UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

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Thoughts on Goowy

Posted by Brian Kelly on 4 Feb 2008

Yes, there’s another integrated Web-based environment for providing access to email. calendar, instant messaging, etc, as well as having a widget environment which provides extensibility. The service is called Goowy.

I have just been notified of this service via a tweet from Techcrunch which has just announced that “AOL Acquires Goowy http://tinyurl.com/2n9dhb” (in this case I find that Twitter does provide a useful alerting service, which has similarities to RSS alerts).

The news here was the acquisition of the service by AOL. The Techcrunch article went on to say “On Monday AOL will announce the acquisition of San Diego-based Goowy, a startup founded in late 2004 and which launched, incidentally, in my living room in late 2006“.

I’d not heard of Goowy, but via a quick look at the online demonstration and reading a Techcrunch article from 2005 I find that Goowy provides a Flash-based interface to popular communication technologies (email and instant mesaging), file store management (1 Gb filestore available for free), games and, well that’s about it. I had to stifle a yawn – and not just because it’s 5 am and, following a recent long-haul flight I am both wide awake and feeling tired.

But is there anything which can be learnt from Goowy? From my point of view I found it interesting that Goowy’s instant messaging capabilities are based on providing an interface to MS Messenger and AOL Messenger. It’s good, I feel, that they haven’t released yet another instant messaging service. But about 4 years ago I must admit that I felt that by now an open solution to instant messaging, based on the Jabber open environment, would be widely deployed. But no, it seems that Jabber is still finding it difficult to break out of its niche ghetto and interoperability is based on companies supporting the major players rather than interoperability through open standards.

And from Googling for information about Goowy I found a Techcrunch company profile which reviewed the company in 2005 and a more recent Crunchbase profile of the company. But the most intriguing company profile was provided by the Web2.0list service. This provides a mashup of user statistics data provided by Alexa.com and compete.com with both graphs showing a decline in numbers from the start of the recording period.

Goowy is not for me, I’ve decided. But the information provided by Crunchbase and Web2.0list can, I feel, be useful in helping to inform decisions on making use of Web 2.0 services.

One Response to “Thoughts on Goowy”

  1. So has the Web 2.0 bubble burst (if ever there was one ;)? I think we see a tension here between concepts on Web 2.0 like ‘user generated content’ and commercial interests which is about persuading the consumer staying loyal to brand. so how do all my friends become Yahoo or Windows Live users without me having to have both accounts – oh yes I know one takes over the other. ;) It does surprise that Jabber has never really taken off the way it deserved but on the other hand the when I think about the commercial interests regarding the control of web based social networks it doesn’t so much.

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