Flash + Web 2.0 = yourminis
yourminis is Goowy’s foray into the ‘customizable homepage’ space, a veritable smoragasbord of RSS feeds and widgets. The service is very similar to Netvibes, but with one big difference – yourminis is a Flash application.
I’ve always thought it a shame that Flash hasn’t played a bigger part in the emergence of Web 2.0. AJAX is the technology that’s grabbed the headlines, yet Flash is purpose built to create cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s). Sure, some of the big Web 2.0 player such as YouTube and Google use Flash Player to deliver their videos, and Yahoo Maps is a Flash app, but yourminis is far and away the most comprehensive Flash RIA I’ve seen. I was quite amazed to see how many public APIs Flash can successfully hook into: YouTube, ebay, Amazon, Yahoo Maps, Flickr, Digg, delicious, Gmail, iTunes – even Dilbert!
yourminis has a slick ‘aero’ style interface, which can be customized with the user’s own ‘desktop wallpaper’. This is bound to make it appealing to a young user base who might be turned off by the corporate look of NetVibes. In fact it is actually possible to embed yourminis widgets in myspace profiles – or on any other webpage for that matter.
The one thing that’s noticeably absent at this stage is a yourminis API. Despite the swag of official widgets already on offer, this is going to slow down its evolution. Supposedly the API will be released in the very near future, and it will be fascinating to see what Flash developers do with it.
Lately I’ve been underwhelmed with Flash sites, but yourminis is a fantastic example of Flash the way it ought to be done. I hope that we see more sites like it in the future.