Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm Picking Up Some Netvibrations

I was looking at some of the recent traffic on my site when I noticed that someone entered through a Netvibes feed. I checked it out and once again found something that had been around for a few years, had millions in funding, millions of users and yet I had not heard of it previously.

Man, it is hard to keep up.

Netvibes is currently touting its 500 universes and its winning a 2007 Webware award.

It is an AJAX driven personal homepage feed aggregator and I have to admit that it is pretty cool. A bit busy, but for the web addicted, it could be an extremely valuable tool.

From their own definition (or the closest thing to it):

“Welcome to Netvibes!

This is your personalized page, you can now modify everything: move modules, add new RSS/ATOM feeds, change the parameters for each module, etc. Your modifications are saved in real-time and you'll find your page when you get back on Netvibes.com. If you want to be able to access your page from any computer, you can sign in (at the top right) with your email and a password.”

But what I found most fascinating is that the site carries very little information about itself other than how to use it. I did some looking around and they made it very difficult to simply get a “who, what, when, where and why” about themselves.

A couple of things of note:

It appears to be European in origin with a great number of French users. This makes more sense when you find out that the CEO is Tariq Krim, an engineer who founded the first Web radio in Paris, came to the US, back to France as a journalist, back to the US where the digital music industry is growing then back to France to launch an MP3 site.

In Sept of 2005 he launched Netvibes.

In June of 2006 Pierre Chappaz, who landed a chunk of change from a sale of his company, Kelkoo.com, to Yahoo and who was at one time the President of Yahoo, became the Co-CEO. Pierre has quite the list of accomplishments in the tech world.

So just last month Pierre announces on his blog that he is quitting all his functions at Netvibes over differences in what the business model might be. (according to netviber.blogspot.com)

I am definitely going to keep an eye on this one.

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