September 22, 2009

Find Similar People and Interests With Simler's Microblogging Platform

One of the most challenging issues with today's social networks is rapidly finding people who share the same interests. As you migrate from network to network, you can find commonalities between platforms, but the most likely route taken to gain a base of connections is an import of your friends from a different network, forcefully pulling them with you - even if they are not interested in the same things you are. A new invite-only network called Simler is trying to solve that issue by connecting people with the same interests - resulting in a fast-moving stream containing conversations on topics you like and enabling you to find people you may soon like, with many features you've grown accustomed to on other networks, from FriendFeed and Twitter to Google Groups and old-school discussion boards.

Simler Connects You Based On Your Tags to Conversations

At the core of Simler is the service's reliance on tags, which help to organize discussions. For example, you can start conversations on basics, such as Apple, "Spotify" and "Baseball", or branch out to other popular topics, including "Grammar Nazis" or discussions around TV shows like "Mad Men" or "Arrested Development".

As You Add Friends, Simler Recommends New Possible Connections

Posting new entries to Simler is a lot like starting a new tweet in Twitter or a native entry in FriendFeed. It doesn't contain photos, but also doesn't stop you at a mere 140 characters. The entry, like in FriendFeed, can be responded to in line, and active conversations pop to the top of your Simler. It's likely that those active in the conversation will be similar "or Simler" to you, and you can see, by clicking through their profile, if you share the same tags of interest. The more shared tags, the more likely you are to find value and get connected.

One Active Conversation on Simler With Multiple Comments

You can make comments on any Simler conversation, even if you haven't selected that topic as one of your tags. You can browse the tag directory alphabetically, or find the most popular discussions, and get started. And once you make a comment or make a new post, you will get notified on the site, or by e-mail, letting you know if anybody else added a comment and extended the thread.

Two Simler Posts In the "Apple" Forum

Some of the More Active Tags In Simler

Simler, featuring much talent from Portland, Oregon, was just recently discovered (and covered) by Silicon Florist's Rick Turoczy, also found Simler moved the needle forward, making the site more about the subjects of the conversations than on the people themselves. He says, jokingly, I hope, "I mean, if we didn’t want interactions, we’d all just start blogs."

Notices From Simler Come In Through the Site Or On E-mail

Talking about things with friends is fun. Talking about topics you are interested in is more fun. SImler hopes that its network can enable you to discover new friends via shared interests. It will take some time for the site to grow en mass for this to happen, but it is extremely easy to use, and just makes sense. It has some good polish, and despite some slowness, the site works as advertised.

As for getting in yourself, each new Simler account comes with 10 invitations. Half mine are gone already, so I have five left. It would be fantastic if you would openly share your own invites in the comments here and get people into the site. Once you do, you can find me here: