NY Tech Meetup Review: OnePager, Framey, Drynks and More
Despite steady rains, last night’s New York Tech Meetup at NYU’s Skirball Center was packed as usual. There were several interesting demos, but three really stood out.
Local startup OnePager seems to be stepping into Squarespace territory with a simple, fast and very affordable way for small businesses to create an online identity. While Squarespace offers an easy system with many professional options and very low prices, it’s not for everyone. The Squarespace setup requires some basic familiarity with web page features and can still be overwhelming for someone who has never tried to build a web page before.
The OnePager advantage is that it’s so, so, so simple that almost anyone can set up a web page without any assistance or confusion. The interface is direct and intuitive, with simple layout options and obvious features. During the demo last night, the founders published a new site in just two minutes.
I was happy to find that I was also able to set up a OnePager identity page in just two minutes. The page includes a newsletter signup, contact info, Twitter link and basic description of services. It may not be fancy or cool after investing just a couple minutes, but I’ve never seen an easier publishing tool.
OnePager is an ideal solution for all of the auto mechanics, nail salons, groceries and many individuals who just need an online presence with contact info, hours of operation and a description of what they offer. With up to 20% of small businesses still in need of web sites, there is plenty of opportunity out there.
Framey Turns the Camera On Visitors
Adding videos to web sites is pretty easy these days. Most online publishers can upload something to Vimeo or Blip and embed it on their site with relative ease. But things get more complicated when it’s time to turn the camera on visitors to your site.
Framey offers an embeddable video capture tool that enables your visitors to record and save videos on your site with almost immediate results. Perfect for user feedback, remote interviews, live event recordings and much more, Framey has excellent potential as a tool for commercial use. Quora and others have proven the value of video exchanges with consumers and fans, and countless companies (including last night’s Task Rabbit — see below) now screen potential employees by remotely recording their answers to interview questions. For companies that can’t afford to set this up themselves, Framey takes on all the heavy lifting on the tech side for very low cost.
And when Twitter’s 140 characters simply aren’t enough, Framey offers frtr (pronounced “fritter”). A simple video capture and sharing tool for Twitter, frtr is somewhat like Twitvid. Simply log in with your Twitter account, click record, post to your tweeps — it’s that simple.
Other Standouts: Drynks, Task Rabbit and Calorie Count
A couple of months ago I was brainstorming with a developer and we considered how completely untapped the Windows mobile market was. It seems that every fresh young developer is creating new apps for the saturated Android and iPhone markets, which means almost any app maker has a chance to dominate the smaller market of WP7 users.
The creators of the Drynks app saw that opportunity and pounced on it. This mobile app for Windows is a simple but very useful tool for wine lovers — and soon for drink lovers of all stripes — to share reviews of their favorites with a simple but fairly complete mobile app. There are more features coming soon and it is good enough that I hope we’ll see it available for my iPhone in the near future.
Task Rabbit has been in the suddenly popular small task market since 2008, matching people who want errands run with people who want a few extra bucks. Based in San Francisco (at NY Tech Meetup?), Task Rabbit also operates in Boston, Chicago, LA and is expanding to several other cities soon. While other cities may still be catching up, New York already has serious competitors with Zaar.ly, Agent Anything, and others.
CalorieCount was honored with the “Hack of the Month” position on stage for the highly innovative creation of a voice capture, translation and reporting system. Users can simply call in to a dedicated phone number, say what they ate for a particular meal and almost immediately see the food, portion and calorie count added to their user page. More than just an incredibly easy way to keep track of diet, this system is an excellent example of third party APIs (Twilio and iSpeech) being combined to complete a valuable task.
New York Tech Meetup takes place on the first Tuesday of every month. For more information, visit http://nytm.org.
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