Yammer took the top prize last night at TechCrunch 50. This business-oriented microblogging platform creates networks for companies, mimicking the structure of Twitter. Erick Schonfeld says , "Anyone with a corporate email can sign up and follow other people in their company. But if a company ants (sic) to claim its users, and gain administrative control over them, they will have to pay. It’s a brilliant business model." For a tool focused on communication and productivity, the word "yammer" seems to be a poor choice (though not as bad as Drivl). However, the system is easy to use for anyone accustomed to Twitter, to a clone-like degree: "What are you working on?" is the Yammer prompt, and the service integrates itself into SMS and instant messaging services. As for differences , "It is free to use for employees, but if a company wants to claim their network and get administrative tools to remove messages and users, set password policies, or set IP ranges for who can use it [a fee applies]." There were five runners-up chosen from the 52 start-up demo pit:
target="_blank">Atmosphir is a free game design tool with which anyone can create three-dimensional levels.
FitBit tracks movement, caloric intake and sleep patterns with a discreet device worn on clothing, providing fitness and weight management reports.
Grockit is using a team of teachers and developers to create a massively multiplayer online learning game where people can teach each other.
GoodGuide ranks various types of household products based on health, environmental and social performance so that users can access a transparent database of how "good" a soap or chemical is, in all senses of the word.
Swype designs touch-screen interfaces for keyboard entry. By using a swiping motion from one keystroke to the next, it apparently creates a more efficient entry method than single-touch systems.