Internet Rants & Raves Review Social Media & Social Networking Usability

Streamy is?

I just do not get Streamy. In its current form, Streamy is in no way any simpler or easier than having Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg open in different tabs in Firefox…

I’m trying to make the best of it, but I just cannot see one solitary reason for Streamy to exist.

Of the people I know who use Streamy, they can say only good things. So here I sit, wearing my SMO & SMM (Social Media Optimization & Social Media Marketing) hat, trying my damnedest to see how Streamy is going to work for me.

Streamy is a shambles to use and most of my time is spent trying to find things. Nothing is obvious, the layout is a mess and there’s no sense of task-based structure.

When I compare Streamy to the likes of Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg, it’s pretty much a “me too!” affair that solves nothing, adds zero value and gives me nothing that I don’t already have.

So I get a ‘stream’ of my stuff on, Twitter and Pownce. I can do that with Yahoo! Pipes with much more control and run it through Tumblr, creating something massively more useful – and meaningful from a personal narrative point of view – than what Streamy offers.

OK, so Yahoo! Pipes is a little more hands-on, but the power more than makes up for the learning curve.

Quite simply, Subscriptions is a list of the websites you like and wish to see a list of articles for. So essentially, it’s a feed reader. You get the option to import RSS feeds or OPML files directly. But why? Why there’s such a thing as Subscriptions in Streamy is a mystery.

Most people that would consider using Streamy will have some feed reader already. So what we end up with is a decision; do we keep our current workflow, or start using Streamy as a means of reading our feeds? For me, it’s not even a consideration, let alone a choice. I’ll be sticking with Firefox for my feeds.

I’ll keep playing around with Streamy for a while yet, but all Streamy does is make the whole problem of Social Network Fatigue (managing personal profiles) even worse than it already is.

I have friends elsewhere, typically scattered across the other Social Media websites I’m signed up with. So having something like Streamy that has its own friends feature just deepens my frustration.

For the amount of hype that’s surrounded Streamy – and with all the respect in the world – for those that think Streamy is better than Digg, Pownce, StumbleUpon and Twitter, I seriously have to wonder if these people are using those other websites properly.

There is nothing close to original or even remotely utilitarian about Streamy. It is entirely derivative, and if you’re anything like me – often sifting through feeds, emails, messages from friends on various Social Networks – then Streamy is just going to make matters worse.

I know my words must seem quite harsh, but I’m annoyed with Streamy because this is precisely the kind of thing that’s turning people off Social Media and Social Networking…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

5 replies on “Streamy is?”


Your comparison to Streamy seems to focus on the following products:

Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg

For me, Streamy is a new breed of real-time aggregator. While it certainly covers features of those other sites, none of them attempt to be an RSS reader, which is at the core of Streamy, and none of them have true real-time interaction or the web-OS like interface.

What is cool and interesting about Streamy to me is that I can read news and blogs as I have in other readers in the past, but now I’m able to share and discuss them in real-time on the site. There are shortcuts and an intuitive interface that allow me to read quickly and efficiently.

While not perfect, it has certainly replaced all other RSS readers for me and once it has IM integration with AIM and Gtalk I’ll be ditching meebo as well. I’m not sold on replacing Pownce/Twitter yet, and not being able to add just a URL limits comparison to SU/Digg, so at least for now I can add my accounts on those sites so it’s still aggregated together in my Streamy profile.

I’m certainly suffering from social-web burnout as well with all the new sites cropping up, one interesting thing about Streamy though is that just by reading content and participating in groups I’m building my profile. Actually inputting data for it is very minimal which I like.

Hi Mike and thanks for taking the time to comment. Always appreciated.

I made the comparison because most of the people I’ve spoken to who seem won over by Streamy are saying that Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg are just going to fade away and Streamy is just going supersede them, which is quite frankly laughable.

“For me, Streamy is a new breed of real-time aggregator.”

Since when is any other feed aggregator not real-time?

“What is cool and interesting about Streamy to me is that I can read news and blogs as I have in other readers in the past, but now I’m able to share and discuss them in real-time on the site.”

Which can all be accomplished easily and more efficiently with Firefox and a tab for Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg.

“… and once it has IM integration with AIM and Gtalk I’ll be ditching meebo as well.”

Having used web-based IM, that’s certainly not a plus point for Streamy.

Given the very poor user interface that Streamy has right now, additional features will only worsen the experience and hamper usability.

“… just by reading content and participating in groups I’m building my profile.”

All of which are happening elsewhere and doing fine for it, too.

Right now, Facebook is just barely holding its own after taking the same “let’s be all things to all people” approach.

As I see it, unless someone has never used the likes of Pownce, Twitter, StumbleUpon or Digg, and are unfamiliar with the broader web, there’s little appeal.

I stand by my claims, Streamy doesn’t not add value to the Social Networking experience…

Well, Streamy won’t be replacing Digg, pownce, or twitter any time soon.
It is an RSS reader. A damn good one at that. Right now I am sharing stories with friends a lot faster and covering more information in a shorter period of time. You as a blogger Wayne, I am a little shocked that you haven’t dived in and given it a chance. It is also an easy way to share posts with friends. I created a blogger group, and with drag and drop, bloggers can share their posts with other bloggers. For an average web user, Streamy can provide the functions of pownce, twitter, digg, and stumbleupon in one, but that isn’t the point of it. It is sharing your RSS feeds with friends. Don’t let the ill hype that you have heard on pownce fool you. A lot of them frequent Streamy a lot, and I have learned more about them and what they like, within a matter of minutes of chatting and sharing with them on Streamy.
There was a big hype behind Streamy, and I know that you wanted to be awed, but I can’t stress enough, as a blogger, I am shocked that you aren’t seeing the potential with it.

I’m an avid RSS feed reader, but have only recently heard about Streamy. Just wondering Wayne if your feelings about Streamy have changed any since this post? Other stuff I’ve read got me kind of excited about it. I’ve requested an invitation to the “private beta” but am still waiting.

Hi Christopher and thanks again for the comment! Although I think this was actually your first.

To be honest, I haven’t looked at Streamy once since this review. But then again, why would I?

And if what you’re saying is right, that Streamy is still in private beta pretty much tells the real story, certainly for me at least.

I hope things work out for you. But for me, I just don’t have the time.

Speak soon!

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