Bulgarian startup favit wants to put your online chaos in order

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favit[Bulgaria] One of the biggest problems Internet users face everyday is how difficult it has become to follow news streams from many different sources without getting lost in the noise — from mainstream media, to the millions of blogs, YouTube and other social media such as Facebook, Friendfeed and Twitter.

But as (perhaps) unlikely as it sounds favit, a new startup from Bulgaria, thinks it has the answer. At the very least it’s a very nice implementation of a service which enables you to define, filter and organise information streams.

To achieve this, the site offers a sort-of socially driven RSS reader/aggregator, in which users can receive content recommendations from those in their favit social network, join ‘content’ groups or add RSS feeds of their own.

Martin Linkov, who is responsible for the company’s marketing and promotion in Bulgaria and Greece, says “the scope of favit is to become your ‘friendly filter’ – the user will invest some or no time at all to ‘map’ his areas of interest and to start receiving information on them”. (See the video pitch embedded below).

In terms of funding, Favit is part self-funded and part VC-funded by New Europe Venture Equity, a Sofia based Venture Capital firm. The service is available in English, but also in Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian but the company’s plans to localise the service for many other countries.

What is favit ? from favit on Vimeo.

  • http://favit.com/tech Martin

    Stay tuned for more interesting stuff on favit.com, a major update is coming these days offering the favit users an entirely new approach in receiving, managing and interacting with content from different platforms.

  • http://twitter.com/stan_bb Stanislav Bozhkov

    Thumbs up!

    I think that Favit deserves to try it up. It’s a little bit complicated, however it could be really helpful in the area of organizing your sources of information.

    • http://favit.com/tech Martin

      Thank you Stani and thank you Dimitri for the coverage, we really appreciate it!

  • http://www.twitter.com/olivermeakings Oliver Meakings

    Some thoughts that evenutally become a meandering ramble….

    I’m shocked, I actually like it.

    There seems to be a plethora of online services targeted at organising and amalgamating an individual’s *stream* and online conversations – but this is definitely one of the more interesting ones out there.

    What I particularly like about this is it allows me to follow:

    * individuals – as you would on twitter
    * groups (people talking about my passions and interests but without me having to listen to other noise from them)
    *sources I value. Places that frequently talk about things I like or deliver things I’m not normally interested in a way I enjoy.

    In other words, you can define and filter the stream of content to receive what you consider valuable in a multitude of ways. It’s a nice implementation.

    *From curation to following*
    It also seems that once I have curated the content into my beautifully formed stream for me, other users can then subscribe to it – so I can do the legwork for them… nice.

    However, these services only seem to answer a problem for a very small number of people. Does my mum need this? No. My sister? No. Joe Public? Not on your nelly. Anecdotally (:-/) the average person is only interacting with the web a few times a week and cannot cope with the velocity of the stream (little, often)

    That’s not to say they wouldn’t be interested in the streams of others. Could you:

    – Push out publicly curated streams focusing on niche topics into seod “passion pages” could raise visbility for themass market.

    – Widgetise them and deliver them to relevant websites, like fan pages and blogs.

    Alternatively public streams could be filtered “highlights” bringing back the most collected and shared content of the last 7 days – fewer, but more valuable updates for people that cannot cope with the velocity of the stream.

    There are other ways streams could push out for people that don’t interact with the web often – for example email lists.

    PS – why is this comment box so small. Sort it pls.

    • http://favit.com/tech Martin

      Oviler, glad you liked it and also thank you very much for the great comment, I could have hardly said it better myself, however I would have to disagree on the second part.

      I strongly do believe that each and every single individual needs a service that will allow him to be the winner in the equation “time and energy spent to process information versus information flow, filtering and sorting”

      Both your mother and sister for example, have their specific interest on which they would like to have an adequate daily flow of information, plus they should also have the equal chance to find people interested in purely women stuff, have conversation with them, explore new stuff together and have fun.

      We are working hard on the recommendation engine of favit, so once you log in and state your interests everybody has an equal chance to find his match, no matter if web2.0 was stated or Hiking on Mykonos, for example.

      If the average person is only interacting with the web a few times a week imagine a service that piles and sorts the info you care about, so even on the rare occasions you get the chance to interact with it you no longer spend time searching for it, with the 3 ways of content flow on favit – via sources, groups and people you can accomplish this, furthermore if the velocity gets out of control you can always get off the channel that bombards you with info and stay tuned just to those entities that share your pace.

      I do not agree on the idea of highlights and ranking content, most shared & liked items often are purely subjective and me personally hardly ever find something of any use among them.

      P.S. I could use a bigger comment box too :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/olivermeakings Oliver Meakings

        I totally agree there is still value for less regular web users. I also thinkthat landing pages, email lists and widgets are a way to make the streams usable for these people (and hopefully engage them enough to join).

