Live Blogging from New Tech Meetup, Reviewing: MyThings, Merchant Circle, Razz, and CoRank (manage stuff, smb, personalize audio, and network’d digg)
(Left: This is a stock photo from the four seasons website, the Palo Alto hotel, DLA Piper is located in the same complex)
I’m live blogging at New Tech Meetup tonight in the gorgeous Palo Alto area hosted by the second largest law firm in the world, DLA Piper. We’re right next to the swanky sexy Four Seasons, I’m the guest of Dave Alpert of PodTech.
Web Strategy Review of the 5 Minute Presentations:
MyThings: Keep track and manage your personal inventory
My things, the largest website of belongings. Connecting with the products you own with others. From a consumer perspective, they collect their info, and connect you with third parties. you can benefit from; finding other people that own that party, connect you with folks with similar products, third party warranties, as well as experts. You can also estimate how much your products are worth. Experts tell folks what the items really were worth. Security: you do not have to give your real name, just email address nor location. They’ve got some security agreements with Verisign, for whatever that’s worth.
Merchant Circle: The Small Business Marketing Network
“Delivering Value to the 20 Million small businesses out there” They’ve build 15 million plus websites using a mass media effort. This reminds me much of Yahoo Businesses or an index for small businesses. By leveraging the economies of scale, small businesses can benefit from the large effects of a sophisticated web strategy. There’s even a way to advertise on blogs, and other types of media. Apparently there’s some listening tools so they can find out who’s talking about them.
Razz: Audio Mashup for Web and Mobile
Allow people to mix their audio content with their voice. They’ve got three products: 1) Razz Mobile, it comes with 6 sounds that you can hit on your live calls so it’s audible to both the caller and receiver. There’s also a network based solution, that let’s folks select Mr. T, Jerky Boys, and other silly content. 2) Razz Mixer: There’s a mixer and soundboard so you can mix your voice with your own voice. When you post the code, there’s a player that emerges that can be embedded in a users blog and replace profile information. I believe that Odeo was in this space for a while.
coRank: Network based “Digg” and personal homepage
I didn’t get to add this until the morning after, as my battery died at the event, so I had to switch to paper (gasp). CoRank lets you share with people that you trust, and that trust you. It’s sort of a digg evolution, as every user has their own customized front page (unlike Digg’s single page) and the stories are voted up and down by trusted peers. This tool looks for the wisdom of crowds, well really, one’s trusted network, as well as recommends content that people ‘like you’ also like. The presenter is apt to point out one of Digg’s (many) flaws, in that everyone is treated equally as an expert. That statement is somewhat true, Digg actually favors those that have had success in bringing highly rated stories over newbies. There’s also an alert section on the homepage that lets one find out when some of their content has been responded to. Did you see my review on newstrust? How about Google Reader’s shared items? It can hook into the coRank system.
Who would I invest in?
If I had to invest in any of these companies and my future depends on it, I would invest in the Merchant Circle, as this is a very difficult segment to grasp online, as well as the majority of businesses are small businesses. Of course, 5 minute demos, and I’m likely wrong, just my initial knee jerk reactions.
Great event, thanks for the pizza, wine, and drinks, I’ll be back next time!