This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series WANTED: Social media scrapbook
Last week I wrote about the non-existent web application that is currently at the top of my wishlist: a social media scrapbooking service. But I have looked into a bunch of photobook and blogging services, and nothing quite fits the bill. And after a bunch of “have you tried…” conversations, I realize I need to specify exactly what features would constitute the kind of service I’m envisioning, and what would take it from good to great.
Must-have features:
  • Aggregation of photos (offering Flickr and Facebook import at least, and ideally also Picasa, iPhoto upload, and more) and tweets into a single, chronologically ordered collection
  • A selection of prefab design templates for online display (as per Tumblr, WordPress and every other blogging platform) plus the option to create your own or use CSS to style
  • A selection of prefab design templates for printing (as per all the book printing services)
  • A print layout tool that lets you select which photos, albums or tweets you want to include in a specific print album
  • Drag-and-drop rearrangement of photos and tweets so that you can decide which tweets will appear underneath or on the same page as specific photos

Nice-to-have features:

  • Outbound Twitter support so that you can tweet the URL of a newly published album
  • Facebook connect, with the ability to share albums with specific friends or friend lists
  • Aggregation of RSS feeds so that you can add blog posts or headlines to your online or print album
  • Aggregation of videos (from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and elsewhere) to include in the online album
  • Ability to organize content thematically (by tag/hashtag or keyword search) as well as chronologically, so that you can create topical albums (e.g. “birthdays”, “company picnic”, “bowling night”)
  • Comic-style layouts (like ComicLife) or photo captions (like PhotoCaps)
  • On-demand printing of individual photos with the option to select a tweet to print as the caption or speech bubble in a photo
  • Outbound RSS for the online version

Premium features:

Of course, I have also been thinking about what would make this service profitable — profitable enough to be worth building. Clearly, you’ve got the print-on-demand market for scrapbooks, which could include not only tweeting mommies like me but the much larger universe of Facebooking mommies (and daddies, and grandparents). But the market for this service goes well beyond the mom and pop crowd. For example, premium services could include:

  • e-mail newsletters: select items from your online album to turn into an e-newsletter (some blogging platforms let you do this already); combine this with the kind of list management and delivery service offered by Campaign Monitor or Constant Contact, and you can charge for each e-newsletter that’s sent out
  • print newsletters and magazines: select items to turn into a regular print newsletter or magazine, and you’ve suddenly got a supremely easy way for organizations and companies to generate monthly or quarterly newsletters and magazines for members, or for families to generate yearly (please, please not monthly!!) newsletters for friends
  • company, organization or school yearbooks: create yearbooks from the real lives of your employees, volunteers or students, as lived online.

I’m hoping that somewhere out there is a coder who can see that what I’m talking to is not very complicated (it isn’t — the APIs are all there) and sees an opportunity to create a new cool app. Or better yet, some startup is reading this and thinking, hey! this is what we’re doing! Either way, I’d love to hear from you.

Series Navigation<< Wanted: Social media scrapbook serviceWeb services and software for creating family albums and scrapbooks >>