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Free online feedback service – Kampyle

I got to know Kampyle through some personal relationship and it seems like a great service that is much needed by many web sites/services. They do several things but the basic web feedback service is nicely crafted. I used to work in the past with OpinionLabs, which always seemed to me a bit outdated in terms of design and service and now Kampyle provides a much better alternative.

Dudu

P.S. I am not sure about the origin of the name Kampyle, which is a bit odd, especially for an Israeli startup. After some thinking I came up with the suggestion that it is a name based on the word "compile" but expresses the way it is spelled by Israelis with heavy russian accent. Maybe:)

Turning a page

After a long and deep contemplation on my current internet activities, Aggreg, Strategicboard, King Ping and Trendmapper I decided to shut it off. I really could not find how can I monetize this sites and after long three years of hard work and devotion I decided to turn the page.

Apologies to the users  of these services although not too many still there are few who were loyal during all the bad and good times and I thank you for this.

Anyway, it is the time for something new…

Cheers,

Dudu

UPDATE: Thanks everyone for the warm feelings. Of course I will be around and will soon talk about the new thing I am working on.

UPDATE: King Ping is alive again thanks to Rodney Trotter, the new owner. Check it out and all the best to Rodney!

What does Google Browser means to me?

Google having their own browser is a move I did not anticipate and is actually a brilliant idea in terms of os replacement for other proprietary operating systems, hence microsoft. I think it will actually be very successfull for two reasons:

– being open source

– being powered by a web state of mind (and no one is such as google is)

The fact it is open source I think means a killer for IE since having one propietary browser and one open source (mozilla) is one thing. Having two major players with open source browser and one propietary means the propietary is bad.

As for myself, I think it means a big change in terms of web based application and their bright future to become the dominant development platform for new products and services. I find it hard to rationalize now developing platform specific applications while the ability to cross platform them is so easy.

Anyway, I am very glad on this. As for chrome, I played with that a bit this morning and after a while it stuck my laptop but I guess this is only early stage problems.

Dudu

Long time no blog

Well, I am finaly able to admit that blogging isn't easy as I thought it was when I started this blog. I had dreams of blogging everyday, once upon every interesting thing that happens and apparently I did not. Tried to blame it on lack of time, subjects I did not think were worthy or plain secrecy to hide my grand plans on what I do but these are all just plain and lame excuses. I actually miss blogging, though I was much more active when I did not run Aggreg's activities.

Anyway, after not blogging for a while I understood that blogging is not actually being done for the sake of other people, and that it mainly serves me. This online form of expressing thoughts and ideas has mind refreshing effects even if no one reads them. Then why would not I write a personal diary, well, it is just not the same.

Getting back to blogging, well I am currently in some kind of a crossroad where I contemplate on further investing (and salvaging all "sunk cost"(:) on Aggreg's activities which are highly related to blog indexing and search (strategicboard, king ping) or maybe do something else.

Strategicboard, which has started in my mind as an enterprise competitive analytics tool has evolved quite fast into a small blog search engine, which has been home grown to track and index 2 Million blogs. To Aggreg's activities I have added King Ping, a central blog pinging service and TrendMapper, a search engine trending service. To be honest none of these really took off for many reasons I understand and probably many more I don't.

My general plan for 2008 was to revamp the backend of Aggreg to deal with the whole blogosphere 200M+- blogs and although the plan and infrastructure challenges are solved theoritecally, still I find it hard to really pursue the plans without clear understanding of my direction.

Let's say I already did the upgrade and I have now a nice blog search engine with full coverage on the blogosphere and with all the must have's such as topic classification, spam filtering and other goodies. What can I really do with it that other did not?

Technorati  has these capabilities I am talking about for a long time now and although there are many complaints on the net that they lack cool and effective features that are driven by past existing passion, still I can not pretend to think that I can do a better job. I can find many fault with what they do but I also highly appreciate their position and challenge.

Tailrank being developed by highly admired (I admire him) Kevin Burton has reduced focus from the public blog search engine into an outsourced blogosphere crawler/indexer to be used by other vendors or enterprises (Spinn3r).  Spinn3r is wrapped really nicely for big clients but still I personally do not believe too much in this kind of market and the reduction of focus on Tailrank says to me Kevin does not believe too much in the public service called blog search engine too much either.

Twingly, a new sweden company with the highlight of being spam less blog search engine. I tried it several times but could not get the feeling this was the killer feature blog search engines miss of all. Again, the product is wrapped really nice (much better job then I did:) but still I am not sure users are flooding to their service.

