Will Flowgram Do to Webmasters What Word Processing Did to Typographers?


Well, now that I have your attention, Webmasters and marketers everywhere, let me talk to you about Flowgram. Flowgram is both a company and a Web site that lets amateurs like myself quickly put together multimedia Web presentations that I think will be excellent for one-off market research presentation I need to do for my small business. But there are hundreds of other applications I can think of in enterprises large and small.


And rather than putting Webmasters out of business, it is going to make their lives easier by getting a lot of nitpicking requests out of their inboxes.


Rather than me telling you about it in words, here is a short example; a picture worth a thousand words and that sort of stuff. Just hit "launch interactive flowgram" when the flowgram.com Web site comes up and I'll start talking. (Make sure you have pop-ups enabled.)


Warning: This is an amateurish use of the Flowgram capability put together by me in about 30 minutes. The voice transitions can be done much more smoothly. The example illustrates how you can link to Web content, link to other flowgrams, use Office, Staroffice, Notes or other files as input to the flowgram, and post up all kinds of multimedia information quickly. As the flowgram takes you off to other content, just pause my flowgram and come back to it when you will (or not!)


The example does not show the collaboration capabilities, which in the end might be the more important usage, in my opinion. But I discuss some of the possibilities for the enterprise in this technology in my last slide (giving you reason to make it to the end).


Flowgram was founded by Abhay Parekh, who is an adjunct professor at Berkeley and who also founded FastForward Networks back in the '90s. FastForward developed products to enable the large-scale distribution of broadcast video on the Internet. The company was sold to Inktomi for $1.3 billion in 2000, and its technology and products formed the basis of Inktomi's content networking offerings. Corporate investors in Fastforward included America Online, Enron, Inktomi, RealNetworks and Sun Microsystems.


Flowgram is privately held, and has early-stage investments from Reid Hoffman (PayPal, LinkedIn), Josh Kopelman (Firstround Capital, Half.com), Kevin Lynch (CTO of Adobe), the founders of Flickr, Bud Colligan (founding CEO of Macromedia), Rajeev Motwani (Stanford) Joi Ito (creative commons), and members of the founding team of WebEx and Tibco Software.


In other words, a bunch of guys with a pretty good track record.


Try it. It's in beta now.