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CNO Authors: Octavio Pitaluga, Bob Gourley

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CNO: Article

Looking Good, Social Networks Growing With Flash

Looking Good, Social Networks Growing With Flash

Userplane continues to extend its clients' Flash-based communication tools for use in various aspects of social networking. The company continues to embrace the world market through innovative use of its Instant Communicator, Web Chat, and Web Recorder applications. The types of clients using social networking are diverse, coming from areas not usually thought of having a need for such services.

ChosenNet, an online Jewish community; LDS LinkUp, a community for Latter-Day Saints; and French language networking site, Amidami, are using Userplane's Community Suite to enhance their communication abilities. CityCrowd, an online site offering social and professional services to busy professionals, is another Userplane client, equipping its products with an ever increasing number of media applications.

Userplane is using Macromedia Flash technology to make users' online experience as impactful as possible. Simply having video or instant messaging capabilities, common media devices, does not create any distinction in the way media is delivered. Using advanced technology from Macromedia is one way for customers to brand and market themselves; it also helps to create a sense of "intimacy," to people who develop their relationship off the Web.

"Userplane's communication tools give us a real edge in all our markets," said Jed Dempsey, founder and CEO of Who New LLC, which operates both ChosenNet and LDS LinkUp. "We now give our users a way to see and hear each other online, helping them build new relationships with the same confidence they would have in person. Our users love the service. All other features aside, a social networking site gains an entirely new dimension by offering these kinds of live communications tools. Userplane has helped make the experience for our members special."

Monika Sokal, president of CityCrowd, said, "Userplane provides us with instant messaging, audio and visual communications. It was easy to incorporate and customize, and gave us excellent value for our investment."

The use of Flash for both front-end and back-end functions gives dating and social networking sites complete design flexibility, one-click access for the vast majority of users, simple integration of audio and video, and support for PC, Linux and Macintosh platforms.

Michael Jones, president of Userplane, said, "Social networking sites realize that to be competitive they must equip their members with innovative, easy-to-use tools to make online communication simple, immediate and personal. Our entire suite of applications enables true and safe interaction among participants, no matter where they're located."

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Abey 11/30/04 06:59:42 AM EST

Social networking sites are booming in inverse ratio to their usefulness, say sceptics...but they're driving Web functionality improvements, so who cares? We'll all end up with better user experiences, whatever the reason.