Since it sold to AOL in 2010, simple homepage maker About.me hasn’t made much noise. It’s left a void for other startups to jump in, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. As Sarah noted last month, companies promising to make sense of all our social feeds are a dime a dozen. She thinks RebelMouse might be the one to do it (the phrase she used, I believe, was “I’m in love“).
ERA startup Glossi is fast on its heels.
To be clear, I’m talking about two different things here. There’s the social-enabled profile page. About.me has this, sortof. RebelMouse, Glossi and (not-yet-launched) Vizify have that too, but better. RebelMouse’s smart, dynamic, easy-to-absorb picture of a user’s social feeds launched in June to great fanfare. Glossi (still in beta) launched much more quietly, but the site is just as pretty.
But aside from that, there’s the much bigger problem–the social feeds of everyone else we care about and want to follow. That’s the feed overload issue we’ve been desperate to solve, but no one has done it well yet.
RebelMouse and Glossi (and a million others) are working on it. Today Glossi rolled out its first stab at a solution. I call it “megafeed.” They call it Newsstand.
To understand the megafeed, you first need to understand what Glossi started with. The company, like RebelMouse, aggregates one’s social feeds into one simple page. You can see a side-by-side comparison of my RebelMouse and my Glossi pages to get a sense of how they’re different.
RebelMouse currently supports Facebook and Twitter. The pages are very clean, simple and responsive, meaning they adjust according to the type and size of your browser. Since I don’t make my Facebook updates public and my Twitter account isn’t terribly engaging (followers be warned), my RebelMouse page is not much more than a Pinterest-looking list of stories I’ve tweeted.
But Glossi supports ten different social feeds: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare, Google+, Flickr, Dribbble (a design-focused social network), Vimeo and LinkedIn. I’ve hooked up a few more, and so my page is a bit more engaging. Glossi is also more scan-able, with photos featured in the middle and text-only tweets and check-ins relegated to a list along the right side. It is meant to look like a glossy magazine of your social activity.
Both are meant to show a comprehensive, dynamic portrait of your social activity–an About.me for a “stream”-based Internet.
With the megafeed, Glossi has entered the same game as the companies fueling our stream-based Internet–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. The homepage is now just like what you see when you log into Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter–a feed of your friends’ latest social media activities.
It’s an aggregator like many that’ve come before it. Whether it succeeds will depend on whether it gains any degree of mass adoption. In fact, I’m not following enough (read: any) people on the site to make my Glossi stream useful.
However, I might consider making my Glossi page the new homepage of my website. These may be fighting words around PandoDaily, but I like my Glossi page better than I like my RebelMouse page. (This is only notable in that that I’m on record saying RebelMouse founder Paul Berry is “like a CMS God.”)
Sandy Lin, formerly of local advertising startup Yodle, started Glossi when she realized her personal website, like most of her friends’, was stale and outdated, despite the massive amount of social content she published each day.
The company is in the current class of ER Accelerator companies. That program has a particular focus on business models–nine of the ten companies in its latest graduating class had revenue by demo day. Glossi’s business plan is a premium product of custom pages for businesses that also struggle with social fragmentation. The company has signed Saint Anselm college on as its first paying client.