        However if my mum wants to use your platform she currently has to select streams that work at her pace. If she eliminates streams with the highest velocity because she can’t cope with the level of updates she potentially loses a lot of value. So:

        – She loves discounts
        – The best feed for discounts is the RSS feed from moneysavingexpert website
        – It travels very quickly so she unsubscribes
        – She misses value

        Now in an ideal world there are other sources of similar content delivering as much value / the highlights at a slower pace. But *if* my mum could see just the highlights from that stream in the last 2/7/10 days, then you’ve added even more value to her favourite stream and have another compelling reason to use it.

        I guess you can see this in facebook where they have implemented the new tab for “news feed”. Now personally I think it’s a load of crap and frequently features stuff I have no interest in- but then I use the web all day, so it’s obv not made for people like me. However, I can see why they do it, and who it is for. Perhaps a compromise is some sort of “things you might have missed feature”.

        I’ll have a play around on your site when I get a chance and leave you some more thoughts.

        There is potentially a big debate around this, but I am sure your users and site analytics will tell you everything you need to know.

        I will of course follow your product and wish you the best of luck!

      • http://favit.com/tech Martin

        Thanks for the comment Oliver, when I first posted my reply I did not go about agreeing with you on the widget stuff, because it had already became already a long answer :)

        But of course, I totally agree and even now in our widgets section: http://favit.com/tools you can find a pretty useful widget we have developed that shows all of your different network profiles and collects your scattered updates & shares and nicely rotates them. This widget can be applied both to a group and a person’s profile which is nice cause that way you take information from many sources, curate/arrange and then neatly export it to external sites.

        As far as landing pages goes, you can have a look at my favorite group: http://favit.com/cycling – you immediately understand what the group is all about, what its users like & share and where they are located – all important when u decide whether or not to join & participate and if the group will be of any use to you.

        Now again on the highlights and again with an example of the cycling group: http://favit.com/cycling/feed/day will show you the best of the day and there are sections for week and month, respectively.

        You and me, as people hanging all day in the net will probably not use it and that is why I told you before I do not believe this model is objective and bullet proof.

        I’d rather go for smart filtering on my selected sources, for example your mum can subscribe to moneysavingexpert websites RSS feeds and then apply filters to them for the goods she is particularly interested in, I do believe this is the best option, and it can be achieved currently with favit via the groups, where you put the groups interests (themes) and add sources which content will be checked for compliance prior to being allowed to enter the group, this is how I catch up with info, when I have been away or on vacation.

        I am open for any comments and feedback and I really enjoy the discussion we are having.

        Hope you like what we have to offer and drop us some more criticism/suggestions!

  • http://blogtronix.com Vassil Mladjov

    Congrats guys,
    The favit team has been working very hard on this new version, UI, exposure, and is starting to pay off, I am very happy to see a coverage here on this great startup.

    Cheers to them and Neveq (their VC)

  • http://pesho.edno23.com/view/post:403595 pesho: Bulgarian startup @favit wants to put y.. - edno23.com

    […] startup @favit wants to put your online chaos in order. TechCrunch Europe. http://eu.techcrunch.com/2009/11/04/bulgarian-startup-favit/ в Любими преди 1 минута edno23.com Начало контакти […]

  • http://www.stockpodium.com StockPodium

    Hey, it’s great project and I am really excited to see a Bulgarian project featured here… hope it will be one of many!

  • http://blogtronix.com Vassil Mladjov

    Check out Blogtronix, we are also 50% Bulgarian startup and we are about to launch two new products, a new enterprise version of BTX and a brand new microsocial real-time platform

  • http://favit.com/tech Martin


    Blogtronix is even covered by… wait for it… Michael Arrington! back in 2005.

    Good job Vassil!

    Thank you for the good words on favit.

    Stockpodium, I think you will be featured here pretty soon too, the service you offer and the competitions you have won speak for themselves :)

  • http://dichev.net J Dichev

    Favit always seemed to me like a good and potentially must-use service but user interface has stopped me so far from using it.

  • John Mansky

    I haven’t tried the service yet but their homepage has a very generic look to me, almost makes me want to navigate away instantly. This could very well be in part of the mood I am in (not the best) or too much white space on the page, I think they could do a much better job at displaying their service features using something other than a 3 slide js slider. Just my opinion of course, I’m signing up regardless.

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  • http://favit.com/tech Martin

    @J Dichev & @John Mansky Thank you very much for your feedback.

    Indeed UI is the thing we get more criticized on, and the thing we work harder on improving, we have completed a few eye-tracking tests so stay tuned for a much easier and intuitive interface to come shortly.

    @John Mansky home pages are probably the hardest decisions in any project. As we all know first impressions are extremely important and sadly, you have just one chance for a first impression. Significant effort and discussion has been put in this direction and I do believe that the next home page that we will introduce will meet your requirements better.

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.novavizia.com/ Todor Christov

    Good luck to Favit! They have a couple of mighty competitors for the attention of the users but if their planning and implementation is good, they can make it – the product is good!

  • http://kaloyan.info/ Kaloyan K. Tsvetkov

    Besides the great product & service (I used it heavily to cover the elections in Bulgaria last summer) FAVIT is one of the most hard working project I’ve seen. It is certainly one of the Bulgarian projects I am most proud of :)

  • Mark

    It would helpful to see a video of this in action (instead of colored balls). Are there any application demos anywhere?

