September 26, 2008

After Monkeying Around, I'm Not Going Bananas for

Personal feed aggregators with social elements have been one of the more popular services to gain traction in 2008. With services like FriendFeed, Social Median, Strands, SocialThing, Profilactic and others all finding a niche, some larger than others, it's clear that people are looking to consolidate their online activities, and share the results with friends. One of the more odd attempts is that of, which lets you have your own .mp "domain", and helps you build a personal page, connect with friends and add services. While it can be fun to think of interesting names that end with .mp (,,,,,,,,,, and all come to mind), the end result isn't all that compelling. Unless we are being measured by the sheer quantity of online services we register for, and by how many places we can connect to the same people, I don't really see the point. calls itself a content hub and identity management platform. While its site is clean and its marketing well-intended, offering a "dashboard for your digital life", the end result turns out to be much less. While its user profiles look like they borrowed a page from Facebook, and the idea of aggregating feeds sounds like FriendFeed, it ends up instead being a cartoony version of an online business card that calls out only the most basic social services.

Adding Services Via Is Easy, But Limited

From the dashboard, you can add some of the standard services, but not a huge number. And just because you add a service doesn't mean it's pulling in your data. I added Twitter when I signed up, and despite posting a few tweets, my new site, hiding at, hasn't figured that out.

Looking at the sites built by others shows pictures from Flickr and Facebook, and headlines of their RSS feeds. But there's no question that the service isn't going to take on the larger players. The pages are static and don't enable discussion. And no matter how many friends you discover on the site, you don't get alerts if you visit their pages. So now, I find myself getting hit with invitation requests from folks to become contacts on the site. It's clear I don't know why I would do it, and just maybe, they don't know either.

No wonder CNET quoted one observer back in April as saying, ""I'll tell you what is. It's venture money getting set on fire." Now, I'm usually happy to give new Web services a chance and see potential, but unless there is a major overhaul here to, which would deliver greater service support, faster RSS pulls, and real social interaction, there's just no point. Now I feel like a monkey for even signing up.