August 08, 2009

Favorit Shuts Down As Company's Focus Turns to TweetMeme

At one time, I thought Favorit was going to be the application that weaned me from Google Reader to consume all my RSS feeds. After Robert Scoble speculated it could be a serious challenger, thanks in part due to aggressive pitching from its author, Nick Halstead, I waited four months, as the product incubated, before I got my hands on it, and when I finally gained access, I was significantly underwhelmed, writing up one of the most negative pieces I've done here on the site - which, in retrospect, wasn't very nice.

Following my write-up, Nick was understandably frustrated, saying he didn't know why he gave me "the time of day", following on with a post titled "Missing the point".

While possible, some things changed after our exchange. First, Favorit came under fire from Duncan Riley and the Inquisitr for what he called "splogging". Second, Nick felt RSS was "dead for the mainstream market" later in 2008, and third, and likely most impactful, his follow-on project, TweetMeme took off like wildfire, riding the bullet train that is Twitter.

In a post issued today, saying " is Dead, Long Live Favorit", Nick expands, saying:
"TweetMeme became our focus for several reasons, firstly the trend towards status messages (micro-blogging) meant that access to real-time news was becoming a reality and that our aggregation + filtering technologies could be very quickly leveraged to take advantage of it. Secondly, our simple approach to delivering what websites desired in the form of a retweet button very quickly got traction..."
The combination of one product becoming less than everyone anticipated in parallel with one becoming a recognized leader in the real-time search and ranking space made the decision clear, and largely anticipated. That Nick and I tangled over our interpretation at the beginning was unfortunate, but I think we've both learned from it and have grown from the experience.

May Tweetmeme live and see a much better fate.