Tag Archives | Threadsy

Threadsy Goes Public

At last fall’s TechCrunch50 conference, my personal best-of-show was probably Threadsy. It’s an integrated inbox that gives you access to multiple e-mail accounts, Twitter, and your Facebook inbox all in one place–and weaves them together, so, for instance, you can view a bio, updates, and photos for the person who sent you an e-mail message. (That feature reminds me of the Outlook plugin Xobni.)

Back then, I called Threadsy an intriguing first draft. Now it’s addressed some of my initial concerns: For instance, it supports folders (Labels in Gmail parlance), making it a plausible full-time or part-time replacement for your current e-mail client rather than a severely limited compliment. And Threadsy finally moved from private beta into general availability yesterday, so anyone who’s interested can give it a try.

Threadsy could still use some more polishing (it has a neat photo viewer, but I’m finding the photos are sometimes partially obscured by misplaced text). And it’s still impossible to be a better Gmail than Gmail (when I’m in Threadsy, I miss features like the Google Calendar widget and the ability to open up attachments in Google Docs). Overall, though, it’s inventive and useful–if you try it out, let us know what you think.


Threadsy: An Intriguing First Draft

ThreadsyYesterday, I was all excited over Threadsy, the Web-based universal communications service that was one of my favorite launches at TechCrunch50. Shortly after I applied for an invite to the private beta, it arrived. So I’ve been using Threadsy–and while I’m still excited about its potential, the hands-on experience also reminds me what a daunting challenge the service’s developers have set for themselves.

As I mentioned yesterday, Threadsy divvies up communications into Inbound ones (missives directed specifically at you, be they Gmail messages, Twitter @replies or DMs, or Facebook messages) and Unbound ones (status updates from Twitter and Facebook). Besides integrating multiple streams of messages into one list, it creates one master address book, and tries to figure out if one person shows up multiple times in your various accounts. You can also IM from within Threadsy, although it seems to only support Google Talk.

Inbound messages are woven into one stream in a big window on the left, and Unbound ones are in a smaller area on the right. Here’s a screen image (click on it for a larger version):


I still love the idea of having one place to go for almost all my communications. But I discovered that Threadsy doesn’t yet support folders–or, in Gmail parlance, labels–which means that I can’t get at much of my Gmail from within Treadsy, and can’t organize the new stuff that comes in. The company says it’s working on fixing this; until it does, I can only use Threadsy as an adjunct to Gmail, not a replacement for it. And even once folders/labels are up and running, there’s lots of stuff in Gmail that Threadsy probably won’t be able to duplicate, such as Tasks, Stars, and Widgets. Despite interesting work by the likes of Zenbe, it’s probably impossible to be a better Gmail than Gmail.

One other quirk with the current version of Threadsy:  When a status item shows up on multiple social networks–most likely because someone has set things up to broadcast it to both Twitter and Facebook–it shows up twice in Thready’s Unbound area:


You gotta think it wouldn’t be a huge technical challenge for Threadsy to figure out these messages are dupes, and to hide one of them, at least as an option.

Threadsy’s not only in beta, but private beta, so it’s entirely understandable that it’s a rough draft. I plan to keep an eye on it–if you check it out, tell us what you think.


Threadsy: All Your Communications, All in One Place

ThreadsyI’m still at TechCrunch50–it’s winding down, but there’s still so much going on that you’ll miss a product launch or two if you so much as take a restroom break. The debut that’s happening right now is one of the most interesting ones so far: Threadsy is a Web-based integrated communications service that looks uncommonly ambitious. It combines your e-mail (it supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc), Twitter, Facebook, and other sources into two clusters of messages: “inbound” ones aimed directly at you (such as e-mail and Twitter @replies and Direct Messages) and “unbound” ones aimed at nobody in particular (such as Facebook status updates). And it tries to weave everything together so that items from a particular friend or acquaintance are tied together no matter which method of communications is involved. And it offers profiles, which seem to be super-address-book entries which are richest if the person in question belongs to Threadsy, but still there if they don’t.

Like Gmail, Threadsy aims to make money by displaying context-sensitive ads based on keywords in your conversations. As I said in my post on the new social-network-aggregating version of AIM, I’m not sure if anyone has really figured out how to combine social networks and related streams in a way that’s simple, powerful, and as appealing as just going to all the information sources separately. But I can’t wait to give Threadsy a try. Apparently I won’t have to wait too long, and neither will anyone else: The service is still in private beta, but the company says that it’ll let in everyone who signs up for an invite over the next few days.