Google Blogsearch, this is the weirdest of all services and is ranked the lowest in the list of blog search engines I appreciate. Although being powered by the dreamy infrastructure Google can provide to web apps and has basically the widest coverage and highest refresh rate on content of all other competitors, still it is just lack of a charecter. Intrnet users can access blogs via their regular search engine (and I guess most of them do without even being aware to the fact they visit blogs) and it seems that instead of adding a small checkbox in the regular search engine to filter results from blog they create some simple user interface. It seems to me no one in Google takes a second glance at their results in the blog search engine and they created it as a funny counter move to the so called industry of blog search engines in their eyes. It is a bit of an insult to people who are really interested to blogs.

Of course there are any others, small and big where aggregators also come into the pictures (where is the boundary between an aggregator and a blog search engine lie?) and these are just several examples I see from the industry.

Getting back to my humble efforts, I can not say seriously that I have found the one/two features that others miss, where I can fix it and become the head of the pack. I am not sure whether it is even a real pack?

To list some of the aspects that are good and bad within specific companies we can see:

  • Topic classification whether structural or semi structural
  • Spam filtering
  • Real blog ranking except for simply counting incoming links or running an artificial pagerank on this portion of the web
  • Rich blogger tools
  • On demand service such as watchlists, I saw many complaint on Technorati's weakness in this area but still we have pubsub and Google Alerts to remember
  • Really fresh content
  • Many widgets?
  • Rich media
  • ….
  • Maybe all?

I guess that is all in terms of my thoughts on the area and I have to say I really love and believe in blogs as a medium that will evolve and I still try to find my way into it.

Changes in Aggreg

Hi All,

We are currently re-architecturing Aggreg infrastructure to address the increasing blogosphere. The site will be down for the whole duration of Augost and we expect to relaunch Strategicboard again on beginning of september. The changes we take include distributed processing and aggregation of content aiming to increase our coverage from 1M blogs to 100M and more. We will still maintain the simplicity of Strategicboard blog search while providing better results.

Thanks for your patience,

Dudu

Happy Birthday Israel

Happy birthday to my beloved country for your 60 birthday. May you live forever.

Israel that was built from the ashes of the german gas chambers just 60 years ago is a miracle by all means. A small group of individuals, hurt and lonely, have come together and started the most successful startup in human history. Coming to a dry and harsh land with nothing but a deep ambition to build a home was not easy. People who have just lost all their roots, family, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers became one to build a warm home for Jewish man and women from all over the world.

I am personally deeply thankful for all the blood, sweat and tears being poured here by all the brave souls to make sure I can live and build a family very conveniently nowadays.

Today, 60 years later, Israel, takes pride of being an excellent place to live in for millions of people. Jews, Muslims and Christian man and women live and prosper together in the Promised Land. I know peace is yet to come and conflicts do exist, things that happen in every good family. I know we are blame of some of it and others have blame too. I know we have poverty, lack of justice and corruption and we have the responsibility to fix this. Still none of this can diminish the big pride I take of being an Israeli.

The founding fathers and mothers are almost no longer with us today and we the young generation has the responsibility to make sure the torch is being passed and the same miracle continues during our time. I have to admit we have an easier job.

Long live Israel!
Dudu

Upgrade in progress

Hi All,

During the next two weeks you will notice slowdowns or lack of service and that is due to a server upgrade we are running. We have enjoyed a surge in traffic and to provide better service we are investing in our infrastructure.

Thanks,

Dudu

2007 Wrap-up in Aggreg

Hi All and Happy Holidays!

2007 was an excellent year for me personally and for Aggreg as well. During 2007 we have reached the following achievements:

– We have launched Aggreg corporate web site
– Strategicboard, our blog search engine, reached a steady 20K daily unique visitors and the trend is going up. Most of our traffic comes from the US and the rest spreads across the globe evenly.

– Strategicboard has received a big infrastructure infusion and now we have more then 20 servers handling indexing and serving user requests. We have gone from 50K to >700K blogs that we cover after eliminating more then a million spam blogs.

– King Ping, our central ping service that we acquired during 2007, has been relaunched and now handles around 10K daily unique and real pings (we verify that there is a real update within pinged blogs before we update our more then 50 search engines on the list). Our automatic blogging feature has been a huge success and we have several hundred thousands of bloggers who opted for the service, where we check once in a while the blogs to see whether there is a change and if we detect one then we go and do the ping automatically.

– TrendMapper, the social search trending service was also acquired during 2007 and I have to say although we had plans to relaunch it this year we didn't succeed to do so yet. We are going through a major change within TrendMapper both in terms of scalability and user experience and we do expect to have the new version up and running until february 2008.

That was all for 2007 and our plans for 2008 include first the relaunch of TrendMapper which holds many cool features behind it and of course the launch of our vertical blog search engines W2Apps, CarsMonitor, GoogMS and Middleastern. Most important for us is providing good quality service to our users and needless to say infrastructure will stay a hot topic for 2008 as well.

Anyway, I would like to thank all our users and supporters and we hope 2008 will be no less interesting then 2007.
Dudu