letting you import an OPML file. I was able to export all my feeds from Google reader and painlessly add them to Streamy. As expected you can add individual RSS feeds by their URL or you can browse the directory of streams provided (which is surprisingly extensive ) .
Now we come to the real power of Streamy. The downstream page is the stream of consciousness created by all your friends and groups sharing stories from their feeds or upstream sources (Which we’ll get to in a moment) This is where you’ll see things like your friends twitter/Pownce updates, blog entries, shared stories, etc. And in turn you can share those with others. The interface for sharing things is one of the more innovative Ajaxy features. All you do is click and drag the story title and you’re presented with a radial menu with the options to “share story”, “save story”, “email story” it’s as simple as that.
The upstream sources that I mentioned earlier are basically your other social networking sites. You can add sites like Twitter, Pownce, Digg, Facebook and Streamy will publish your updates or shared items for you (they’ll appear on your profile page and on your friends Downstream pages)
The other big feature in Streamy to me is the instant messaging. You get a nice flashy positionable, sizable Ajax window(s) that you can use to chat with your friends in real time. And if you use AIM you’re apparently able to sign into the AIM network via the Streamy IM interface although I was unable to get this working. Streamy reports that they will be adding support for other IM networks like Live Messenger, Yahoo and GTalk in future. Which could make Streamy a nice hub for all your web news and media.
Streamy really has one of the nicest most fluid interfaces of all the new social websites and promises some very slick features like unified IM. This isn’t to say there are no problems though. The first issue I found was probably due to my extensive RSS reader use but I find the lack of an unread or unseen story count to be extremely frustrating. But all things considered it is still in Beta and small annoyances should be expected. Again Streamy is by no stretch of the imagination a Digg killer but it’s an excellent launchpad/homebase for your Internet experience. And can see it being my jumping off point as it stands now. I’m very excited to see what features are added over time as we move towards a public release.
Streamy is based in Hermosa Beach, CA (Los Angeles). They raised $100,000 in May 2007 from Driftwood Investments.
Tags: web2.0 streamy ajax