Assetbar calls itself the first application built on the company's new Media Participation Platform and has a number of remarkable features already that you'll want to check out if you can get in. (invite code below)Prelaunched social RSS reader
The experienced team of entrepreneurial engineers behind the application says its goal is "to open the platform to other developers around the world so they can create new apps with features that wouldn't be sane with traditional stacks."
In the mean time, the RSS reader has all kinds of social features that are a lot of fun. It offers inline commenting, quick reviews, notification of which of your friends has viewed an item first (if you, you "win!") and a cool bookmarklet for sharing images off-site into your Assetbar stream. So far, it does move pretty fast, though there's a limited number of people using the service so far.
I've been following Assetbar so far via the red hot blogger Louis Gray, whose invite code I'll rip off and repost here (it's "2friendly") in exchange for saying that if you haven't subscribed to Louis's blog yet, you really should.
an official tour of Assetbar - which unfortunately is one of many examples of the team's biggest need, a major User Experience overhaul. Part of the TOS required that I "not cry" about prelaunch limitations of the service, though, so I'll leave it at saying this: I'm not about to use Assetbar in its current state but the concepts here are fascinating.In addition to Gray's close coverage of the app, you can also check out
Scalability is probably the number one issue faced by the exploding world of web apps these days. When you take into account all the data portability by calls to other servers that go on in all the lifestreaming apps and variations thereof, it will be a wonder if web apps work at all in 18 months.
The Assetbar site says the company is made up of folks from a previous enterprise venture called Redline Networks, which was the subject of a large acquisition by Juniper Networks in 2005. Redline was all about application scalability, so it seems the team is now aiming to bring the next level of scalability technology to the consumer market. Again, this social feed reader is just the first app they are building in house - the Assetbar site says look out for the API and contact them if you are interested in getting involved. There's no contact info on the site but founder Israel L'Heureux's email is available via WhoIs.
From the site:
We founded Redline Networks in 2000, where we introduced a single threaded event-driven web server design which provided such low latency and high scale that we productized it as a "next generation load balancer". In addition to load balancing, our product also performed I/O offload, TCP connection management, HTTP Compression, SSL, HTTP security, logging, and more. Our "E|X 3250" product earned the 9.5 out of 10, the highest score among 229 enterprise products reviewed by InfoWorld Magazine's Test Center during 2003.
The site also includes links to five scalability related patents developed by the team and now owned by Jupiter. The point is, these guys are hot stuff. Joining the small crowd waiting in the shadows to slit Twitter's throat is probably somewhere in their minds.
As for the RSS reader, it's cool in its formative stages. Scalability, sharing, time sensitive metadata, super simple reviews and off-site integration with my feed reader are all part of my "dream come true feed reader" vision. Better handling of OPML files, offline access and item storage, standards for exporting my attention data (RSS doesn't count as an export option) and a mobile option are all important to me too, though, and Assetbar doesn't offer any of that. It's worth a good look none the less, so here's some screenshots below of the primary page first and then the off-site asset sharing view after I clicked on the bookmarklet from a Flickr search results page. Enjoy.
My favorite little feature, the offsite asset sharing bookmarklet in action.