Session 3 was of community and collaboration startups. Two of the participants were from Korea, showing the internationalization of web 2.0.
StoryBlender is a promising video mashup startup from Korea. Video editing is not new, but this one's approach is like a 'video wiki' - it lets you mash up videos collaboratively, with your friends and peers. The interface they demonstrated was very easy and straightforward. You can easily add music, video, text and animate things. No need to be a pro, no special skills needed.
The interesting point is that the company was founded by Yong Jun Hyoun, the founder of Korea's very successful social network, CyWorld.
At the end of the session, Don Dodge expressed concern about copyright (as an ex Napster employee, that was quite understandable!).
Tripit solves a big problem. It is hard to plan travel; you have to deal with many sites, papers and other details. Tripit's mission is to make this process very simple. It's not a booking company, but they serve to manage your travels.
You simply forward incoming bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org and it manages the rest. Their patent pending "itinerator" technology is a baby step in the semantic web - it extracts useful infomation from these mails and makes a well structured and organized presentation of your travel plan.
It pulls out information from Wikipedia for the places that you visit. It uses microformats - the iCal format, which is well integrated into GCalendar and other calendar software.
They claim that "instead of dealing with 20 pages of planning, you just print out 3 pages and everything is done for you".
Their future plans include a recommendation engine which will tell you where to go and who to meet.
Many experts at the conference found this startup very useful and easily monetizable.
The open source browser Flock was at Techcrunch 40 with the promise of v 1.0 very soon. Flock is a social web browser, satisfying the social needs of the new web. It lets you interact with your friends while you surf. This market is hot - me.dium tries to tackle the same goal from another path.
Flock can save your credentials from sites like Flickr, YouTube and Facebook, then e.g. you can share news from NY Times with your friends on Flickr with a simple drag n' drop.
Everyones concerns are the same thoug - why not do it via extensions and utilize Firefox? The Flock CEO replied that they are ambitious, they are not just aiming at single digits of users - they want hundreds of millions of users.
MusicShake is another mashup startup from from Korea. The motto is: user generated music. Just like docstoc, they are the YouTube of MUSIC. The service aims to make music creating very simple. Their example was a music created by a 9 year old in 5 mins, which was selected the number 1 user generated music in Korea's biggest social network: cyworld.
MusicShake takes 100% ownership of IP, has 170K music patterns (1M to come). They claim they have a real business model as well - end users can make money just by selling their music for a few bucks.
The attendants in the Palace Hotel really liked MusicShake, so it was a successful presentation.
The idea behind 8020publishing is: "web is killing printed magazines? No, the web can make it better". For them, magazines are good for inspiration and the web is good for planning. So they've made a hybrid and created a hypermedia - using the best of media and web. Their success story is JPG Magazine, in which over 100,000 people helped create each issue. Today they announced a new product: everywhere - which focuses on travel.
In 8020, content is created by the people. But the editorial proces is traditional.
It's a real business model, and on the web side of it, there are significant social network elements like profiles and comments.
Jason Calacanis' concern was that in traditional press, publishing and distribution are the biggest costs. So what's the advantage of this? The 8020 people replied: "it's not about cost but quality - being a part of a community" - which sounds very logical to me.
Edited by Richard MacManus