kung fu grippe

  1. "That’s where ‘Tumbalog’ comes in."

    On February 12, 2007, I pitched my pal, Nelson Minar, on an idea for a web service we could build that would make it easy for people to setup their own mini-site where they could post random bits of text, photos, etc.

    In retrospect, I realize that it probably never would have gotten much traction with casual users, but, hey, who knows?

    Maybe someday, amirite?


    STIKKIT STARTS HERE Tumbalog scratch sheet

    @tumbalog tumblelog businessideas nelsonminar share nelson@redacted.org

    Elevator Pitch

    Easy hosted tumblelog + [twitter and other API mashups] == MySpace for smart, wired grownups

    The Basic Idea

    Today, we don’t want for ways to share our stuff with friends (and the rest of the world). Sites like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Twitter, and Blogger have made it easy to broadcast what we’re seeing, reading, doing and thinking with anyone who has a web browser. So finding places to post our stuff isn’t a problem.

    But — although geeky tools for aggregating feeds and calling APIs certainly exist — so far no one’s made it easy and fun to combine all your disparate threads of personal content in one cool-looking place. That’s where Tumbalog comes in.

    How it Works

    Once you’ve created a Tumbalog account, you tell us where all your stuff lives on the web, and we mash it into a single, you-branded home page at your own personal URL. Updates on all your sites and services are added automatically, plus you can add new stuff directly to your Tumbalog using any of several easy entry points:

    • Add a new blog post from a secure web login
    • Send photos or status updates from your mobile phone
    • Post snippets of pages, song lyrics, or quotations into your page using a javascript bookmarklet

    Add your pals’ Tumbalogs to your “friends” list, and keep up with what they’re up to from one big page.

    Tumbalog gives you a single URL to show friends everything that’s going on in your world.

    Feature Details

    • Your existing web content: We pull in all your stuff from Twitter, Flickr, Del.icio.us, and any other site that uses APIs or produces XML feeds. You can also choose to just pull in content tagged a certain way. It’s all up to you.
    • Your look: Choose from N provided skins and color options, or skin your site using an external CSS file
    • Your controls: Control panel lets your choose categories, organize tags, tweak settings, and manage friends
    • Your posting options: CP posting; smart javascript bookmarklet; mobile phone, email, IM
    • Your site to-go: Drop a few lines of javascript into your non-Tumbalog site’s templates or MySpace/Facebook page to publish your latest Tumbles wherever you want

    Possible Roadmap

    (very rough strawman ideas)

    • Basic backend for adding feeds
    • Blog-like posting functionality
    • Tags and Categories
    • Multiple skins
    • Outbound XML feeds
    • Tumbalog API
    • ???




    Ten days later, I emailed Nelson this:

    Like I say, who knows? Maybe it ended up catching on.

    I dunno. I don’t really follow the trades.