Aggregating on the go with Zannel.com

A couple of years ago I discovered a means for posting pictures to Twitter so that I could add more of a multimedia component to my daily musings. That application? Twitpic. But over the past year or so, I’ve encountered some serious issues with having my submissions to Twitpic not automatically generating any tweets which somewhat diminished my experience because all that I could do was upload photos from my phone straight to Facebook.

Enter Zannel. After first hearing about it a few months ago during a recent trip to their offices in San Francisco for the Social Media Club’s monthly meeting, I thought I’d give it a shot and test how it functioned and whether it would be an adequate substitute to Twitpic. To my surprise, it is!

Here’s something that you might be interested in with Zannel: it allows you to aggregate all your photos and videos that you take from your mobile phone and creates a profile page with your timeline. So no longer will you need to scour your twitstream or scroll through endless pictures on Twitpic. Zannel will give you the photo, caption, and any comments you want. One of the best things is that you can have it post also to Flickr and Twitter as well so you’ll have a tweet complete with a link so others can see what you post.

My recent appreciation for Zannel came during South by Southwest when I wanted to find a way to post updates to Twitter real time instead of waiting to upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr. Zannel allows me to do just that and I didn’t have any real delays in submitting my photos. Keep in mind that Zannel is also a social networking site so you can register and create your own profile and even link to other Zannel people. Tagging isn’t included right now, but you can drop comments. When you reply to others, you can also choose to leave a comment or message them directly – so you don’t need to be following them in order to message them.

Okay, so enough about the features. Let’s talk applicability.

After I discovered Zannel and at first brushed it off, I rethought about how useful Zannel would be. Imagine, if you will, a major event or trip that you’d like to monitor or display photos & videos that people take on their phones and tag them a certain way. A prime example would be the inauguration of Barack Obama. If you had people taking pictures of the swearing-in, then perhaps they would best email it to Zannel and tag it with “#inaug09”. Through some other handywork and programming, you could create a page that aggregates all those photos & videos and thereby, through RSS, display it on a website.

Now, keep in mind that this is not a replacement for YouTube or Flickr. Rather, it’s a way that will create a mobile version of  Flickr & YouTube that you can monitor to see what people are saying about your event, brand, product, etc.

In one of my earlier blog posts, I talked about the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau’s latest marketing campaign in the San Francisco area. To help gauge what people are saying about their campaign, the hope would be that people would email their photos to Zannel and then you can check out whether people are really noticing any Hawaii ads or marketing promos on the streets or stations of San Francisco.

If you’re having issues with Twitpic or want to run a marketing campaign where you’d like to proudly display what people are saying about your product, then check out Zannel. It’s free and there’s some great commercial use. Aggregate away!

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."