Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Let's Go Fly A Kyte

New York Times | April 30 2007 |
Social Networking Leaves Confines of the Computer

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 — While Walter Zai was in South Africa watching the wild animals recently, people around the world were watching him.
You feel like you are instantly broadcasting your own life and experiences to your friends at home, and to anyone in the world who wants to join,” said Mr. Zai, who used a new online service called Kyte to create his digital diary.
The social networking phenomenon is leaving the confines of the personal computer. Powerful new mobile devices are allowing people to send round-the-clock updates about their vacations, their moods or their latest haircut.

New online services, with names like Twitter, Radar and Jaiku, hope people will use their ever-present gadget to share (or, inevitably, to overshare) the details of their lives in the same way they have become accustomed to doing on Web sites like MySpace.
Central to the technology of Kyte and similar services is the marriage of mobile phones and the Web. Users download Kyte software for their phones at www.kyte.tv and can send their photos and videos — however grainy — from the phone to their online Kyte “channel.”

Viewers can tune into the programming on their own phones or on the Kyte site, or they can have the channel show up on their own Web site or social network page. In some cases the video stream can be watched live. Those who are watching the same channel can swap messages with each other and with the channel’s creator, even if he or she is silently stalking wild animals.

Daniel Graf, Kyte’s 32-year-old co-founder, sees each of the world’s hundreds of millions of camera-phone owners as a potential television broadcaster.
Another company proving the potency of the sharing impulse is Twitter (www.twitter.com), which is also based in San Francisco and has lately captured the enthusiasm of bloggers and tech insiders. Twitter, spun off this month from a company called Obvious, lets people broadcast short text messages from their phones and computers to those of friends and strangers.


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