Way back in mid-2007 there was a tremendous buzz when a video appeared on YouTube demonstrating a news feed aggregator and sharing service called Streamy. People begged for invites and the blogosphere went a little crazy writing about it.
Fast-forward two years. What was hailed at its inception as revolutionary, and a potential Digg-killer, is finally opening up in public beta today.
A lot has changed in two years, though. Sharing and commenting functionality around news feeds has become commonplace in other applications like Google Reader and FriendFeed. We’re already sharing our status on Twitter or Facebook, and most folks have made considerable time investments into crafting and customizing their own feed-reading experience.
Even the Streamy I’ve been using differs greatly from the original demo video. The overall concept is the same, but there are definitely some functions that have changed or are lost.
So is there still room for Streamy?
Perhaps. The user community is the great unknown in the Streamy equation. As a standalone news reader it is functional but the real value, if any, will be added by those who are also using the service.
During my beta experience the user base was small so it was hard to gauge just how this app would be utilized, but if enough folks adopt Streamy and use it to share and distribute content, there may be value there.
For a web worker, the recommendation and group functionality could be a useful way to share and receive information. Because the groups tend to be topic-based, the recommendations should be more targeted than the more general personal sharing on Google Reader, for example. The ability to view who else is subscribed to a particular feed can also help you locate folks with common interests and other sources of information online.
Streamy is a great looking app with a good solid foundation of features and functionality. We’ll have to wait and see if enough users step up and participate, adding the missing piece necessary to make Streamy a really valuable service.
Streamy is set to open up public beta today at 12:30 PST.