Archive for the 'Phreadz' Category

Phreadz : Social Media, Networking and Conversations.

Every day, millions of people create content on the web; using their idea to inform, educate, entertain, connect and communicate. Through video, images, text, audio and links (“V.I.T.A.L”), people are using multimedia to form new relationships and networks around the world.

‘Social Media’ and ‘Social Networks’ are rapidly becoming crucial to our “digital lifestyles”, helping us discover new things and make informed choices based on personal recommendations and opinions from our friends and others in our extended global networks.

Companies, clubs, brands and creative artists from all genres are increasingly using social media to grow communities and networks around their offerings, building on the trust and relationships formed by the openness and transparency which it enables.

Phreadz embraces this evolving tidal wave in ‘social-multimedia’; by making it easy for its members to create, publish and share content and opinions from a desktop or mobile device.
Phreadz is a ‘social multimedia forum system’ where content is posted and replied to by community members, creating compelling and engaging ‘conversational threads’ using multimedia which can be shared and re-branded in many places at the click of a button.

Phreadz can provide public or private ‘channels’ dedicated to specific groups, topics, events or brands making it easier to engage the members in any particular area, away from the common ‘forum lobbies’. Each dedicated Phreadz channel can be fully branded and customised to fit the intended audience participating.

There are several ways to start or contribute to a conversation thread.

A post on Phreadz can be:

A Phreadz post and its replies can be easily shared using:

Phreadz is developing an API (Application Programmers Interface) making it easy for third parties and developers to create their own customised applications and interfaces to view and post content from any site or device which supports RSS, JSON or OPML data.

phreadzosphere_solo

Phreadz currently has around 500 passionate and active testers trying the closed beta testing phase. Phreadz has obtained its first paying client for a bespoke white-label system at a university in the UK.

To see what a Phreadz ‘channel’ looks like without an account, please visit one of the current ‘public channels’ built around recent (and ongoing) special events:

Phreadz was ‘bootstrapped’ and built in its entirety by myself (Kosso) on a single server and is actively seeking new customers. Phreadz will soon be looking to raise some seed funding from angel investors to provide the rapid growth in network, hardware and human resources it needs to kick start it and open up registrations to all.

©2008 Kosso : Phreadz Networks Limited.

WHAT IS PHREADZ?

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 http://searchmic.com – 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, blip.tv, 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 blip.tv 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] phreadz.com 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! 🙂


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 podcast.com 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

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