This session was a bottom-up media, user-generated content (pick your semantic) wonderland. Here are some of the technologies shown at DEMO 2006 for the creation, management, publishing, and consumption of digital media:
Getting photos off of your phone is an automated process with Vizrea Snap. This photo-sharing service automatically processes cameraphone photos into a location accessible from desktops, browsers, and phones. This is a very neat feature, but the company may need more to differentiate from Flickr.
Speaking of Flickr: Yahoo! spent some time on the DEMO stage talking about the changes it wants to make with Yahoo! Photos. The company is looking to build on Flickr's success, and bring tagging to a mass consumer audience. No surprises there.
There were a couple of companies at DEMO that introduced personal publishing solutions. Smilebox provides customizable templates for individuals to create professionally produced scrapbooks. Blurb has a twist on this concept, with templates not only for scrapbooking, but also for professional bloggers or other writers looking for a vanity press.
Vivid Sky introduced a product for sports fans. SkyBOX has a mobile service for sports venues. You can pick up their handheld, or use the service on your PDA. The demo showed directions to your seats, the ability to order a beer and have it delivered to your seat (a personal reason to love SBC Park), field positions for balls and players, and instant replay on demand. The instant replay accesses video from any camera in the stadium, so you can get a good view even from the nosebleeds. My father-in-law would love this at a Giants game.
NewsGator had a very energetic demo. They showed a platform for building private label news readers. (This competes with Pluck.) The company announced that as of today, the San Francisco Chronicle is the first online news site to launch an online reader using the service.
SimpleFeed is trying to make RSS feeds less intimidating. Instead of giving subscribers a wad of XML, content providers can provide a unique URL to each subscriber. This can be secured - when the subscriber adds the URL into a news reader, he or she is asked for a username and password. Customers include Intuit, Book-of-the-Month Club, and the like.