Summify Acquired by Twitter (and Going Bye Bye)

Summify Acquired by Twitter (and Going Bye Bye) | 40Tech

Back in August of last year, we wrote about Summify, a fantastic tool for getting to and sharing the highlights of your social streams and feeds. I’ve used this tool religiously for the past several months and have found it to be incredibly useful, especially with Twitter. Just last week, however, I received an email from the Vancouver-based start-up and discovered that they had become yet another in a long line of services to be snatched up and absorbed by a tech giant — in this case, Twitter. Great for them, but sad for you and me.

The Summify team will be moving to San Francisco, where they will become a part of Twitter’s growth team. Summify the service will be stripped down for the time being, and will eventually shutdown altogether as a standalone product.

Here’s the main list of changes from their announcement:

  • New account registrations have been disabled.
  • Email summaries remain, but only for a few weeks, and then they are gone as well.
  • Users will still receive their summaries via the web app (and the iPhone app, as well, I believe), but will no longer be able to make them public.
  • Profile and influence pages are gone, as is auto-publish.

I’ve also noticed that sharing posts to Twitter from Summify no longer adds credits to the end of the tweet. Previously, the tweet would add in an @mention to a few of those in your network that shared the information with you in the first place, but this is no longer the case, at least from the mobile app.

There is no word yet as to when Summify will shut down completely, or what cool newness might arise in Twitter as a result. Either way, while I’m happy for the people behind the great service, I will really miss Summify as a standalone tool. Hopefully, something truly great comes out of this. In the meantime, we can only hope that Zite — and maybe Flipboard — will pick up the slack by improving how they filter our streams.

Social Media Overload: How Has Your Social Media Usage Changed Since the Release of Google+? [Reader Feedback]

Social media overload

We’re big fans of Google+ here at 40Tech. In fact, if you follow the Twitter accounts of either 40Tech or Bobby Travis, you’ll see that we’re not posting there quite as much as we did in the past. Are we alone in the way Google+ has detracted from our ability to be as active on Twitter? Let us know how your social media usage has changed since Google+ has arrived.

READ MORE

Plume: My Android Twitter App of Choice [App of the Week]

Plume

I have a confession to make. If I follow you on Twitter, there’s a good chance that I don’t see any of your tweets. Twitter got so busy for me, that the only way that I could manage it, was to sort people into lists. I have several lists, but I have one super-special list for the tweets of users that I don’t want to miss. When I’m busy, that’s the only part of Twitter that I ever see. When I try out Twitter apps, therefore, list support is the first thing I check out. That’s why I use Plume . . . but I’m open to suggestions for an app that handles lists even better. If you know of one, let us know in the comments.

READ MORE

How To Bring the Classic Retweet (RT) Back to the New Twitter

The revamp that Twitter rolled out on the Twitter website a few months ago was, by and large, a nice upgrade. The sidebar is now pretty useful, and the whole experience is a bit more streamlined and efficient. One feature that many people don’t like, though, is how the new Twitter handles retweets. The old method of retweeting (the “RT @” method) allowed you to editorialize a bit, if you wanted. Under new Twitter, the retweet button simply rebroadcasts the original tweet, unedited. You no longer have the ability to add any thoughts to the tweet, short of starting a new tweet. Google+, and the way it fosters interaction, has shown us that geeks love discussion and editorial, if the topic is right. If you want to bring back the classic RT to Twitter web, you can. Here’s how.

READ MORE

Summify Cuts Through the Chatter, Helps You Get The Real Goods From Your Social Streams

Summify Cuts through the Chatter, Helps You Get The Real Goods From Your Social Streams | 40Tech

Summify has been acquired by Twitter and will be shutting down. See this post for more detail.

I’d like to take a moment to step away from the general worship and awe of Google+, and circle back (hehe) to our old friend Twitter. Actually, I plan to talk about Summify, and how it can take the often-overwhelming amount of information that is travelling through your Twitter stream at any given time, and sort it into a “highlight reel” that can be shared as a whole and as individual posts. It’s easy, it’s effective, and maybe just a little bit brilliant — and I have no doubt it will save you time and make your online reading much less hectic.

Multiple Accounts

Summify isn’t just about Twitter, either. Sure, it can connect to as many Twitter accounts as you like, but it also connects with Facebook and Google Reader. In fact, the more accounts you add, the better your summary will be.

Control

You get to decide how often you get a summary, how many stories it contains, when it gets delivered to you, how it gets delivered, who gets to look at it, and whether or not it gets published to your accounts. For example: my Summify is set up to deliver a new summary of 10 stories, twice per day (at 8:30am and 8:30pm), to my email inbox. Others can view it, and I automatically publish a link to the summary on my main Twitter and Facebook accounts. I could have allowed Summify to send me a Twitter DM notification as well, but between email and the recently released iPhone app, I’m covered.

summify-1 Summify-2

summify-2a summify-3

When you select a link in Summify (from email or your main summary), the article opens up with a handy toolbar on top (which you can close, if you want) that allows you to share the post on one or all of your connected networks. You can also see the avatars of the people who shared the article with you in the centre of the toolbar, and hover over them to view the originating tweet and click through to their account.

