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Well nothing great about this start up. Remember those days when all you really did on your computer was to download a few cool screen savers,wallpapers and just made sure you dont fall asleep while browsing through clicks after clicks of junk…..

Chirp just add’s the facebook and flicker feeds into your screensavers and hence gives you more than just a screen , a dynamic screen….

Hmmm…..i’m sure in this world of desktop web app’s one can think of a better way to source your social feeds than a screen saver ….. Any comments?

chirp-logo.pngToday, Chirp is launching in private beta. Chirp is a screen saver, previously covered here, that lets you bring social feeds from Flickr and Facebook onto your desktop. Other social Websites will be added in the future. “Our purpose is to enable you to stay up to date with your friends without the hassle of logging into multiple websites,” says CEO Eve Phillips.

Chirp will let you subscribe to a friend’s photo feed so that it can decorate your screen. Click on a photo and Chirp will take you to the corresponding Flickr page to find out more. This reminds me of the Slide Desktop application, except that it brings in photos and data from other Websites. It basically brings social widgets outside the browser, something we’ve also seen with desktop applications from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The Sidebar in Windows Vista, for instance, lets you bring all sorts of widgets to the desktop, including online photos albums.

Maybe I’m missing something, though, because there is some smart money in the seed round. Greylock Partners, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC and angel investors Reid Hoffman (Chairman and founder of LinkedIn), Jay Adelson (CEO of Digg), and Dave Samuel (founder of Spinner.com and Grouper). CTO David Bill is formerly of Spinner. I guess Chirp’s focus on turning social feeds into a screen saver might give it more mass appeal than just a bunch of desktop widgets.

Phillips explains the difference between Chirpscreen and widgets in the following way:

We’re designed to take over your screen and turn your
computer into a display of the social content of your choosing,
automatically updated with content from your friends – your friend channel.

Taking a step back, if you separate out what we do into three areas:
content aggregation; filtering; and display, most of those desktop
widgets aggregate and then do a limited display. We’re focused on
having highly relevant filtering and a really engaging, interactive
display of that content, as opposed to a desktop widget which is
designed to be a companion to your desktop activities (browsing,
email, etc.).

What do readers think? Try the beta and tell me in comments.

chirp-screen-small.png

source:Techcrunch.com

as reported on news.com 

“I’ll go on a hunger strike!”

So said one adamant Facebook user in the wake of the news that game manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel were trying to do something about the wildly popular, unquestionably addictive online game known as Scrabulous.

The game, which rose to fame when its creators turned it into an embeddable Facebook application, is a word game that’s a whole lot like the classic board game Scrabble. It uses a playing board with “bonus” spots just like Scrabble. In fact, the rules are identical to Scrabble‘s.

The companies in charge of the “real” Scrabble, for obvious reasons, aren’t happy.

Game companies Hasbro, which distributes Scrabble in North America, and Mattel, which is responsible for its overseas trademarks, have reportedly asked Facebook to remove the game from its application directory. And you can tell it’s a serious legal matter because nobody’s talking.

Facebook declined to confirm the report, and it said that it has not yet issued any kind of statement about Scrabulous; representatives from Hasbro did not respond to calls for comment.

The similarities between Scrabble and Scrabulous are crystal-clear, and it’s a no-brainer to see why Hasbro and Mattel are miffed. To add to that, Scrabulous serves up advertisements, which means that its creators are making money off the concept. But what the game companies really ought to do is take a step back and realize that they can use Scrabulous to their advantage–without removing the viral game from Facebook.

Fans of Scrabulous, for one, aren’t happy about the takedown news. On Facebook, an unofficial group called “Save Scrabulous” is growing fast, with more than 7,000 users at last count (and 5,000 hours before.) Its members, including the aforementioned “hunger striker,” are livid.

“Leave Scrabulous alone!” one of them posted in the group’s message board, a thinly veiled allusion to the “Leave Britney Alone” viral video.

Others were more visceral: “I’ve burnt my Scrabble board in protest!” one exclaimed.

A game of Scrabulous on Facebook.

(Credit: Scrabulous)

Scrabulous is the creation of two brothers in India, Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, who founded Scrabulous.com in 2006. When Facebook launched its developer platform in May, the Agarwallas soon transformed their Scrabble spin-off into an application designed for the social network, and it caught on like wildfire. More than 2 million Facebook members are active Scrabulous users, and several hundred thousand of them play the game each day.

