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Analyst Insights Over The River: WebInno33 Preview
Mar 2, 2012 – Greg Peverill-Conti

It’s time for the countdown to WebInno33! That’s right, there are only DAYS before the event so if you’re planning to attend you might want to sign up pretty soon. To make it easier for you, here’s the registration link. Now I’ve been going to WebInno for years – since 2006 or maybe 2007 – and for some time I’ve done these little previews of the companies. Guess what? I’m still doing them. I do want to let everyone know that I’m helping out with WebInno more than I have in the past. But double guess what? That isn’t going to change my approach to writing. So here’s what I think of the companies that will be presenting at WebInno33. Will I turn out to be insightful or an idiot? Only time – and you – will tell!

Main Dish Companies:
MediaMob – media. mobile. simplified. First let me say I love the colors on the homepage. I like the organic shape of the buttons. I didn’t like it that once I got just a bit beyond the buttons my eyes were assaulted with tiny dull white text. This is a space that I kinda know (at InkHouse many of my clients are in the ad technology space) so I’m looking forward to hearing the rap. Mobile continues to be a tough nut to crack – between the inability to track and target the way one does for traditional display and the inherent limitations of the platform itself – so I’m curious to see what they have to show and tell.

What I saw on the site didn’t do much for me (nor did their having a press release from 2010 at the top of the “What’s New” section). I’m going to keep an open mind though.

GatherEducation – Take a class online. Collaborate on projects. Share your success with everyone. This site is so secret that you can only sign up. That’s all. I’ll have to wait until Monday and by then it will be too late for me to say anything about them. ☹

Lifeables – Better Memories. I’m one of the luckiest people I know. Want to know why? I pretty much ONLY have happy memories. Ask me to cast my mind back to any period and what comes up are the good things. Oh sure, I can dredge up sad memories if I need to but who needs to? So at first, when I saw Lifeables (of course after I thought about Lunchables) I wondered if it was some new technology to improve our memories, or maybe to eradicate bad memories (someone was telling me about this the other day actually). Instead, it’s a site to help people curate their lives and the lives of those around them – mostly their kids.

I wanted to take the tour to understand how this is different say from Facebook for example. The site talks about being able to pull content (or have you push content) from your other sites into a Lifeables account. I think I’m going to need to see it to get it because right now I totally don’t.

Side Dish Companies:
Abroad101 – Study Abroad Reviews. I like this idea and site a lot. Part travel guide and part college guide it provides evaluations, reflections and reviews of international study programs. For students I’m sure it’s a great way to get a clear sense of the available opportunities and for institutions it no doubt helps them shrink the pool to understand which programs might be a good fit for their students. Great idea. My only gripe is that the site looks kind of dated and cluttered.

Zoora – Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t know a lot about fashion. That makes Zoora a site that probably isn’t targeting me. It’s not like I’m a complete slob (frankly far from it) but when the site asks:

“So who hasn’t said this while shopping?

This dress is perfect, except this hemline doesn’t fall right on me. It if were just a little longer, I could wear this
I love this top, but everyone has one this season. If I could make it a different color or add some detailing, I would totally buy it
I am pretty curvy and there is no way this will fit me. If only the waist were a little smaller”

I am able to raise my hand and say “ME!” I can promise you I’ve never said any of those things while shopping or anywhere else. But if you have said those things then Zoora is probably something you’re going to love. To me it seems like a smart online stylist and I guess that’s cool. Someone will have to let me know if it is.

Mosaic Storage Systems – OMG I want this. I want this bad. Before you try to figure out what it is and why I want it I’ll tell you. It’s basically online storage for photographers that can integrate with software like Lightroom (which is what I use). I take a lot of photographs, in the tens of thousands per year. I also shoot pretty much exclusively in RAW so I consume disc space at a prodigious rate. My solution now is to carry multiple external drives with me (one with last year’s photos if I need them, another with this year’s and a third for photos taken for InkHouse clients and projects). This kinda works but I’ll be honest; it’s a pain in the ass. It means just that much more to carry, worry about, deal with and manage. The idea of being able to keep my photos safe and sound, access and edit them easily (oh man, I’m imagining not having to maintain separate Lightroom catalogs and it’s making me giddy) . . . Holy crap I want this.

OnTheBar – The Best Bartenders and the Best Bars, Right Now. I don’t know, as they say about cameras (that the best camera is the one you have with you), I think the best bartender is the one standing in front of you. That said, this app just won my heart and I haven’t even downloaded it yet. Why? Because when I went to the App Store to get it I saw my pal Rob Kraemer looking back at me. That’s probably not a good reason to be a fan of an app; but any app that’s a friend of Rob’s is a friend of mine. Cheers fellows!

Cangrade – Take the uncertainty out of hiring. Having seen Smarterer launch at WebInno and then meeting with Jennifer Fremont-Smith recently to find out how the company is doing (you can find out for yourself here), I consider myself an expert at screen and evaluation tools. Ha, just kidding. I do find these kinds of tools interesting though. There seems to be a difference in philosophy between the two companies. Smarterer feels much more approachable and less corporate while Cangrade seems more targeted at button-down types. I will say that I’m not crazy about the name (when I first saw it I thought the company might have something to do with recycling). I’ll be interested to check it out on Monday.

In conclusion . . .
That’s all I have at the moment. I’ll be there on Monday to find out more, ask questions, take some pictures and drink a beer. Hope to see you there.



Courtesy Over the River. Greg PC has been active in online communications since almost before there was an online to communicate over. Over the past three or four years he's been blogging on and off and has been active in a number of online communities. This blog is the most recent incarnation of “Over the River” – so named because pretty much wherever he goes is over the Charles River. He also likes to think that he's had – and continues to have – the opportunity to watch the changing flow of communication behavior. You can reach Greg PC at gr3gpcATgmailDOTcom.   



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