  • heityoas

    what is this , the bulgarian startup promotion board?
    the website has awful design. someone get these guys a dictionary. reeks of amateur .

    • http://favit.com/tech Martin

      Your feedback is highly appreciated, though you might have been misled by the beginning of the article – Bulgaria is just one of the countries favit is present, the article is submitted by a Greek author and TechCrunch Europe has enough room for us all.


    • http://www.nsyght.com Geoffrey McCaleb

      How is your Bulgarian troll? We should applaud entrepreneurs no matter which corner of Europe they come from.

      I for one am impressed with what they have pulled off, though the UI seems to strike me with feature-overload.

      But hey, hats off to the team.

  • http://blogtronix.com vassil mladjov

    try to run your own biz and see how it is first. No one is perfect, my English sucks as a 4th language, what’s new ?

    • heityoas

      cheers. just having some fun. it’s actually great to see stuff like that come out of countries like bulgaria (though IT talent is in abundance there, but it takes some product leadership as well to do more than for-hire, outsourcing work.)
      And regarding running your own business: hardest thing there is. I have 100x more respect for the founder of an average profitable business, than a rose-through-the-ranks large company executive.

  • http://www.twitter.com/olivermeakings Oliver Meakings

    Wow, the more we talk the more I love the premise. Sorry i missed some of that – I’m actually at work and just dropping in thoughts as and when I get a spare minute (plus I have no sound so missed the video). I suppose the only piece of feedback I would now leave is:

    – Sell the power of the service more clearly on your homepage in its next iteration. (and I’m sure you intend to from the other comments) As I work through the copy, the slideshow and the links you send me the concept becomes clear – but how will the average person who doesn’t get a buzz from all this engage with the service? What is their hook?

    Sadly most people won’t to know how it works for them then and there. Can this be illustrated high level more simply I wonder?

    Actually another point. Potentially you want to work and sell around three types of people.

    – People who use the service to manage the flow of informatiom from the online services they use. The platform is used to filter.

    – The above who also work as content curators whose aim is to create landing pages like your cycling one.

    – Light users who want to join a group about their passion but is unlikely ever to interact or engage in the way a curator might. For them the experience needs to work like second tier social network.

    Trying to sell this to all audiences on one homepage (all with different values, and levels of web savvy) might be near impossible.

    For the thrid type of user, potentially a really flat clean page (like a google search) called “what’s your passion?” that connects joe public to a group could be great.

    Oh dear, I’ve gone off on one again… but you could also use this stream of info from *all* these services to build a real time search engine.

    You could even define the semantics of the results using crowd-sourced curator labelling (they’re doing it anyway!).

    • http://favit.com/tech Martin

      Greetings Oliver,

      For one thing you are more than right:

      “Trying to sell this to all audiences on one homepage might be near impossible.”

      To be honest the discussions about the homepage and what and how should be shown there took us a lot of time and we have never actually fully agreed on one vision/decision.

      Good news is that when you arrive on a service’s homepage you are kind of prepared what to expect (like the case here) you have read an article or heard from friend, etc.

      The harder thing is once you get the user, to show him around and “upsale” your service(s) to the next level.

      We are working on a call out tutorial procedure for the next update and carefully linking sections from the interface to an explanation from the support center on to how things can be done and what is out there more for the user. Additionally, we are identifying and monitoring the channels from which we get most visitors and in the new version there will be some short explanation texts on these landing pages, so people can get and remember the added value in one sentence.

      Also, do not get me wrong but I will be pretty content if a person uses just the Subscription Service of favit, or does nothing else but rating and commenting on items in his favorite groups, and then one day if he has the need explore and other possibilities, start groups of its own etc, but only if he needs it.

      Now for the three types of users you have identified – I pretty much believe the third type follows the first two (one) so it will be a good start to show the added value to the curators and then once they start using it the idea will be easily conveyed to their followers.

      As far as the real time search goes, we already have it our Subscriptions section, where search is performed in all preselected and trusted sources of information of the platform users, search is lightning fast and bringing nice chronologically ordered results from different platforms – which makes press clipping and media monitoring a piece of cake :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/olivermeakings Oliver Meakings

    spelling fail :-(

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  • http://www.bban.eu Anthony Nabb

    The service is great. Thumbs up! Keep up the good work! Hope to see you expand quickly globally.

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  • http://favit.com/tech Martin

    favit has just been updated and offers you a great new approach to almost all spheres of content interaction sharing and management, step by and check the new update @ http://favit.com

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  • Dimitar

    I like the idea and the website.

    I don’t like the voice and accent of the guy in the video. If you need any help with that feel free to contact me. Or even with the greek stuff too :D

    Good Luck!

    • http://favit.com/marfi Martin

      Contacting you will be pretty hard, since you have not specified how we can achieve this :)

      However, feel free to contact us at any time you want we will be more than happy to hear from you.

      • sk

        your site looks like shit

    • http://www.luludating.com/ free adult personals

      Always was interested in this theme! Oh dear, I’ve gone off on one again… but you could also use this
      stream of info from *all* these services to build a real time search

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