Demo of the Year 2007: Zude

If you search Google for “Demo of the Year” you’ll find my writeup of Microsoft’s Photosynth.

But last week I got the demo of the year that I’ve seen since then. Zude is a new way to create Web experiences. I can’t really call them pages anymore. Anyway, this is a long one — this demo is so cool that we went an entire hour. Rocky also edited down a “Editor’s Choice” which is a lot shorter (only eight minutes).

Zude has some of the coolest JavaScript I’ve ever seen. Anyone have something cooler?

Oh, and this proves that you can take an hour to do a demo and still engage me.

UPDATE: I just asked Rocky and he agrees that this is the coolest commercial thing he’s seen come through my show.

Zude is really aimed at killing MySpace but I love how you can build Web pages, er, experiences.

41 thoughts on “Demo of the Year 2007: Zude

  1. Just created my first Zude space and LOVE ZUDE!!!
    Thanks for the interview Robert.
    As always I am learning a lot of new and innovative stuff from your web site.

  2. Just created my first Zude space and LOVE ZUDE!!!
    Thanks for the interview Robert.
    As always I am learning a lot of new and innovative stuff from your web site.

  3. Hanford: I already have a better player experience. Visit http://www.scobleshow.com and click on the video you want to watch. Then download one of the videos and use your favorite player.

    Oh, and what OS and browser are you on? I can drag around into the part of the video I want on Firefox with the latest Flash player on a Mac (works on Windows too).

  4. Hanford: I already have a better player experience. Visit http://www.scobleshow.com and click on the video you want to watch. Then download one of the videos and use your favorite player.

    Oh, and what OS and browser are you on? I can drag around into the part of the video I want on Firefox with the latest Flash player on a Mac (works on Windows too).

  5. Robert,

    I want SO BADLY to watch this demo, but your player UI is killing me. First, you ramble for a few minutes instead of starting at the demo point. I *try* to drag the little handle at the bottom of the player to get into the meat of the demo, but the handle snaps back.

    So once the demo actually under way, I tried to enlarge the window … I clicked the “pop up” button, and it stopped. Dead. When I went to replay it, it started from the very beginning again, and again there was no way for me to jump forward a bit.

    Please get a better player experience, especially if you’re going to be posting hour-long videos. I feel like I need to not touch my PC while this plays for fear of losing my place in your video, and end up getting stuck at the beginning again

  6. Robert,

    I want SO BADLY to watch this demo, but your player UI is killing me. First, you ramble for a few minutes instead of starting at the demo point. I *try* to drag the little handle at the bottom of the player to get into the meat of the demo, but the handle snaps back.

    So once the demo actually under way, I tried to enlarge the window … I clicked the “pop up” button, and it stopped. Dead. When I went to replay it, it started from the very beginning again, and again there was no way for me to jump forward a bit.

    Please get a better player experience, especially if you’re going to be posting hour-long videos. I feel like I need to not touch my PC while this plays for fear of losing my place in your video, and end up getting stuck at the beginning again

  7. I created a “site” on Zude and I noticed a few things:
    I got a Javascript error once (don’t remember where)
    The back and forward buttons on the browser don’t work.

    Dragging from the file system seems to work nicely but I can seem to drag stuff from another web page. If I do that it just creates a button/link to the URL of the page. Nice, but not what I’d think. I tried right-clicking on an image at another site, copying it, and then pasting it onto my new Zude site… that didn’t work either.

    The clipart selection seems rather limited.

    It’s got some potential but I think its got aways to go.

  8. I created a “site” on Zude and I noticed a few things:
    I got a Javascript error once (don’t remember where)
    The back and forward buttons on the browser don’t work.

    Dragging from the file system seems to work nicely but I can seem to drag stuff from another web page. If I do that it just creates a button/link to the URL of the page. Nice, but not what I’d think. I tried right-clicking on an image at another site, copying it, and then pasting it onto my new Zude site… that didn’t work either.

    The clipart selection seems rather limited.

    It’s got some potential but I think its got aways to go.

  9. Dawn,
    As a creator and owner of copyrighted material, how would you feel about a service that tracked, controlled and monetized the use of your objects? Is this something you would view as positive?

  10. Dawn,
    As a creator and owner of copyrighted material, how would you feel about a service that tracked, controlled and monetized the use of your objects? Is this something you would view as positive?

  11. Ha! Tough crowd. :)

    I think the drag and drop aspect is really cool, but as a content creator, I’m a lot more concerned about the copyright implications than they seem to be. Tracking where it comes from isn’t good enough, IMO. How many people are even going to bother looking at that? That’s like saying you can print a Harry Potter book as long as you name in the fine print who you stole the original from.

  12. Ha! Tough crowd. :)

    I think the drag and drop aspect is really cool, but as a content creator, I’m a lot more concerned about the copyright implications than they seem to be. Tracking where it comes from isn’t good enough, IMO. How many people are even going to bother looking at that? That’s like saying you can print a Harry Potter book as long as you name in the fine print who you stole the original from.

  13. Just watched the highlights and I don’t see what’s so amazing about it. Another “social media” site that allows people to create pages without “programming”. BFD, not exactly unique.

