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Integrate your inward & outward communications from 1 point

By: Ask Bob, Feb 22, 2011

Our webspidiees have often complained about the fragmented nature of online communication. Blogging is passe & Social Networking has become a rage. An average Netizen today spends an average 2 hours online doing the following - e-mailing, using atleast 2 Social Network Accounts to spend time with his friends & contacts. But because of the way the networks are built, they are unable to "talk" to each other. So our spidiees have asked us to feature this Startup today called Threadsy. This 'un says it is the world's 1st "integrated Communication Client". So what is it that you can do usingThreadsy?
The idea behind Threadsy seems simple enough - to manage all your communication, whatever form they are in like e-mails or Tweets or blogposts, and in both directions, incoming as well as outgoing, from 1 destination. Thus, it rules out going to multiple sites, logging in & then sending out/receiving your messages. 
The San Francisco, USA-based Threadsy supports all of your existing webmail (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, & AOL), GTalk, Facebook & Twitter accounts. So, it can integrate all of these accounts & information contained into them. There is a slight hitch though - as of now, except for Gmail, Threadsy only integrates the US accounts of the other webmails. 
Launched in public Beta in Sept 2009 at the by-now famous TechCrunch 50 Startup competition, Threadsy seems to have come some distance from then. So, how does it actually work? You need to create an account & subsequently login. One can also login in using his/her Gmail account. Once in, the user can then group all his/her e-mail  & social network messages into a single inbox . In May last year, the guys at Threadsy also added a feature wherein a user can integrate all of  his/her Facebook news feed and Tweets into a single stream. This Social Stream Reader allows users to access a single interface to retrieve & also reply to updates from their contacts/friends by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter &  other such sites.
Once they are logged in, users are directed to a screen where all their Inbound messages can be seen at once, from the various sources, as listed above. A user can also apply various "filters" to decide what he/she wants to see. Even messages posted on your Facebook wall or comments on your Facebook status, all of these show up in your Inbound messages. The next course of action, whether or how to respond depends of course, on the user.

Threadsy is free to use and works with your existing accounts right in your web browser. The Startup has already raised $ 6.3 million 2 rounds funding. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is entrepreneur Rob Goldman. 
Our View

Name: Threadsy
Design - 3/5       Utility - 3/5     Nav - 3/5     Download - 4/5     Score - 13/20

Hey, you have got mail

 By: Ask Bob, Feb 11, 2011
How many times have you missed out on reading a very important e-mail, from say your boss or your spouse, an e-mail that you were expecting, only you were just caught up with doing something else at that very moment & so could not open your In-Box? A Startup Web Application called AwayFind promises to change that.
"Stay away from your In-Box, stay informed" is how a line in the in-house video promotes this StartupWeb Application. AwayFind promises you just that - freedom from being an e-mail addict, freedom from being tied to your PC. Essentially, this App alerts you in various ways when a very important, urgent e-mail arrives in your In-Box. It can alert you by sending an SMS, IM, even a phone call. Not only that, these guys also promise to deliver urgent e-mail notifications to co-workers, if you, the user, so choose.
The vehicles of notification are many, so a user needs to elaborate the ones he/she would like in order for AwayFind to send him/her the alert for the urgent e-mail. You can, for example, install a Plugin in Gmail  or Google Account to get your alert. 
How does it work?
In a nutshell, AwayFind keeps scanning a user's In-Box for new messages. When something arrives , based on the filters set up by the user, AwayFind sends the user an alert over the device you have pre-set. It is of course, left to the user to let AwayFind know which e-mails are important to him. 
The Web Application supports all e-mail providers that offer IMAP, including Gmail & many Microsoft Exchange installations. The guys there say they "are hard at work" to offer full compatibility with Yahoo! & Hotmail.
While AwayFind is in Beta, there are no costs. But that's not gonna last. The FAQ section of the website says when the Web App gets out of Beta, a user will be charged for  use of certain features.There will be a split between free  & for-pay features.  It will likely be a monthly charge. The Home Page, though, has already announced a Price Plan. While monitoring 1 e-mail account is free, for 2 & more, a user needs to pay a monthly fee. A 1st time user needs to also register & get a unique name to use AwayFind.
Based in the US, AwayFind Inc was founded by software engineer Jared Goralnick, who worked in several Startups before setting off on his own.
                                                                               Our View
Name: AwayFind
Design - 4/5       Utility - 3/5     Nav - 4/5     Download - 3/5     Score - 14/20

Reading e-mails is passe, now see them

By: Ask Bob, Feb 7, 2011

Wanna send video e-mails but don't know how? There's a Startup called mailVU which allows users to do just that. It not only sends but also helps create the videos.
mailVU.com is a Startup that allows users to create & share video e-mail messages with anyone they want on the Internet. The fellas at  this Startup claim this can be done in a very simple manner - Just Click, Record & Send.
mailVU is part of the A2Stream Inc. family of services. This is based in North Carolina, USA, & is focused on web applications.One does not even need to register to use this free service. There is also no software to download, all that one needs is a browser, a net connection a webcam and of course, a PC. The video e-mail can be 10 minutes long & even plays on smartphones.
How's it done
A user will be prompted to allow mailVU access to his/her webcam. Then, the user has to click on the 'Record' button on the camera & record the video message. Once over, click the 'Stop' button. A user can click 'Play' to preview the message. At the bottom of the screen, there are various options like setting a deletion time period, either in the number of views or in the number of days. The user can then e-mail the video, & decide if you want to be copied or have read notification. That's all.
The intended recipient will get an e-mail notification in their mailbox with a picture of the sender. The recepient can click on the picture to play the video.

One can use this video e-mail for several things, say those behind mailVU. Family members can stay in touch with loved ones, friends can share video mail on what they are doing, & unlike "public" dotcoms like YouTube, mailVU provides private video e-mail between people, so there is no worry about anyone else on the Internet having access to it. Businessmen can send video e-mails to their customers or employees.