The top 25 UK web 2.0 start ups
Watch out Silicon Valley - the Brits are coming!
Mobile social networking is the talk of the industry at the mo, mainly because MySpace finally made a big mobile play in Europe, signing an exclusive deal with Vodafone. Cerkle is a mobile startup from a company called Roundpoint, based around much smaller networks of real-life contacts, using mobile to share information and keep in touch. If mobile social networking turns out to be more about such micro-communities, it'll be well placed. Read an interview.
All these people on YouTube, don' they have anything serious to say? Friction.TV is Speakers Corner gone Web 2.0, albeit with (hopefully) less ranting loons. It's a video-sharing service for people's news and views, from professional activists to just normal people with something to get off their chest. And once someone posts a video, the idea is other people respond to it. I love the idea that somebody's trying to be a "snack-sized Newsnight" – in fact, Newsnight should be doing this sort of thing itself really...
Well, I couldn't leave them out! But the interesting thing for me this year will be seeing how Last.fm develops, and in what direction. Is the personalisable radio the focus, or the community around it? The site's been signing some good deals too, with two major labels on board plus The Orchard, which represents thousands of indie labels.
20. (Trusted Places
Like WeHangHere, this is another social networking play around specific locations (pubs, restaurants, museums etc). However, it's more about finding cool places based on people with the same tastes as you, rather than finding cool people based on the venues you already go to. If that makes sense.
Send large files of up to 1GB without installing software on your computer, or just use it for online storage. One of those beautifully simple ideas that once you find it, you'll use constantly. Plus bonus points for having resisted the urge to throw social networking around that ;o)
The first time I heard about Idio, I thought it was just going to be another way to try and shoehorn print mags into a digital format. But it's more interesting than that – you create a profile of your interests, then get an interactive magazine back with articles from all manner of sources, including blogs. Sure, a nicely designed web service could do the same - why does it need to be a magazine - but the notion is still intriguing. I know I overuse that word... Read an interview.
Says it's "a brand new broadcast communication channel", which might translate in some people's minds as "a new way to advertise at you". Perish the thought, obviously. It's a free web toolbar that delivers alerts to consumers from brands, when they've specifically asked for them. It's not just advertising either - you can set it up to ping you share price updates for example. Oh, and Russell Grant's signed up to use it for his horoscopes service. Which I guess is a recommendation...
Self-publishing – being able to serve files, photos, music and videos up from your computer to friends through their web browsers. It launched earlier this month, and was set up by people from the founders of Scoot. An interesting example of how peer-to-peer technology is evolving and becoming more user-friendly.
Social shopping (no, not stopping for a cup of tea before heading into Peacocks). The theory is you find stuff to buy based on how much of a buzz there is around it, as well as signing up trusted users whose opinion you'd seek before buying something new. I really like the idea, and it's another example of a startup coming up with something that could easily be taken on by the big online retailers, if they're smart. ®