WebInno X Preview

WebInno is turning 10. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment and Dave Beisel deserves a ton of thanks for creating not just an event that has grown and thrived over the past decade but a community that has done the same. The companies that have appeared at the event over the years are truly impressive. Dropbox, Reddit, RunKeeper, CustomMade, Localytics and Fiksu are just a few of the companies for which WebInno was a step on the path to success.

I’ve been attending for eight years or so and have only missed a handful of events in that time. The big 10th Anniversary WebInno is happening tomorrow and I sure won’t be missing it.

Here are the companies that will be on hand for tomorrow’s event:

Main Dishes

Crayon – Get awesome marketing ideas. Free. – Crayon bills itself as “the most comprehensive marketing design search engine on the web.” I can’t say how many other marketing design search engines are out there but I can say Crayon has a ton of stuff in it. When you fire up the site for the first time you’ll be asked to sign in or sign up. Once you log in you’ll be greeted by a vaguely Pinterestesque experience that allows you to search, save and share literally millions of design ideas. Pretty cool.

Cymbal – music discovery powered by friends, not algorithms – Music is a big part of my life. I listen to a ton of music and play fiddle and sing in Waiting for Neil. I’m lucky because I get exposed to new music all the time – but it’s no accident. Finding new music and sharing it with friends is something I love doing. Sadly, because I’m not an iOS user I can’t test out Cymbal and the site is pretty light on details. I’ll have to wait to hear what they have to say when they demo.

Trumpit – Real time photo sharing – From iOS only to Android only we have Trumpit, a messaging app based around sharing photos. I love taking and sharing photos but boy are there a lot of options. My phone has more camera and photo apps than you can shake a stick at. I’m constantly trying to winnow down what I have to a usable core. (At the moment, that is Google Camera and Photos – got to love the free unlimited storage.)

Trumpit does have a nice feature – the photos you share with friends appear on their lock screens. This means they are for sure going to see it. I signed up and got a test photo sent to my phone. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly pop up for me as I have another lock screen app installed.

Side Dishes

Spot – Spot seems pretty cool. If you have a parking spot – a real spot that you actually own – you can rent it out to people looking to park. If you need a spot you can search and pay for one with the Spot app. There have been other apps that provide a similar service but a few of them have made it possible for people to hold and rent out public spaces (kind of a no-no). These guys are doing it right and can hopefully ease the headaches of finding parking in congested neighborhoods. Good luck!

LucyBot – APIs should be easy – those are words you don’t usually think of in the same sentence. I know that there’s a big push for more people to learn to code – and that’s a good thing. How many of the mass of coder bootcamp participants are going to take the API plunge is another story. To the extent that people do, LucyBot does seem to make sense. The site includes a gallery of APIs (including, coincidentally, Random Users, which features a bunch of my 1000faces images) and a way for you to add your own API to the site.

One bone I have to pick with the site – and this is only because I unexpectedly found some of my own images made available through it – is the fact that it doesn’t preserve or present the copyright associated with the content. My images, for example, are offered under Creative Commons attribution/non-commercial/share alike. As LucyBot is set up someone using the Random User API would be unaware of this and could easily fall afoul of my pretty easy copyright requirements. Hopefully the team will address this concern.

opportunitySPACE –  – A new marketplace for under-valued land and buildings – this appears to be a neat little site for matching those with “real estate liabilities” with those looking for “undervalued real estate.” Much of the focus seems to be on helping governments offload land or properties. I tried to check it out but it turns out there were no properties in Boston (one of the geographies included on the site).

There were other properties available in other cities though, but I’ll be honest, I am totally not the market for this site. One of the properties listed is the space under the Route 95/Braga Bridge in Fall River. It’s an infra-space program. The fact that would have to find out what an infra-space program is probably means I’m not going to be doing one any time soon. If you do know what that means then the State of Massachusetts might have (the space under) a bridge to sell you. 

JustReachOut – Find journalists. Prefect your pitch. Reach out and get press. – Maybe it’s because I’m a PR person, but I don’t really get this site. When I want to find out which reporters have written about a topic I use this free tool – Google – that does a pretty nice job. JRO offers more than a way to find reporters though; it also provides a way to reach out to them from the site. That’s cool. I’d be curious to hear how effect this approach is.

Fastcloud –  – Build and Manage Enterprise Applications in the Cloud – this reminded me a little of LucyBot – but writ large. You can build apps wicked fast, work with team members easily and have what you build run on any device. It also integrates a ton of popular sources like Salesforce, GitHub, Amazon Web Services and more. Since I’m neither an enterprise nor a cloud developer it’s tough for me to judge what Fastcloud is all about but it seems cool.

Spatterit – Leave your mark. Not your profile. – Describing itself as a “virtual billboard” Spatter lets you post and comment on the things happening around you in the real world. I installed the app and had a look at the ways people were using it. I see that there was a 5K race in the Newton Highlands on 6/14, a Free Brady Pub Run on 5/24 and a lot of posts on Newton Educators. Personally, I could find little rhyme or reason to the posts and many were promoting things long in the past. The idea of locally-based content is a good one but I found the Spatter approach confusing and not particularly engaging.

Realtime Brackets – Update your bracket all tourney – I’ve never been a big March Madness guy but I know a ton of people who are. RTB promises to help follow the tournament by keeping the brackets live and updated in real time. OK. I guess that’s cool. 

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