Archive for 2008

27Nov

iamsaintnick.com Powered By Twilio

By Chris in Launched with 7 Comments

iamsaintnick

I got a great email today from Andres Krogh giving us a heads up about his new site called iamsaintnick.com which allows relatives to find out what their loved ones want for Christmas.

His elevator pitch goes as follows: “Folks can go to the site, punch in a phone number, and have Santa go call that person to covertly get gift ideas.  The call happens live on the site, and the call is recorded for the user to hear after the Santa recon is complete.”

Iamsaintnick was developed by Matt Steckler, a developer who recently lost his job at a tech startup two months ago, and designed by Andres Krogh. The telephony is powered by Twilio which was launched a only a few days ago see our review here.

What is truly impressive is that a few days after the launch of Twilio, Matt and Andres designed, spec’d, and built iamsaintnick from the ground up in the 4 days since their public launch…Well done guys :)

The only issue we could find was that they don’t yet announce that the call is recorded, which is a requirement in some States, and is especially important when dealing with children. But it sounds like this will be added soon. Edit: There is now a mention at the beginning of the phone call that says “this call is being recorded” to try and make it extra clear.

Check it out at iamsaintnick.com, its a great little seasonal project which has lots of potential (voice recognition product suggestions maybe?) which should give you some ideas of how you can leverage the recently launched Twilio in your own applications.

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26Nov

Twilio – The GrandCentral Killer?

By Chris in First Look, Launched with 2 Comments

Twilio launched in private beta last week (and is now available for all), and is promising to bring some radical changes to web telephony services by enabling web developers through its simple REST API, and a simple pay as you go billing philosophy.

Thanks to Twilio you no longer have to deal with complex infrastructures, telecom programming languages, and stacks of PBX software to implement inbound and outbound phone applications.

Twilio’s CEO Jeff Lawson says that while many other web telephony services already exist (like Asterisk, an open source project), these technologies tend to be very complex and difficult to use, even for experienced developers. Lawson says that Twilio is looking to commoditize these phone services by making them much more accessible to developers, by introducing a set of very intuitive commands.

The Twilio REST API primarily consists of 5 commonly used phone actions:

  • Say
  • Play
  • Record
  • Dial
  • Gather a phone number

Thanks to these, its very easy to replicate some of GrandCentral’s core functionality in only around 15 lines of code!

Twilio is adopting the cloud service model, where no contracts are required and where you are charged flat fees for calls depending on the number of minutes used and the number of phone numbers needed.

We really like Twilio, as it has comoditized what used to be a dark art which usually involved a lot of hardware, software and lines of complex code to achieve. Plus its a perfect example of a really attractive startup prime for an aquisition, featuring a great idea, great packaging, a talented team, and some great team experience (CEO Jeff Lawson was a Product Manager for AWS).

Check it out at Twilio.com

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24Nov

EnTrip – Share Your Trip Itinerary

By Chris in Startups with 1 Comment

entrip travel startup

I stumbled onto Entrip.com a while ago, but checked it out again recently as I’m planning my winter trips to Cuba and Thailand. I must say, the site looks much nicer aesthetically, and I see the guys behind it have been busy improving the functionality.

For those of you which have not tried EnTrip yet, its an online app where you can arrange your trip, and map it out using an easy map-based interface. You can then add photos, videos, and blogs to each location to document your trip for family and friends.

What I really like about the site is that you can add notes to pictures and videos, which you might have later lost track of. Plus its great to check out other peoples trips, as you can frequently get some awesome tips and ideas you wouldn’t find in a travel guide.

entrip travel startup demo

Whichever experience days or trips get you excited, you are sure to find travellers like you to help you plan your next trip, or give you some ideas to get you started.

Check out EnTrip.com today.

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23Nov

Trustpilot.co.uk – Sorting The Good Companies From The Bad

trustpilot uk startup

As internet users become more and more cautious of where they spend their cash in light of the economic downturn, the bigger the impact of website and product review websites in the purchase process. Who will you trust Dell, or some smaller firm selling desktop PC’s online?

Well we’ve had a look at Trustpilot, and this decision might become a whole lot easier. This innovative UK startup have launched a reputation monitoring service based on user comments and reviews, which are then presented to users through their website and their browser app which overlays a trust rating on top of Google results.

Checking out user reviews for a website becomes as easy as reading the colour of an icon that changes from red to green will give you an indication of how trustworthy a given company is, and by placing your pointer over that icon where additional information is displayed.

trustpilot in action

The information provided includes the percentage of approval the company has, the actual number of reviews as well as a “TrustScore”

Check it out at Trustpilot.co.uk.

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23Nov

Stalk Twitter users Anonymously – TweetStalk now in private Beta

By Chris in Launched with 0 Comments

tweetstalk twitter stalker

Twitter is great but following someone leads to them receiving an email notification that a potential “stalker” is following them…Damn, the plan is foiled you think! Well don’t worry TweetStalk is here and it allows you to “follow” Twitter users without them knowing you are doing it. Normally Twitter will tell you when someone new has subscribed to your feed, but because this uses a Firefox Add-On and appears to modify the Twitter page itself via Greasemonkey you are then able to follow the person without them knowing.

On top of that, theres a neat RSS feed available too!

tweetstalk in action

Looking at their tracking, it looks like Nashville, TN based Sitening are behind the service. For the record Sitening are a technology focused web design and search marketing company which have previously released the sweet Snipplr and Raven SEO Tools.

Click here to check out TweetStalk today.

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