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Summary:

This past week I had a chance to visit with Max Levchin, the co-founder and former chief technology officer of PayPal, at the new offices of his latest start-up, photo sharing service Slide. Unlike Flickr or other photo services like C/Net’s WebShots, Slide requires a software […]

This past week I had a chance to visit with Max Levchin, the co-founder and former chief technology officer of PayPal, at the new offices of his latest start-up, photo sharing service Slide. Unlike Flickr or other photo services like C/Net’s WebShots, Slide requires a software download. The company makes a piece of downloadable software that indexes all photographs on your hard drive, and then allows you to share them with groups of friends and family. The shared photos slide across the screen like a live ticker on the desktops of the group members who have also downloaded the software.

So far there has been a little buzz on the company because for one simple reason – many of the bloggers are Mac users. I have argued in the past that a start-up short on cash to spend on PR efforts should try going the Mac route first, because it brings in early adopters and influencers. (John Dvorak would disagree and call the influencers biased… but then…) The Gizmo Project is a perfect example. Of their 250,000 users nearly 1/3rd are Mac users. Imeem is working on a Mac client as well.

Coming back to Slide… I did get to see an alpha version of the service for Mac, and it works nicely… much like its Windows brethren. The client will go in private beta next week, and hopefully be public within days, Levchin says. Why? Because the company has an internal policy – CEO uses the “platform” with maximum number of users, and Levchin is missing his Powerbook. Of course, we could collectively torture him and download the WinXP version. (Check out the Mac screen shot below the fold.)

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  1. The missing social software for sharing photos. I have looked at slide on the web site (I’m a mac user). The site is btw awfully slow, but I digress.

    The real social software would be something which is P2P.
    * A cataloger for your photos on your computer (not on the Web)
    * A possibility to have an ichat discussion about one or a set of photos with a “friend” or colleague.
    * A possibility to have ACLs by photo. This photo X shared with Tom and Julie, This photo Z shared with Julie and Robert. etc.
    * A possibility to add comments on photos and tags ***with ACLs***. So not only the photo is shared under ACLs on my computer, but the comment that someone else will make on it can be set shared to all, or this selected group of Friends. So the comments are not necessary viewed by everyone.
    * A possibility to share the photos online as an option, not as a requirement.
    * When you share the photos with someone else (Let’s say Julie), the P2P app of Julie is having a copy of the thumbnails of your photos that you have shared, and maybe different size, if you let that happen. So when you are not online, Julie can still have copies of the comments, and the discussions of the photos with the photos. She can even make additional comments that will be synchronized when you come back online.

    That would be a real social software.
    And that would have value for business. For example a photographer could discuss with a client about photos, and have an integrated paypal system in the P2P app. So after discussion and comments the client could buy the image.

    like thing where I can share a photo wit

  2. Karl is right on here – a P2P photo sharing app sounds great. The “web as a platform” makes everyone think of web-apps as the holy grail, but there are some things that P2P is really good for. You want to build this Karl?

  3. This is hysterical, and a conversation I have had before with people.

    I’m printing this puppy out to save.

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