My favorite thing about Facebook is getting those stupid alerts in the tiny red box that appears in the lower right-hand corner when I’m signed onto Facebook. It seems silly, but these notifications are irresistible and even though they’re being taken over by my application “reminder” prods, I still like to see who commented on one of my shared links or who tagged a photo of me.
So what if the entire web could be like your overly-informative Facebook account? Tiseme has found a way to do so, by creating a conversation platform that operates from your browser instead of merely a stand-alone site. And it even has those stupid alerts in the tiny red box, which appear in the lower right-hand corner of my browser. This is powered by the Tiseme browser toolbar, which takes a few seconds to download.
Launching its private beta today, Tiseme combines web sharing, annotation, comment threads and activity streams into a single application. Tiseme also links to your Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed and Seesmic accounts in order to enable additional media-sharing capabilities. If you’re reading this article, for instance, and you’d like to share it with friends, you can click on the “share” button on your Tiseme toolbar and select the ways in which you’d like to share this article. Share it via a private direct message on Tiseme, or simply shoot an email to a friend.
In addition to merely sharing a link, you can also comment on it, and your comments will be shared through Twitter, Facebook (coming soon) and FriendFeed, depending on your settings. This can be done directly through Tiseme or through its Seesmic integration for video comments. Pages can also be followed, so you’ll be alerted to any new updates or comments that relate back to a particular URL. If you come across a link that’s already been commented on by another Tiseme user, you’ll be able to see how many comments have been left for the current page. Click on the “comments” tab on your Tiseme toolbar and you’ll see all related comments appear in a left-hand sidebar. These comments can then be filtered by all Tiseme users or just those that are your direct Tiseme connections.
What is Tiseme? from Sandosh Vasudevan on Vimeo.
The Tiseme connections work just like Twitter or FriendFeed in that you can follow a user’s updates and they can follow yours. The follow options depend on your privacy settings, which can set your updates to public or private. Anytime there’s a new update in your Tiseme network, you’re alerted. Private messages will also warrent a notification alert. Click on this alert and you’ll see what the new item is, just like Facebook. Contacts can also be broken down into groups for your homepage activity stream purposes. Create a group for work or for a particular topic of interest, and you can add a friend’s updates to any of these groups. The groups themselves act as handy filters for the incoming activity on your Tiseme homepage.
On your Tiseme homepage, which looks a lot like the new Facebook homepage, you’re able to write a status update on Tiseme. This status update can be linked to your Twitter and FriendFeed accounts as well, sending them through as regular updates. As with Facebook, you can “like” an update that appears on your homepage, and/or leave a comment. I already mentioned the group filtering option for digesting your homepage activity feed, but Tiseme has also added an “archive” option, which lets you sweep away all the current updates and start fresh as new updates come in. The archived updates can be accessed from the “all” tab, which lets you see all the updates in your activity stream, all the way back to the very beginning. Sounds overwhelming, but hopefully Tiseme will add a search option–something Facebook too has yet to add to its activity streams.
So is Tiseme the next competitor to FriendFeed and Twitter? Is Tiseme yet another content aggregator and streaming tool that’s going up against Facebook and upping them on the search tip? Not quite yet.Tiseme still needs to add complete Facebook Connect integration, and a few more automated options for redistributing Tiseme activity across Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed would actually be helpful. I anticipate more services will also be added to the integrated capabilities of web conversations through the Tiseme toolbar. But the great thing about Tiseme is that it’s shaping its service from the browser up, which, tricky as it can be, is a useful centralized capability that creates a unified web experience. In doing so, Tiseme is turning the web into your Facebook news feed, and doing it faster than Facebook itself.