Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Divmod's New Product: Blendix

In several previous blog posts, private email conversations with some of you, and Facebook conversations with others, I have referenced Divmod's new product. We quietly released our first beta on November 9th and are currently about 85% through the second beta (to be released some time in the next couple of weeks). I'm blogging about it now because I just can't wait any longer :-) And we've been getting some really great feedback from users.

"But what is this mystery product?" you ask. Say no more! I am talking about Blendix. As the front page says, this first incarnation of Blendix is primarily a tool for consolidating web properties into a single URL, for your convenience and that of your friends/family. A striking example of this is my page on Blendix: https://blendix.com/users/oubiwann/. As you can see from the "Now Blending" panel, you'd have to visit 14 URLs at 10 different sites to see this same content. By checking me out on blendix.com instead, you are not only saving yourself the time and trouble, but you're getting a more complete picture of what I've been up to.

"Um, yeah... looks like an RSS reader to me..." True, there are a lot of similarities. But there's another twist: you can add your friends, too. Even the ones that don't want to create an account on Blendix :-) I'd say that it's a safe bet most of us have friends who publish some sort of content online but who also can't be bothered to join yet another social networking or similarly service-oriented site. With Blendix, that's not a problem -- you don't have to wait on anyone :-) You simply add them to your contacts where you can provide feeds, email addresses, and user names. Then, their public content (i.e., "feeds") will be displayed at a unique Blendix URL.

Right now, anything that provides an RSS feed can be added to your profile (and your contacts' profiles). Additionally, we're getting custom content from such sources as Amazon wishlists, last.fm playlists, weather, Google maps, and Flickr images... with lots more planned :-)

I wanted to write about Blendix here (on my blog) before we made any official press releases because you guys -- the members of the python community -- are our "home town" :-) We want you to get "first dibs" (as it were) and we wanted you to hear the news from one of your own, not from the cold lips of some news story. We're keeping things small for now, but if you have any interest (or if you use similar features with a related service), please come check us out (oh, and this too), sign up, take an account for a spin, and email us with any problems, questions or suggestions.

The team has been in amazing spirits during this multi-month push, working really hard, and adding new features left and right. We've been at it for a while, so competition is growing in this increasingly important user space. We may not be the shiniest or have the most users, but it is consistently apparent that our product is addressing needs and features that others seem to be skipping. Our development process may have taken longer than others due to the infrastructure we decided was essential to build, but this has given us an edge over other shops with similar plans.

And boy, do we have some nice surprises in store for you in the months to come :-)

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2 comments:

  1. 'Your browser is not supported by Mantissa.' (Using latest Safari)

    It would be wise to take a lesson from Yahoo and provide support to their list of A-Grade browsers.

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  2. gaspode,

    We don't currently support Safari or IE, but this is not a business decision :-) We *want* to support them (Safari is next on our list), but it's not going to happen for beta 2 (anticipated to ship in about two weeks). We expect to have Safari support for our 1.0 release, but during the current set of releases we've been focusing on app features, hoping that our audience will forgive us for FireFox-only support :-) Do know, however, that as a Mac OS X + Safari user, I've felt the frustration you mention and look forward to being able to use it with Blendix.

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