This is the first time I’ve been online since the TechCrunch50 conference started. Here’s what I’ve been unable to post until now:
Shryk: An online personal finance site, with a youth-focused twist
Shryk is another company that offers a secure web site to help you manage your personal finances. Its flagship product is called iThryv. There are tons of competitors, like Wesabe, Geezeo and Mint — which won TC40 last year. Shryk is trying to be different by offering versions for kids and teens. The kids version, for example, has a cartoon interface, and makes it really simple to see how much money you have and how much money you owe. The teen version shows you a “savings score” — Similar to a real-life credit score, this Shryk-calculated number shows you how good you are at saving.
Hangout Industries: A virtual world
Hangout is an interactive virtual world that somehow lets you login using your ID from a social network like Facebook or MySpace. You create a virtual room with virtual decoration; you can add videos, songs and images from the web, and these appear in the form of posters and wallpaper. The startup most obviously competes with Second Life, although Hangout works on low-end computers, while Second Life doesn’t, always. Meanwhile, there are other, better virtual worlds in the making, like the one from Vivaty and Google’s Lively.
Blah Girls: A funny, crude online video series
Blah Girls is a crude online cartoon series and community site starring a group of teenage girls, made by Katalyst Media. They discuss pop culture and celebrity news. The content was entertaining but on the tech side the site also offers features like custom auto-responses to user comments. So if you leave a comment saying “this video sucks,” you’ll get a response from the girls with sad faces and a “unique” retort. Note: We’ll be interviewing creator Ashton Kutcher tomorrow.
Tweegee: A kids virtual world
Tweegee is a kids destination site and simple virtual world. You can do things like play casual games, write your own blog, find friends, chat, and more. The site interface is a simple version of an operating system, with a right-hand menu and open screen in which you can play games or take other actions. The presentation featured enthusiastic child actors — a sign of how overbuilt the entire site feels, at least judging from the presentation.