summify-5

If you don’t like the article and think it shouldn’t have been in your summary, you can click the little thumbs-down button to add it to your Filters list. This is a nice and easy way to weed out spammers and other annoying sites that occasionally sneak through. In fact, when you are in the Summify web app, itself, you can thumb an offending article down right then and there, without ever opening it. You can also filter by contributor, allowing you to block specific people from contributing to your summary. All you have to do is hover over one of the avatars below any given article, and then move your mouse over the little “x” that appears in the top right, and click it. This, and the thumbs-down functionality aren’t available in the email, of course, but they are also missing from the iPhone app; something that I hope changes, soon. Thankfully, though, Summify is smart enough that it gets it right about 98% of the time. And the iPhone app is pretty, and so is easily forgiven.

summify-4

People-Friendly Messages

When Summify sends out a summary message it takes great care to do two things: 1) It mentions some of the people who provided you with the information in the first place; which makes for nice Twitter etiquette. 2) It varies the messages so they aren’t always the same boring words with a new link. As an example, take a look below at three recent tweets (not clickable) that Summify sent out on my behalf.

tweet1tweet2tweet3

It should also be noted that mentions are automatically included in share of single posts, as well, and that you can edit the content of single-post shares before posting.

Easy, Good Looking, and Smart

Take the section-title anyway you like, but understand that it’s true, and it’s awesome! The apps (and even the emails) are easy on the eyes and easier to work with, and the service is smart enough to not only consistently deliver articles that you like, but it also will list out several other stories from websites that post multiple posts. This makes sure that you get all the highlights from Mashable and other large sites without having to visit them directly or open up another app.

I’ve been using Summify for a month or two now, and I’ve lost count of the number of hours I’ve saved by not scanning through the muck that is sometimes Twitter, and by not chasing down every shiny post in my 49 or so RSS feeds. Summify helps keep things clear and easy to manage, and has even kept me relevant on Twitter while I play with Google +. Speaking of Google +, I’m hoping that we’ll see it integrated into Summify soon (they already have the +1 button). Even better, Summify should be integrated into the Sparks feature! Now, that would be sweet! * pokes Google *

Note: For those interested, Summify is located right here in my (rarely) sunny home-city of Vancouver, and they have had the benefit of advising from the CEO of another little local social app called HootSuite. Maybe you’ve heard of it? :D

Give Summify a try and tell us what you think!

UPDATE: Summify has recently updated its look (pretty much the day after this post went up). It was pretty before, but now it’s awesome! It also includes Instapaper integration.

Summify-new.

Evernote Web App Gets a Makeover–Adds Social Sharing

Evernote Web App Gets a Makeover–Adds Social Sharing | 40Tech

Normally I try to avoid doing Evernote posts every week, but this latest update is too big to pass up! It marks an end to Evernote’s stoic insistence that its service is strictly for capturing information, not sharing it — and if that wasn’t huge enough, the overhaul to the web app makes Evernote a pleasure to use on machines and OS’s without a desktop version. Excited yet? If you’re an Evernote fan, you know you are! See below for details.

UPDATE: The recent pre-release version of Evernote Desktop for Windows (4.3.0.4293) has added social sharing features, including Twitter, which is not yet included in the web app. Word and character counts have also been added, along with a few other niceties and bug fixes.

The first thing you will notice when you log into the web app is that the new interface refreshingly familiar, adopting a three-panel approach that is very much like the desktop version. Notebook stacks are also included, as well as snippet view — which provides a preview of the note’s content to speed up browsing — and the ability to CTRL/CMD + click multiple notes and drag them to notebooks, tags, or trash. The easy to use updated interface also includes a handy toggle to control auto-save — a handy feature when writing in shared notebooks.

Evernote Web App Makeover | Evernote Blog

While the update is impressive, it’s not perfect yet. For example, some of the more advanced functionality, like filtering, printing, attaching files, viewing note history, and creating saved searches, is still only available in the older version of the web app. If you want or need any of these features, you will need to switch back to the archaic mode for the time being.

I love the work that Evernote put into the new version of the web app, but am absolutely thrilled by their decision to include some social sharing capability! Until now, I honestly thought that the only way to share notes I collected would be using tools like Springpad and Shelfster, but Evernote’s inclusion of Facebook sharing, with plans to add Twitter in the near future, gives users the added freedom they need in today’s social web. It would be nice to see them open up sharing to the same extent that Springpad has, but baby-steps, yes? Sharing to Facebook, (soon) Twitter, via email, or by adding a link into your social platform of choice will have to be enough for now. You can also revoke shares at your discretion, which is handy. The Evernote blog promises that the new sharing features will find their way into their other apps in future updates.

So how excited are you about Evernote’s foray into the modern web — and its revitalized web app too, of course?

So Much For New Media: Study Shows That Mainstream Media Drives Twitter Trends

twitter trends driven by old media

For all the talk about “new media,” it appears that old media still powers the online trends of today. Last month, HP released the results of a study that showed that user activity and number of followers on Twitter do not contribute strongly to trend creation and its propagation. Instead, mainstream media play a role in most trending topics, and act as a feeder of these trends.

READ MORE