Phreadz Apes and Cats?

It’s nice to be compared to a growing success. But I’ve seen some people ask if Phreadz is ‘aping’ Seesmic or simply a copycat.

Sure, I’ve played on Seesmic, here are my posts from there – if you want to search my oldest posts, try out a search engine someone created at – look up ‘kosso’ and order by oldest. Oddly enough, that search engine looks very much like an unofficial Seesmic search engine I created back in December – as there was not (and still is not) an official one. I contributed a lot of ideas for seesmic back then, quite happily and honestly. For free. Six months have passed and many have yet to appear.

I’ve been involved in professional and personally pleasurable creative R&D in multimedia for many years. But a copycat? Not at all. No more a copycat than any site which uses Flash Communication/Media Server to record video in the browser could be accused of. Is Seesmic a copycat of YouTube video comments? No.

Odeo were very successful in implementing just audio recording (to start with) in order to create mp3 files as a podcast. Phreadz also has this feature too – with audio or video.

The feature set, the presentation and ‘available angles’ are quite different from Seesmic. (And certainly the money behind it)

Oddly enough, Phreadz has a YouTube, Qik & Seesmic channel experiment running – where people can pull in a post from these places (and more to come) and start a multimedia conversation around that post (Seesmic does this with YouTube video, for example) – but people could reply using audio or a photo, for example. There’s a lot of opportunity for ‘mashups’ like this here.

Every user, channel and even *post* has its own full RSS feed (with media and enclosures)

Phreadz will also be letting the users apply Creative Commons licensing to *their* content/posts – rather like Flickr does with photos (and now video).

Phreadz can also (optionally) extract GPS location data from photos and present the user with a Google Map of where the photo was taken!

Phreadz is also a tool to distribute your posts to other places which you might have an account: flickr,, WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, Jaiku etc. – even Seesmic! eg: I record a video to start a conversation and I can check a box to send a copy of that video to my account, embed it in my blog and send a link to my Twitter account – and even send the video to my Seesmic account – all from one place. (Though I will be going through everyone’s ToS to see what implications / limitations there might be there)

I use all these sites and systems all the time. I just wanted a way to make it easier and save time. So I decided to build it – because I could. I have talked about the concept of Phreadz long before Seesmic appeared on the scene – and arguably since Macromedia first released Flash Communication Server in 2002 (or at least the Flash video aspect).

I have been waiting a very long time for people to catch up and *want* to post this sort of choice and mix of content.

Welcome to Semantic Multimedia, where every post has context, a ‘pathway’ to it and plenty of metadata in between. (And a short permalink url!)

I am in the process of doing a lot of documentation now, which I will be using to help educate existing and incoming new users to Phreadz – and also to help my pitch it to potential clients, partners and angel investors.

As of the end of July, I’m out of a (fulltime) job – I want Phreadz to be my next (and only) one 🙂

Here are some screenshots to whet your appetite.

Every user has a ‘MY.PHREADZ’ page where they can view posts only by people they ‘follow’ and see the channels they were posted in:

Within their MY.PHREADZ page, members can also see an archive of all their previous posts as a calendar view:

Phreadz users can also ‘bookmark’ any post in the conversation network for easy access, so they can jump right back in where they left off. A favourites features called ‘PHREADZ GOLD’ is also on the way:

PHREADZ has ‘channels’ dedicated to specific topics. The ‘alfalfa’ testers have been given the opportunity to start their own free channel. (Channels will not be free after launch, though a version of channels will be provided freely for all users as ‘groups’) – Here are some exmaples:

Stay tuned for information on how to join Phreadz for testing!

If you are interested in joining us for the ‘open beetroot phase’, please drop me a line on join [at] and I will get back to you as soon as I tie up a few things and scrape together some more money to help deal with you all and get my baby truly off the ground and launched!

Thanks for your patience! 🙂

9 Responses to “Phreadz Apes and Cats?”

  1. 1 RandellFever May 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Excellent creation of tool sets! A unique and superior concept.

  2. 2 kosso May 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks Randell! 🙂 This is SUCH PHUN!!!

  3. 3 Dave S May 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I like what you have written to explain any doubts the ‘naysayers’ might have had. I am big enough to say, I was one of the folks questioning the history/back story/motivation.

    Glad to admit I was wrong.

    I like what I see in these screen captures of Phreadz. You gained a ‘yaysayer’ to add to the list of what is undoubtedly a growing group ‘Yay Phreadz’ users.

    Thanks for the transparency. I can see clearly now, the stain is gone.

  4. 4 Francesco May 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Video blogging is the tool of the new age. In this the people can now see each other through their webcams. This helps the addition to some feelings and expressions in the talks which makes the communication effective.

  5. 5 kosso May 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Francesco: You’re absolutely right! And when people who first ‘meet’ on video meet in the flesh, it’s like theye’ve already met!

    So much easier to communicate! 😉

  6. 6 joikoi May 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    this looks great, lots of features. One area I’m interested in is education – I teach video expression to teenagers who have droped out of conventional educaion, what I would like is the ability to have a classroom channel (private group). The place where I work has a lot of debate at the moment about social networking for the students, and I’d like privacy options as parents need to sign waivers.
    anyhowjust thought I’d make a request,
    I am in awe at the progress you’ve made, well done.

  7. 7 James Whatley May 25, 2008 at 10:05 am

    “Open Beetroot Phase”

    Love it.

  8. 8 Andrea June 1, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Congratulations Kosso on getting this going! It does sound like what we’ve been looking for: a way to combine all of our multi-modal communications in the one place, and yet disperse that to a multiple of avenues.

  9. 9 Pauly June 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Good to hear you’re making a go of this! No more then? Are the guys from there funding you?

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Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.

@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

May 2008


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