“The Cloud.” The phrase has become a hackneyed marketing gimmick, a hallowed war cry among web workers, and an enigma to the everyday web user. Jolicloud would like to make sense of it.
Jolicloud began as an operating system that brought new life to netbooks- a lightweight Linux derivative that was low on resources because little was stored on your computer. Instead, everything was hosted on the web, and Jolicloud treated web applications as native. It turned out to be a tricky proposition, and even the mighty Google hasn’t figured it out yet.
Jolicloud has since expanded its offerings to a web-based version of its OS- you can log onto the site to access your dashboard, essentially consisting of shortcuts to web apps of your choosing. There’s also a Google Chrome app.
The folks at Jolicloud have decided, however, to turn their focus to an interesting problem: you have many forms of media all over the web. Links, documents, pictures, videos, all shared across various services. Jolicloud would like to bring it all together with Jolicloud Me.
Begin by signing up for Jolicloud, and connect all of your services. Currently Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Picasa are supported. Jolicloud will pull all of your images, videos, music, documents, and links and present them to you in a clean, uncluttered interface:
Click on the specific type of media you’d like to browse, and Jolicloud serves them up for you:
…or you can view them all at once:
Clicking on a specific item either takes you to original page (if it’s a video, link, or the like), or opens an in-line viewer that allows you to reshare the item to your various social networks:
Any of these views can be refined by year, and you’re also given the option to create collections of your own choosing, easily accessible via the sidebar.
Although I haven’t tested it extensively, Jolicloud also has its own social network built right in- you can follow other Jolicloud users and click on the “friends” tab to see the media they’ve shared. Although privacy settings are not specified (or I just didn’t find them), the baked-in social aspect leads me to believe that all of your data is public by default, although presumably, so are the original sources Jolicloud pulls them from.
The new Jolicloud attempts to make sense of the cloud by bringing it all to you in a simple, clean, web-based format, and it succeeds admirably. I get the feeling that, like any beta product, Jolicloud is still evolving, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. In the meantime, however, the existing product is well worth the time it takes to sign up and take it for a test drive.
If you already have an existing Jolicloud account, you can use it to sign up. If you need an invite, shoot me an email.
Update: Stephanie Larry at Jolicloud has informed me that an invite mechanism is not built-in, so I can't personally send out invites. However, once you sign up, you can tweet @jolicloud your username to jump to the head of the line.