It was a catch-22 for the Agarwallas. The “Scrabulous guys” became Facebook celebrities, but the exposure meant that they were much more visible–and so were the obvious similarities between Scrabble and Scrabulous.

“It wouldn’t be an issue if Scrabulous weren’t so popular, right?” observed Darren Herman, director of digital media for marketing firm The Media Kitchen. It’s the sheer mass of Facebook Scrabulous users that have made it a high-profile case as well as an inevitably ugly situation, if the game is indeed taken down. “We’re seeing the power of social media in its early days. Since we’re still trying to figure out the rules of the game, no pun intended, these types of issues are bound to arise.”

In other words, according to Herman, the debate over Scrabulous is indicative of the fact that the world–or at least certain mainstays of the game industry–still hasn’t quite figured out that a traditional course of action just doesn’t always work on the Web.

“I don’t think they are crazy to think this way,” Darren Herman said when asked if Hasbro and Mattel are totally off base. “Scrabble came out in a time when everyone guarded their (intellectual property) tightly.”

In the old order, a takedown notice may have been the only route. But this is the Web, and plenty of people have pointed out that Hasbro and Mattel are sitting on a marketing gold mine with Scrabulous. They have a gleefully addicted fan base, a machine for viral buzz (Facebook’s platform), and the deep pockets to offer to buy Scrabulous outright–or at least strike an innovative advertising deal.

There’s also no direct competitor. Neither Hasbro nor Mattel operates a Web-based, ad-supported version of Scrabble; video game manufacturer Electronic Arts owns the rights to electronic versions of the game, and it currently sells a PC game of Scrabble for about $20. (EA was not available for comment on the Scrabulous issue.) With Scrabulous, all three companies may be sitting on a marketing treasure trove.

Hasbro and Mattel might not get it. But the members of Save Scrabulous think that they do.

“Do these greedy fools not realize that they should be paying the creators of Scrabulous for all the damn fans of the game they created?” one angry Scrabulous fan from the United Kingdom asked on the group’s “wall.” He brought up a further point–that this is getting people excited about the musty old board game in a way they haven’t in years. “It’s like the music vids put on YouTube. It makes me buy tracks I never would have done, and frankly, before this game emerged, Scrabble was just something for rainy days in my childhood.”

Another member of the group put it more concisely. “Scrabulous brought Scrabble back in style. They should be thankful.”

image

As reported on one of the blogs

CondeNet is remaking its teen-focused community site Flip.com into an app that will live on other social nets. The first to get the new Flip app is Facebook, with others to follow, CondeNet announced a few minutes ago. The company will continue to operate Flip’s website. However, moving forward, Flip’s continued development and marketing focus will involve social net apps only, as CondeNet tries to find a way to build its audience from its current 300,000 users. The Flip app will be ready by the end of this month.

Update: Flip debuted last February. Aimed at teen girls, the site’s main proposition was that it gave its users control. Flip members were able to design and post “flipbooks” containing text, images, audio and video for channels related to art, celebrities, travel, sports, friends, romance, school and careers. I spoke this afternoon with Sarah Chubb, president of CondéNet, about the reasons behind change: — Flip gets flipped: Since launching last year, a number of changes have occurred in the social net space. One of the bigger ones was the growth of Facebook, thanks in large part to its decision to open itself up to independent developers. With most of Flip’s users on Facebook, which has about 58 million members, CondeNet realized that Flip would never get that kind of traction. But as an application, it could easily tap into Facebook’s success. Chubb: “Flip’s demographic is perfectly aligned with FacebookWe’ve made 300,000 girls incredibly happy, but there’s millions of them on Facebook. And we know they’re interested the same kinds of tools that are available there. It would be a whole lot harder to build from 300,000 to the serious numbers like 1 or 2 million, which is the sweet spot for us. So this seemed like the best way to go.”

Why Facebook?: As one of the FacebookAds 12 launch partners, CondeNet has generally been pleased with results of the three-month old program. And so, when it was decided that Flip would have value for advertisers and for its users as an app, it started with Facebook. While Flip is starting there, it will be available on other social nets, though there are no plans for any extensions yet. The timing seems right: at the same time the Flip app goes live, Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) OpenSocial, MySpace and the other community sites that have formed Google OpenSocial platform, which is expected to go live by the end of this month.

No layoffs: As the resources shift from Flip’s website to the app, Chubb said some staffers may be reassigned, but there will be no job cuts as a result. “We have a lot going on this year and we’ll need the people who helped build Flip for other projects.”

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