Jason Calacanis has announced an expansion to the Mahalo social platfrom that allows users to access most major social networking sites within Mahalo itself.
The idea of social networking site aggregation or single landing page isn’t new, we’ve covered startups aiming to provide a similar service, such as MyLifeBrand, ProfileLinker and Loopster, but none have really captured the imagination of the broader internet. Mahalo is trying to better these services by becoming the front page destination for those looking to access sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and others.
Setup is easy enough. You simply add your user name or user ID into the boxes provided, and it then pulls your profiles from each service. It’s not perfect yet, for example you have to provide your full URL for Facebook (which they noted) and LinkedIn (which they didn’t note). From there you can visit each page via tabs on Mahalo itself. I found that maybe half of the pages I opened remembered my ID and I had immediate access to use the sites, others didn’t at first, but after logging in work fine.
I wont fully revisit the whole is Mahalo a great service debate here other than to say that someone once described Mahalo to me as search for the mentally challenged (well he used another word, use your imagination). I’ve always thought that was a little unfair, it’s perhaps search for the Google and/ or Boolean illiterate (so I’m not the target market), but there is value there for the general consumer market. I’m not about to switch to using Mahalo for search tomorrow and I’d expect most of you reading this wont, but ignore the search and take a look at Mahalo Multiprofiles.
It’s well implemented, handy, and its something I can see myself using. We still aren’t at the ultimate point of proper social networking aggregation yet (see Google Socialstream for how it will eventually work) but in the mean time Mahalo Multiprofiles may well find favor among the many who struggle to keep up with their ever growing number of social network sites.
On a related note, I cant help that wonder exactly in which direction Mahalo is heading. Mahalo offers a social networking platform that now does aggregation, and on the search side it’s starting to look more and more like Weblogs Inc than a search engine, check out the Celebrity Gossip pages as an example: that’s not search results, that looks and smells like content generation to me. Calacanis has always been good a building multiple traffic streams so it’s probably part of that strategy, but at the current rate Mahalo wont primarily be a search tool by the end of 2008.