Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Video: How IntoNow Socializes the TV Experience - WebProNews Video

Video: How IntoNow Socializes the TV Experience

Numerous tools and applications are developed today in order to connect aspects of our lives. IntoNow is a new iOS app that fits into this category. It hopes to socialize the TV experience while answering the question, “What are you into now?”

As Adam Cahan, the company’s CEO, explained to WebProNews, television programming takes up 62 percent of consumers’ leisure time, which, besides sleeping and working, is the largest activity that people partake in. In addition, studies have shown that around 60 percent of people are also on the Internet while they are watching television.


For these reasons, the company wanted to create a way for users to be able to easily connect with their friends around the content that they are watching. The app does this by identifying television programs after only hearing a few seconds of them. Cahan said that the app allows users to look at their social connections, find out what they share in common, and start conversations around those areas of interest.

“For us, what was really exciting was the ability to establish those connections to say you and I both share the same show, and therefore, start a conversation around it,” he added.

Although the app is fun and interesting (it was even named Apple’s App of the Week last week), WebProNews asked Cahan why people would really be drawn to it since many of them already talk about their TV experiences on Facebook and Twitter. In response, he emphasized that IntoNow is not trying to own the conversation.

“It’s about getting recommendations and about getting a sense of your tastes, your friends’ tastes, and then starting to come back to you with ideas around things that we think you should like,” he said.

The technology that enables this experience is based on IntoNow’s SoundPrint platform. Cahan calls the process “fingerprinting,” since it takes the audio signal layer from a snippet of content and translates it into an algorithmic representation of the audio signal.

SoundPrint records 130 channels of live television continuously and is always adding to its catalog. It also has a “back catalog” that includes about 5 years of television, which equates to roughly 2.6 million individual airings.

Cahan told us that IntoNow has several ideas for monetization and is currently talking with one of the largest television manufacturers about embedding the service into TVs. He also said that we could expect an Android version and a Web application soon.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Video: What Quora Is and What It's Not - WebProNews Video

Have you jumped on the Quora bandwagon yet? A lot of people have and are calling it the next big social phenomenon. Others are relating it to Yahoo Answers and Wikipedia. Some people are even saying that it will replace online forums. So, what is it?

According to Patrick O’Keefe, the author of Managing Online Forums, “Quora is more or less a forum.” However, some people don’t agree with him because they associate forums with things of the past. They, instead, want to associate Quora with something like Facebook or Twitter.
“I think that sometimes people want to see evolution, or something along those lines, in things that maybe don’t need it, or in a way that’s not really fair,” he said.

He compared forums to bread stating that, while many people think bread hasn’t evolved, it really has. Today, there are many different types of bread, and it is used in numerous ways. O’Keefe believes the same principle applies to forums.

These online communities are, essentially, threaded text-based conversations, and interestingly, he points out that this same type of conversation is the backbone of Facebook. He believes that Quora not only has this feature, but that it also has social features.

“The reason Quora is good is because they have taken these features, and they have put them together in a very attractive, very slick, very good way that makes a lot of sense… and really the people aspects of Quora are why it’s successful – the people contributing and the people behind it,” said O’Keefe.
He went on to say that Quora was useful from a business perspective. Although actual brands are not permitted on the service, individuals from companies are allowed and could monitor certain keywords and also answer questions. Companies could potentially receive extra search engine favor since these questions are indexable.

Just like any other service, people are always wondering where it will go in the future. While O’Keefe is not sure, he did address a few challenges that the company would face. First of all, there is the issue of too many basic questions. Another challenge is the fact that people will ask the same question over and over. Thirdly, Quora will have to find a balance in its userbase since it has had the privilege of having people such as former AOL CEO Steve Case answer some questions. However Quora handles these challenges will likely determine its future.

So, what is your take on Quora?