Blendapps is a chat mashup provider. For anyone whose response is: “Okay. So what’s a mashup?” the answer is that a mashup is what an older generation might have called a hybrid – it brings together data and applications from two or more sources in a form that makes them appear seamlessly integrated. To work properly, mashups need to be client applications or hosted online. In the case of Blendapps, the app may be said to be a mashup of cloud computing technology with AOL and Meebo platforms, the Google App Engine and Ning’s and Facebook‘s APIs.

All of that probably makes Blendapps sound more complicated than it is; what in fact Blendapps does is give non-technical users the ability to create chat rooms for Facebook or Ning Networks.

The history of Blendapps shows in microcosm the speed at which the Internet has developed and grown from one thing into another and then another.

When it began in 2008, it was as a provider for Ning Networks and it still does that. It also permitted the user to choose their own chat provider from Meebo or Userplane. Sadly, Userplane – having been bought by AOL in 2006 for $40 million – closed down in 2013 but Meebo was bought by Google and now forms part of Google+. It was and remains advantageous that Blendapps was an early implementer of Google App Engine.

Users with no particular Internet skills can build a chat room that will take profile pictures and profiles from Facebook and/or Ning and display them, confident in the knowledge that there chat room can be online and accepting new members within minutes of starting the process.