    Comment by Ben — October 10, 2007 @ 9:21

    Ben,

    I’m sorry we did not get the main point across. What is unique about Zude is the way in which pages can be created and how those pages can be connected together. Zude allows you to drag content from other browsers onto a Zude page. When it is received by Zude we place it in a container that you control. The container allows you to edit the appearance, behavior and actions of the object. Try it, pull up a separate browser and search Google for images. Drag the thumbnail picture of the image onto your Zude page and drop it. Once it is there you can resize it, move it, turn borders on or off or make it click to another page. All of this is done without programming. If you hold ctrl when you drop an image it will become your background.

    It seems simple but these simple tools can help people build incredibly rich pages holding maps, videos, blogs, you name it. So we don’t really see Zude as a Social Network per se. Rather we see it as the logical evolution of Social Computing. Zude allows you to aggregate all of you web stuff into one place where you can access it easily and share it with others. This means your Myspace, Linkedin, Flickr and bebo can all sit on the same page. Likewise all of your favorite Blogs and RSS feeds can be on a page you call News.

    When users start posting material that is important or relevant to others they can tag it for search or contribute it into a Craigslist like directory. It may not be for everyone but for people who use the web to do research, work, play or communicate it can be a very useful and engaging tool. It’s a lot more than we can convey in a short demo. I hope you will give it a try.

    Jim McNiel

    CEO 5g/Zude

  14. Just watched the highlights and I don’t see what’s so amazing about it. Another “social media” site that allows people to create pages without “programming”. BFD, not exactly unique.

    Comment by Ben — October 10, 2007 @ 9:21

    Ben,

    I’m sorry we did not get the main point across. What is unique about Zude is the way in which pages can be created and how those pages can be connected together. Zude allows you to drag content from other browsers onto a Zude page. When it is received by Zude we place it in a container that you control. The container allows you to edit the appearance, behavior and actions of the object. Try it, pull up a separate browser and search Google for images. Drag the thumbnail picture of the image onto your Zude page and drop it. Once it is there you can resize it, move it, turn borders on or off or make it click to another page. All of this is done without programming. If you hold ctrl when you drop an image it will become your background.

    It seems simple but these simple tools can help people build incredibly rich pages holding maps, videos, blogs, you name it. So we don’t really see Zude as a Social Network per se. Rather we see it as the logical evolution of Social Computing. Zude allows you to aggregate all of you web stuff into one place where you can access it easily and share it with others. This means your Myspace, Linkedin, Flickr and bebo can all sit on the same page. Likewise all of your favorite Blogs and RSS feeds can be on a page you call News.

    When users start posting material that is important or relevant to others they can tag it for search or contribute it into a Craigslist like directory. It may not be for everyone but for people who use the web to do research, work, play or communicate it can be a very useful and engaging tool. It’s a lot more than we can convey in a short demo. I hope you will give it a try.

    Jim McNiel

    CEO 5g/Zude

  15. ++Ben’s comment. Oh sure it can be done, but are you sure all those kids out there are going to spend the time creating pages like this when they can do worse already on myspace? Moreover moving friends over from one network to another is a real pain, you say that yourself… Is this more compelling than F8?

  16. ++Ben’s comment. Oh sure it can be done, but are you sure all those kids out there are going to spend the time creating pages like this when they can do worse already on myspace? Moreover moving friends over from one network to another is a real pain, you say that yourself… Is this more compelling than F8?

  17. Just last night I saw something with similar, although more techy-targeted… XWiki. (http://www.xwiki.org) (I have yet to put my notes from the meetup on my blog… But I’ll post when I do…)

    Along with a lot of drag-and-drop JavaScript stuff, it has opened it’s whole API so that you can build on top of their stuff, even at the database and reference object levels.

    It an open-source product (backed by XWiki.com who sells support/development for the platform) that seems to be more aimed at the enterprise market rather than the ‘social media’ market, but after watching the 8-minute version of the video, that’s what I was hearkening back to…

    - Nelz

  18. Just last night I saw something with similar, although more techy-targeted… XWiki. (http://www.xwiki.org) (I have yet to put my notes from the meetup on my blog… But I’ll post when I do…)

    Along with a lot of drag-and-drop JavaScript stuff, it has opened it’s whole API so that you can build on top of their stuff, even at the database and reference object levels.

    It an open-source product (backed by XWiki.com who sells support/development for the platform) that seems to be more aimed at the enterprise market rather than the ‘social media’ market, but after watching the 8-minute version of the video, that’s what I was hearkening back to…

    - Nelz

  19. As cool as this stuff is, what happens when someone builds a similar product on Silverlight or AIR? It seems like they’re knocking themselves out to engineer something that would be both easier to develop and more powerful for users if the platform wasn’t only a native browser.

  20. As cool as this stuff is, what happens when someone builds a similar product on Silverlight or AIR? It seems like they’re knocking themselves out to engineer something that would be both easier to develop and more powerful for users if the platform wasn’t only a native browser.

  21. Just watched the highlights and I don’t see whats so amazing about it. Another “social media” site that allows people to create pages without “programming”. BFD, not exactly unique.

  22. Just watched the highlights and I don’t see whats so amazing about it. Another “social media” site that allows people to create pages without “programming”. BFD, not exactly unique.

  23. Will give it a shot – first impression of the main splash page – why the nice looking girls in the picture to create an account? Are they looking to attract a certain audience (i.e. young males)?
    :-)

  24. Will give it a shot – first impression of the main splash page – why the nice looking girls in the picture to create an account? Are they looking to attract a certain audience (i.e. young males)?
    :-)

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