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News Item

Qwisk Socializes Web Browsing

Considered one of the major advancements in web usability introduced in the past decade

The Social Media Guide

The ability to effortlessly share cool things you discover on the Web in real time, with friends, family and business colleagues without ever leaving your browser, just became a reality with today's introduction of Qwisk by WebWean, Inc. at the Realtime CrunchUp conference here in San Francisco.

Compatible with all web browsers, Qwisk enables web discovery and social engagement to coexist within everyone's browser with no special downloads - creating a natural, free-flowing space for web exploration and sharing by eliminating the need to jump between applications for even simple communication.

"Until now, browsing the web was a solitary act," explains Zack Garbow, co-founder of Qwisk. "But, when you find something cool, you naturally want to share it with others. That's where the problems begin."

According to Garbow, not everyone understands how to share things of interest they encounter on the Web. The most common approach is sending a link to an entire web page by copying-and-pasting its URL into another tool such as email, instant messengers, Twitter or Facebook - then hoping recipients understand what on the web page is important.

Sharing specific pictures, videos, text blocks or comments is more complex - requiring multiple steps that may be unfamiliar to even savvy users. And, drag-and-dropping rich content from a web page into another application is not even possible.

Qwisk eliminates all that complexity. When you find something you want to share, simply drag it onto Qwisk's side panel. Immediately, the object is shared with another person or a select group -- wherever they are on the Internet. Without ever leaving your browser, Qwisk enables you to:

  • Dynamically share to Facebook;
  • Instantly post to Twitter;
  • Receive shared content from Twitter feeds and Facebook friends as it is posted;
  • Push content directly to the attention of anyone on the Qwisk Network;
  • Chat about your discovery in real-time or whenever is most convenient.

Major Advancement In Web Usability
"Over the past decade, most of the innovation in browser technology has been under the hood," said Ronni Marshak, Patricia Seybold Group senior analyst and co-author of Customers.com. "But little has changed in how people actually use browsers. They still remain stand-alone applications. In this world of social connections through online media, people don't stand alone anymore. That's why the social sharing within a browser context that Qwisk offers is such a breakthrough in usability. Now web discovery, sharing and collaboration begin to approach the intimacy of sitting side-by-side at the same computer."

Qwisk brings together the shared content from friends on Facebook, Twitter, and the Qwisk Network right into your screen immediately, letting you view what was shared at any time from anywhere. Sharing information is just as easy. Simply click or drag-and-drop content from any webpage into Qwisk's side panel to broadcast it to one or many friends no matter which social network they use.

No software downloads or installation is required to use Qwisk. From any browser, you simply log onto the service at www.qwisk.com using your Facebook, Twitter or Qwisk user name and password. Qwisk then automatically generates a 'mini-browser' frame around your browser that includes a social feed sidebar and navigational tools.

Immediately, you will see real-time updates to your social network feeds. Clicking these links loads them in the browser without leaving the page or losing the feed. And like life, Qwisk works in real-time, so when people share something with you, like a YouTube video, the information shows up in your browser immediately. The video can then be viewed from its web page or even played straight from the feed in the sidebar. If you like what was just shared, you can easily re-share it, adding a comment to broadcast it to others - whether those people are on a social network or simply using email.

Passing the Web Innovation Baton to the Next Generation
Qwisk was created by two of IBM's most respected young engineers after leaving the company last year to start their own venture. While a software engineer at IBM Research, co-founder Zack Garbow registered 105 patents pending, earning him the title of IBM Master Inventor -- the company's top inventing honor. To date, Garbow is the youngest person in IBM history to obtain this title.

Co-founder Dave Fowler's mother started teaching him how to program at age 10. By sixth grade he had already programmed his first video game. Joining IBM after receiving his Masters of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Fowler contributed to the development of a processor that would eventually be used by Microsoft's exceedingly popular Xbox 360, in addition to researching next generation ray tracing techniques for upcoming gaming chips. His work there led to 10 patents pending, with an emphasis on advancing techniques in video game programming.

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