I got the opportunity last week to test drive Scrapblog, a flash based application that allows you to mix up photos and videos to create a multimedia scrapbook that you can share and send to friends. The new release is planned for March, but thanks to Carlos Garcia and the team, I was able to sneak in early and play around with the application a bit.
The old version was built using Flex 1.5 and the speed increase thanks to Flex 2 is noticeable. It also allows them a bit more flexibility in what they can do. As you would expect, you can hook your Scrapblog account into Flickr, Webshots and Yahoo Photos to pull in photos for use with your Scrapblog. You drag assets on to the screen, and then use Scrapblog's robust workspace to tilt, size and position the dragged assets. Currently, Scrapblog offers out of the box stickers, shapes, photos, videos, and wallpapers. I asked about allowing users to upload their own stickers and wallpapers and while that isn't a feature now, it's something they've considered and are planning on for future releases.
My feeble attempt at a good looking scrapblog
When I first heard about Scrapblog I wasn't sure about the viability of a site that catered to the scrapbooking demographic. After talking with the team and experimenting with the application, I realized that's not necessarily who Scrapblog is after. They have stickers and text bubbles that would make most scrapbookers feel at home, but the application is really about letting yourself be creative. If you think about all the photos you have on your Flickr account or even YouTube videos you've created, they all stand alone. You can put them into sets, but that's about as creative as you get. With Scrapblog, you have a new way to present those photos to the world. You can use your imagination to create a story from trip photos or have a video be the centerpiece of a page while you fill in background details with photos or stickers. When you're finished, you can export your Scrapblog as a Flickr slideshow or for a more rich experience, embed it as a widget on your blog or MySpace account.
My wife starts a much better looking scrapblog
I'm very excited to see what people do with Scrapblog, because as we've seen with Flickr and YouTube, there are some extremely creative people out there. Scrapblog provides a new outlet for that creativity, and I think the people that can tap into that will create some fantastic presentations. Scrapblog is a great entry into the ever expanding class of creativity-enabling Rich Internet Applications.