Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Twine or Not to Twine

Semantic Web, Web 3.0, Smart Web; all are catch phrases associated with Twine. Might I add this was also one of the toughest beta invites to get a hold of. But I've had the pleasure to attain a beta invite and have been tinkering around with the service. At first glance, I was not digging the interface or lack of pizazz. After giving it a little time to get the gist of things....I'm hopeful.

What is Twine suppose to do?
  • Automatically organize information, learn what your interests are and make recommendations based on your interests
  • Allows for one central location for newsgroups, forums, social networking, databases and wikis
  • RSS feeds to track multiple topics, events, comments etc
  • Auto tagging: people, places, organizations and concepts related to items! You can add your own tags or simply use Twines discovered tags! (visible in orange)
  • Bookmarking: using their bookmarklet which allows users to add content to twine right from the browser
  • Email your items: Many of us email ourselves sites, attachments or messages with important points or great quotes! Now email them to twine and post it- the body of your email will appear in your twine.
  • Connecting with others: Dual purpose for reaching out and connecting 1. Share information between users and 2. allows Twine to read what the shared interests of users are so theoretically it will provide better recommendations for information delivered.

Now in theory this service seems pretty cool! The issue is...it simply doesn't work. Well, not the way it's been hyped-up at least. Since it's still in Beta I won't rip the service apart on all its short comings, I will simply continue to use it (so that I give Twine a fair shot at better understanding my interests) and review it at a later time. Perhaps the tweaks and improvements are right around the corner.

Having other information, videos, sites & notes of interests delivered to me without the hassle of research should be dynamite!

P.S. One strong suggestion for Twine: Video Tutorial!

P.S.S. UPDATE: According to Nova Spivack (co-founder and CEO of Radar Networks / company created Twine) on a recent interview with CNET: 'Twine has about 7,000 users in private beta, as well as 40,000 standing in line for access'; so lucky for us to have snagged an invite and give it a test run! Also stay tuned for major enhancements due out for the summer and fall.

Thank you Mr. Spivack for the update!

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  • Thanks. We are in early beta and over the summer and next fall you will see major improvements. Our focus is on testing, usability and adding more functionality before we open more widely.

    I would also note that much of what we say Twine does, it actually does do today. But it is not intuitively easy to figure out how to do it all yet. The video would be a nice idea and we are thinking about that.

    Some patience is necessary to learn how to use Twine at this stage, but the initial investment is worth it as you can really start to discover interesting content and people this way. The key is to join some good twines that related to your interests. In about 3 weeks we'll have another release that will improve how you can discover twines of interest.

    By Anonymous Nova Spivack, At 2:52 PM  

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