Shoutmail.com, Inc., a provider of Internet-telephone applications, today announced that it has signed a joint marketing and technical development agreement with Valent Software Corporation. Under the agreement, Valent will fully integrate Shoutmail Web-phone technologies into the company's NetClubs community platform and real-time messaging services.
Shoutmail.com will also be offering NetClubs membership to everyone who signs up for a free Shoutmail account. With NetClubs, Shoutmail users will be able to not only access their email by phone, but also instant messaging with virtual communities and online buddies.
Shoutmail will enable all users of NetClubs to call in, check who is online from their clubs, and easily send them an instant voice message from any telephone or cell phone. Shoutmail converts a phone-based recorded message into a streaming RealAudio attachment and delivers the voice message to an online IM address. Shoutmail will also enable NetClubs users who have wireless Web connections via new WAP-based 'smart' phones to interact with groups and online buddies in real-time by exchanging voice and text-based instant messages from their phones.
Valent's NetClubs is a community-centric real-time presence and messaging platform offered under the brand name of "Lycos Clubs," and powers community-building services for Lycos - the most visited hub on the Internet and the world's largest online community with nearly 32 million users. NetClubs is also offered by NeoPlanet.com, provider of the industry leading NeoPlanet desktop portal with 1.3 million users.
With NetClubs, Lycos and NeoPlanet users can form messaging clubs around any topic. They can create Web pages offering dedicated message boards, photo albums, online polls, chat rooms and now, with the help of Shoutmail, phone access, fusing the power of instant messaging within the context of Web communities with users' most common communications device.
The integration of Shoutmail and NetClubs enables, for the first time, instant messaging with phone access for real-time communications among virtual communities. The NetClubs-Shoutmail integration produces the first service to combine three of the hottest tools for personal communication on the Internet with phone access:
Virtual communities Buddy lists Instant messaging "Community-building is the driving force behind the Web phenomenon. Valent's NetClubs is the first fully integrated platform for building interactive communities on the Web. As people become more reliant upon the Web as their source for communications, community and information, they will demand broader access to the benefits of the Web. There is no reason why Web-access must be limited to the PC box," said Shoutmail.com President and CEO Jacob Guedalia. " Besides our free consumer email-by-phone service, Shoutmail's underlying XML-based technology can be applied to a wide range of innovative applications. Valent's integration of Shoutmail to phone-enable instant messaging for online communities is a perfect example and creates a new tool for accessing and expanding Web-based communities." "Our NetClubs platform integrates user-created public and private Web communities with real-time communications. With Shoutmail phone access, we can now offer our uniquely integrated messaging and virtual community service over any phone," said Anthony Antonuccio, President/COO of Valent Software Corp. "We are committed to providing our communities with the most advanced Internet messaging tools and are excited to include Shoutmail's services as part of the NetClubs offering. NetClub users can now stay in touch with other club members even when they are away from their PCs."
"NeoPlanet has been an innovator in integrating popular features that were previously only available to consumers as separate applications and presenting a totally personalized Web experience. For the first time, users can get instant messaging, email, Web communities and Web browsing in a single easy-to-use application," added Drew Cohen, CEO, NeoPlanet, Inc. "Accessing the Internet beyond the PC is the next step in expanding the Web and making it more practical for our everyday lives. We welcome NetClub's integration of Shoutmail phone access. NeoPlanet users now have the unprecedented ability to experience the best community and messaging features of the Web from any phone."
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