Ning Eliminates Free Accounts…

…but BuddyPress Comes to the Rescue

By now, you’ve probably heard that Ning, the “roll-your-own” social network platform, is doing away with its free accounts. Details on the whole process are still a bit sparse, but the majority opinion seems to be that the free accounts will be deleted if the owners choose not to upgrade to one of the premium options. More details are supposed to be released on May 4, 2010. The party line, so far, has been that this move will allow Ning to focus all of its attention on the paid users, allowing the service to roll out new features and bug fixes more efficiently.

iCheckMovies – What Movies Have You Watched?

The other day, one of my Friendfeed friends posted a link to a new site called iCheckMovies. I popped on over and signed up for an account to see what it’s all about. I love the idea of being able to keep track of movies I’ve watched, share them with others and keep a list of the ones I want to see. For a while, I tried to use Flixter on Facebook to do the same thing (and I think it still has potential, but there’s so much else going on both on Facebook and in the Flixter app, that it’s hard to concentrate).

Basically, the service allows you to search their database of movies and indicate whether or not you’ve seen the film. You can then indicate if a movie is one of your favorites or if you disliked the movie. If you haven’t seen a movie, you can add it to a “watch list” indicating that you want to see it in the future. Apparently, once you’ve entered enough data, iCheckMovies will even begin recommending movies that you should see. You can even go directly to the movie’s page on Amazon so you can buy it right away.

Brizzly Gets Facebook Integration

Brizzly adds FacebookBrizzly, a really nice Web-based Twitter client, integrated Facebook into its interface today. Now, in addition to being able to manage multiple Twitter accounts (I currently have three), you can add your Facebook account to the application.

Within Brizzly, you can watch your news feed and your wall. What’s really nice, though, is that Brizzly also allows you to keep track of your recent activity on Facebook. I don’t know about you, but a lot of times, when I comment on someone’s wall post or status update on Facebook, by the time they see it and reply, it’s disappeared from my news feed so I have trouble finding it again. With Brizzly’s new interface, finding that conversation is just a click away.

If you haven’t tried Brizzly yet, I do have a handful of invitations available for those that are interested. Just leave a comment here and I’ll send the invitation to the e-mail address you use with your comment.

Friendfeed Fail

Amid much conversation about whether or not Friendfeed has a future and how it’s supposedly being abandoned in droves, I’ve experienced the first major failure of the service since I started using it (thanks to @holdenpage) a few months ago. The service has been down for at least 30 minutes at the time of writing this post. Despite Paul Buchheit (one of the creators of Friendfeed) posting about server upgrades and potential updates over the last few weeks, attempting to load Friendfeed results in a standard timeout error.

I can’t help but wonder if this outage has anything to do with the fact that some Friendfeed features were unveiled on Facebook earlier this week (the new “Live Feed”). I’m hoping it’s just a random outage, but am not holding my breath. I have come to love and appreciate the community over at Friendfeed, and would hate to see the service die such an unceremonious death.

Here’s to Friendfeed, and hoping it comes back soon. Until then, I guess I’ll have to find something in real life to keep me occupied.

Why You Should Be Careful About What You Post

One of my colleagues forwarded a good article from MSN to me today. I thought I would share it with you guys, in case you didn’t see it for yourselves. Enjoy.