Note: This is the first part in the AVINASH 2.0 Streamy Series. I’ll be posting next parts when I’m not busy with other stuffs.

You may have seen lots of buzz about Streamy in the blogosphere. Streamy received so much hype, so much hype that there was no way left other than giving it a try. Fortunately, I’ve been a lucky Streamy private beta tester for more than a week because of Mr. Russ Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Russ!

What’s Streamy?

Streamy is the next generation feed reader developed by two awesome developers, Donald Mosites and Jonathan Gray. It’s a mixture of beautiful UI and powerful social media features (Instant Messenger, Groups, etc.).

You’ll experience a wonderful use of Ajax in this application. Everything seems to have the ability to get dragged and dropped. Wanna share an article with your friend? Just drag the article title and drop it on your friend’s name. You’re done.

Want to chat with a friend? Just drag your friend’s name in a chat window and you’re done! To be honest, I’ve never seen such an intelligent use of Ajax in any other web 2.0 application. Streamy has been developed to make reading blog feeds an enjoyable experience. Because of its social nature, you won’t feel bored reading hundreds of articles, e.g., you can chat with your friends while you’re reading an article.

It allows you to read an article in a click. No matter if the article is in your “Saved” section or on your profile page, a single click on the article link will show you the complete article. There are a few Hot Keys that make reading, saving and sharing news articles a fun experience.

Currently Available Features:

  • Add/Remove/Share Feeds
  • Ability to create category folders
  • Upload OPML files
  • Interact with other Streamy members via different Streamy Groups
  • Create Streamy Groups (public or private).
  • Make friends and chat with them
  • Ability to see what your friends are reading
  • Create Feed Filters
  • Leave comments on articles
  • Pull data from 9 Upstream sources (Google Reader, Twitter, Pownce, Digg, del.icio.us, YouTube, last.fm, Jaiku and Facebook) and show ’em on your profile.
  • Create and save personal notes
  • Discover new blog feeds
  • Search Streamy member database, blog entries, feed resources and groups
  • Ability to see how many other Streamy members are subscribed to the same blog feed. Something like MyBlogLog communities.

Some bloggers called it a ‘Digg killer‘, some called it ‘Alt Digg‘ but as soon as I joined Streamy, I realized that there was no ‘Digg Killer’ present in the member’s area. Even calling it an ‘Alt Digg’ is wrong because Streamy is not a Digg alternative. I repeat, Streamy is NOT a Digg alternative. I wonder why people can’t think of Streamy as an amazing invention. Is Digg everything? For me, Digg is a completely different thing. Streamy has nothing to do with Digg.

I’ve spent most of my free hours over at Streamy since the day I joined it. Added over a thousand feeds, read hundreds of articles, created a few Streamy groups, created tons of feed filters and tested almost all the available features that I could access. There are a few minor bugs that I came across but the two awesome developers (Don and Jonathan) are working hard to make Streamy a perfect platform for everybody who loves reading blogs.

Even after spending hours heavily testing Streamy, I don’t think that it’s an Alt Digg. Streamy is a completely different application. Don’t compare it with Digg. It doesn’t intend to kill Digg either, it just can’t. In fact, the developers have already posted a blog entry over at the official Streamy blog that Streamy won’t, and don’t intend to kill Digg.

Killing Digg is not our goal. Our goal is to bring you personally relevant news in an engaging, collaborative environment. That is not by any means mutually exclusive to a voting model.

Donald has clearly written in the blog post that:

we do intend to kill the dry, boring RSS reader. I’m talking about the inbox-style RSS reader that is not intriguing, not social, and makes little or no attempt at personal relevance. We have created a system that aggregates syndicated content, channels it through your new and existing social networks, and creates a sum that is greater than its parts. Otherwise, as an aggregator, we do not replace tools – we mesh them into a new experience.

In my opinion, if you compare Streamy with Digg because it ranks articles on the ‘Start’ page according to how popular an article is, you need to think again. Digg is basically a voting system. It doesn’t rank articles on the Digg home page based on article visibility. Gazillions of Digg fanboys vote for an article to pull it on the home page.

Only thing I can say is that once Streamy goes public, it’ll badly affect other feed readers and startpages. Mr. Google Reader is NOT gonna stay safe either. Google Reader used to be my one and only favorite feed reader before I joined Streamy as a beta tester but at this very moment, I think that if Google Reader is a bomb, Streamy is an atom bomb. I deleted over one thousand feeds from my Google Reader because I’m sure that I’ll not be returning back to Google Reader ever again. I’m loving Streamy’s social environment.

I’ve covered each and every Streamy feature in the AVINASH 2.0 Streamy Series. You can think of this series as a complete Streamy guide. I’ll start with ‘What’s Hot’ because something tells me that many people started to call it a Digg killer when they saw this section.

What’s Hot:

What’s Hot is one of many cool features of Streamy that can be found on the Streamy ‘Start’ page. The What’s Hot section randomly shows pics from popular articles and it’ll certainly send lots of traffic your way IF your article is present in this section.

Streamy Chat:

Streamy chat and a few other internal Streamy applications make me feel like Streamy is a Web OS. You can not only minimize/maximize the internal application windows, you also have the freedom to drag ’em off the screen area.

Whenever your Streamy friends send you an instant message, a chat window will pop up. Because of the intelligent use of Ajax, everything works so smoothly that you won’t feel pissed off when the chat window appears.

Member Profile:

Your Streamy profile displays how many friends you have, what feeds you’ve been reading recently, the groups that you’ve joined, your 5 latest feed filters, your saved and commented items AND your personal notes.

By the way, if any Streamy developer is reading this post, you can see that the ‘search box’ disappears in Safari/Win.

To Be Continued…

See you in the next part of the AVINASH 2.0 Streamy Series with lots of screenshots. There are many Streamy features still left to discuss so stay tuned.

For now, check out this article for more screenshots. A Tour of Streamy – It Looks Could Kill ( Digg )

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