Wednesday, March 7, 2007


If you have been on MySpace lately, or any other social network for that matter, you probably have seen Zwinky. Yes, Zwinky is taking over the internet and no one is going to be able to stop it.! Zwinky officially launched in December and right away claimed more than 2 million unique users. Those cute little customizable avatars are irrepressible!

Zwinky is an online site where users can go to build online profiles and characters. You download the Zwinky Toolbar which bundles several other AskJeeves applications (Smiley Central, Cursor Mania, Popular Screensavers, the MyWebSearch search box and Search Assistant) and it is actually the MyWebSearch toolbar with some customizations.

Using Zwinky, users can create a cartoon avatar of themselves that can express their personality, fashion sense, and current mood. You can choose from a large selection of hairstyles, cloths, accessories, eye colors, skin colors, makeup, and backgrounds.

"Zwinky is so much more than a typical avatar," said Dorcas Casey, a Zwinky spokesperson. "Zwinkies are an innovative way to let people carve out their own identity and express themselves on the Web. Some users view Zwinky as an opportunity to create an avatar similar to themselves, while others like having the creative license to craft a Zwinky that's completely different than their real life persona. Users can make themselves hipper, trendier or more glamorous by selecting various clothes, facial expressions, hair colors, styles and accessories. In a world where fashion trends change so quickly, it's an easy way for users to really get creative and try out all the trends without even leaving their homes."

These Zwinkies are definitely targeted at the MySpace generation and anyone over 35 is probably not going to understand their appeal. Experienced users are also going to be less likely to download that new toolbar which adds features that they don't want. But for the rest of us, who cares? I want my Zwinkies and I want them now! NOBODY IS GOING TO STOP ZWINKY!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Have you been to one of those websites that has an animated talking avatar? There is no doubt, the Sitepal buddies are all the rage now and they are COOL! They will soon be all over MySpace I am sure.

Welcoming someone to your site with just text and pictures is a trick few websites master. That's where the Sitepal buddies come in. These talking animated avatars are there to serve as anything you want them to. You might use them to greet your customers, tell them about special deals, tell them what your site is about, explain your companies return policies, ....anything you can dream of. These little animated buddies aren't as good as real salesmen, but they sure give your site a cool vibe.

There are no downloads and any site owner should be able to use Sitepal quite easily as very little technical skill is required to get you up and running. You can personalize your character by choosing through hairstyles, face models, facial hair, shirts, and accessories. You can also choose between background settings or use your own.

The Sitepal buddies are available in 14 languages now and over 60 voices. The truly fun part is their text to speech option where the avatar speaks whatever you type in. It is IMPOSSIBLE to not play around with that for at least a couple of minutes!

All sorts of people are starting to use this technology now including MySpace subscribers, Ebay auctions, and tons of online businesses. This is the wave of the future as I see it and if you haven't stumbled into a site using the Sitepal buddies yet you soon will!!