Strea.ma turns into torrent

By James Russell

High-tech display wall gains momentum and Xero boss Rod Drury is a big fan.

Georgie and Matthew Miller.
Georgie and Matthew Miller.

When smart innovations in the online world emerge, they tend to gather pace quickly.

So, when Hawkes Bay digital company Mogul began to tell people about Strea.ma - its social media display wall for events - it didn't take long to pique the interest of some powerful movers and shakers in the digital world, alongside receiving a nomination for the 2013 New Zealand Innovation Awards.

Along with the America's Cup spectators, Mogul is headed to San Francisco with Strea.ma, which has been chosen as the official social media vehicle for Xerocon - the worldwide series of conferences and recruitment drives run by Kiwi tech darling Xero and its boss, RodDrury, who is a big fan of the product.

The company has also developed a purpose-built-for-accountants website platform and has been encouraged to show its suite of products to potential customers at the Xerocon conferences in Sydney and San Francisco in the next few weeks.

"It's going a bit mad, actually," said Matthew Miller, one half of the Havelock North husband and wife team that founded Mogul.

"We're fully focused on our Xero offering, yet Strea.ma is gaining momentum faster than we would have believed. We are receiving inquiries from around the world."

Developed late last year, Strea.ma is a cloud-based web application that harvests messages and images sent from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and arranges them in a constantly changing layout for big screens at conferences, sporting events, concerts and the like.

It includes photos in the message stream and the site is responsive - it rearranges the layout of the posts to display on any device without the need for a mobile app or extra software.

Drury debuted the beta version of the product at the Xerocon conference in Auckland earlier this year with favourable results, and will use it again for the San Francisco and London events.

"Live social media interaction at events is becoming increasingly important for participation both at, and outside of, the event," said co-founder Georgie Miller.

"The problem is that usually it's fragmented across the different social networks and trying to keep up can be a bit chaotic and confusing, diluting the power of social media.

"The idea with Strea.ma was to bring all of these conversations, updates and images into one cool display wall that everyone can see," she said.

"When people see Strea.ma, they immediately get it - so are much more motivated to join the conversation, share an update, and upload a photo so they can see themselves in the stream. It totally brings the event to life."

Matthew says automatic filters can be used to block unwanted language, feeds can be tailored into tile or slide form, and easily moderated on the spot, even from a smartphone.

Xero's early adoption of Strea.ma has helped to get Mogul's work noticed, both in New Zealand and around the world, and Mogul's specialist accounting websites, which plug into Xero's cloud-based ecosystem, are also beginning to get attention, with the company building websites for clients as far afield as the United States and Britain.

- NZ Herald

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