My friends over at Cerulean Studios have announced some information on their upcoming Trillian Astra release, a truly exciting milestone in the world of instant messaging. These guys have been working on this update night and day for what seems like forever, and the effort is finally paying off!
Astra is pretty amazing stuff: Web IM integration, Google Talk, MySpace IM, handwriting recognition, web profiles, graphical widgets, etc — the list goes on and on.
For those of you worried about bloat, they’ve seriously reduced application load times (50% reduction), memory usage, and screen redraw times. This application is smoking fast compared to previous releases!
Astra seems to be getting some great initial coverage: TechCrunch has picked up the story, it has received over 1200 Diggs, and I’m even seeing some mention by local bloggers in the Colorado region.
Probably the most exciting thing about this release is that Trillian is no longer just a chat client. With the Astra release, the Cerulean team has quietly built its own chat network and web-based instant messaging platform, a serious shot across the bow to Meebo and a number of other related companies.
I’m repeating this because it’s so important:
Trillian isn’t just an instant messager client anymore. It’s a complete IM platform — client+chat_network+web_services
This is a big leap for Trillian and Cerulean as a company. I’m really excited for their entire team; an amazing amount of work has been put into this release!
If you haven’t already done so, check out David Henderson’s recent post on Attention Mashups. He points to All Crazy Style, a mashup that integrates last.fm usage data with Upcoming.org listings to discover information on local band performances matching a user’s tastes.
This is great stuff.
Properly leveraged attention streams can be incredibly powerful. Google and Amazon are great examples of companies that utilize attention data with significant economic success. Mashups like All Crazy Style allow users to more directly benefit from their attention streams in the form of recommendations and other personalization features.
One of my favorite types of attention mashups is the auto-tagger. These do exactly what you might expect — categorize content automatically, using attention stream data to improve tagging accuracy. Tagging is extremely popular in web 2.0 and media applications, but users don’t seem to like entering tags manually. A recent post on BijanBlog discusses the need for good auto-tagging solutions, mentioning attempts like Riya to solve the problem:
“Riya tried to do photo autotagging but they wanted to replace stuff that we all use already with a new service. That’s really hard.”
I totally agree with this point. The most successful solutions will incorporate themselves into a user’s existing habits and browsing activity, not force the usage of a distinct service.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Boulder New Technology Meetup for the first time. Quite a turn-out! It’s great to see the Boulder/Denver tech/geek/business community coming together for events like these.
I was only able to catch the last 30 minutes of the event (a combination of Denver election-day business, traffic, etc. delayed my drive up to Boulder), but was able to see some interesting demos. Clickcaster has been archiving video of past events; hopefully they recorded this one as well (recordings are great for people who can’t make it out to all events or arrive late!)
First up was a PocketPC application that made usage of the Yahoo Answers, Maps & Weather APIs. Very versatile program; I especially like the Answers API integration.
Second was a demo from ProtectMyPhotos.com, a service aimed at offering automatic media file synchronization from your desktop PC to an on-line backup service.
Lastly was a demo from the Me.dium team, a new Boulder start-up that’s making its first movements out of stealth mode. Exposing the idea of a “shared space” to Internet users has a lot of interesting possibilities; I’ll be watching Me.dium as it further develops.
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Hi, I’m Elliot. This is my blog. I’ll be discussing web integration technology (Mashups, SOA, WOA), start-up companies (including mine), the Colorado entrepreneurial community, and other topics of interest.