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Friday, November 24, 2006

Manage All Your Social Networks with Spokeo

Spokeo is a company you'll hear about a lot in the future, and not just because they seem to be aggressively pitching their company to bloggers. I write this confidently because it has huge potential. Essentially, Spokeo acts as a portal to social networking sites, aggregating posts, videos, and images of your friends from networks like MySpace, Xanga, Hi5, and Bebo into one location. As more and more users start to join niche social networks, it'll become harder and harder to keep track of your friends' goings-ons, and Spokeo attacks this problem head-on.

Founder Harrison Tang describes it as "a multi-media RSS reader. Technically however, it works more like Google News. Instead of news, Spokeo tracks millions of blogs, photos, and videos." Although mainly focused on social networks, Spokeo can also be used as a regular old RSS reader to keep track of your favorite blogs, but that would be a waste of its potential.

Adding friends is easy although private profiles aren't supported. You can either import your friends list and profile by entering your login information, or manually add friends one by one. As you can see below, handy graphics tell you what URL to copy to add a feed of your friend's activities to your account.Extensive use of AJAX makes browsing quick and easy. The feel of the UI is similar to most other RSS feedreaders so users should easily take to using it although the excessively gray theme is a little off-putting.

Spokeo is off to an impressive start, but certainly it wouldn't take much for RSS feedreader sites to add functionality supporting social networking profiles. It'll have to depend on getting entrenched as a first mover, or else the competition, which already has a large userbase, will simply replicate Spokeo's features, disincentivizing user migration.


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Reader Comments:

Thanks for your review and kind words. This is our first web project after college, so we understand that we still have a lot to learn and improve. However, we will work harder to make Spokeo useful for everyone.

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