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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Facebook: New Design Rollout 2008

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Facebook: New Design / 2008-07-21 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Facebook started rolling out a new site design on July 20, 2008 for users to preview and test the functionality of the site. The new design has been under testing since the beginning of this year, and more than 100,000 Facebook users have participated in user testings which led to many layout and features included in the final version.

The profile page comes with a single status feed + the wall, with additional info and photos pulled into separate tabs. All the applications have been grouped into the Boxes tab. The users can add additional application tabs as required (similar to iGoogle fucntionality).

Tabs should address the insane load-time with many profiles, but the added benefit to Facebook is that there are now more opportunities for them to display ads - so it's a win-win situation for the company as well as the user.

You can check out the new design at

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Animoto = Generative music video using photography

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I have been meaning to try out Animoto for a while now and I finally got to it today. The service analyzes photos and music to create a video slideshow.

Images can be uploaded or imported via popular photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Facebook, SmugMug, etc. For the soundtrack, you can either upload your own or pick from their music library, which covers several different genres, from classical to electronica, from jazz to indie rock.

As with any generative services, the results are mixed. You don't really have a say on how the effects will be mixed together. But it is good if you need to throw something together quickly.

SML Photography from See-ming Lee 李思明 SML on Vimeo.

Coney Island Mermaid Parade / 2007-2008 / See-ming Lee from See-ming Lee 李思明 SML on Vimeo.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Utata > Explore

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Most people flock to Flickr Explore to discover interesting shots, but the algorithm is a bit of a hit or miss sometimes. Provided that you have pretty good photography skills and have a good idea of who it works, you can game the engine.

The best way to find photography on Flickr that speak to you is to discover your own gem. In many ways, explored photographs are already discovered. While on the surface it appears that you are finding something rare, in reality you are already one step behind the machine. Why let the machines decide your fate. Find stuff on your own.

Lately I've become active in the Utata pool again, because almost every photo feature there has depth that speaks volume. Don't take my word for it. Run up to the Utata pool on Flickriver. It's a better way to explore and find hidden talents.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Swurl = RSS aggregation with sweet timeline


SML Swurl Timeline / 2008-07-03 / SML Network (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Swurl is yet another RSS aggregation service that I just discovered. it has the usual list view (see but also a timeline view that places your activities around the activities themselves, instead of locking them into a calendar view. I like this.

Unlike most services which requires you to go about to invite your friends to join the service, it fetches your contacts from various services into the friends list automatically.

More goodies > FriendFeed is that Swurl apparently imports your complete set of Flickr data, not just recent stuff like FF. In this sense, I can see Swurl function better as a history trail.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe

Opera emotional stickiness

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Checking out Flowgram today and came across this video of an opera singer in the "top viral videos of the year" collection. The collection comes handy in verifying some of the principles made by the book I'm reading at the moment: Made to Stick: simplicity, unexpectedness, emotions, stories.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe