[France] Paris-based Pearltrees has been catching interest around the web the last few days not least because a gaggle influential Silicon Valley bloggers have descended on Paris for Le Web, but mainly because of its interesting model for visually mapping how people collect and share information on the Web. But today the startup opens the kimono on its full system.
They will announce two new things today: Twitter synchronization (enabling a user to create a pearl automatically from Twitter and to tweet automatically from their new Pearltrees), Pearltrees search, Real time discussion and connection.
The other new aspect announced today on stage at Le Web is the Pearltrees Social System.
But to explain first, here’s a new video they just released:
Pearltrees is effectively visual social bookmarking and therefore has the potential to be more widely used than perhaps the traditional alternatives. If you recall, Twitter was a stream, but with people’s pictures. Pearltrees similarly uses these visual clues.
You can track what you have looked at and watch what your friends are tracking. Yes, that’s been done, but this is closer to a live, realtime mind-map about content which is shareable.
Content can be dragged and drapped into a browser or it indexes what links you share on Twitter. The resulting string of ‘pearls’ – littlebits of information – can be moved around and organised much more easily that, say, Delicious, because the tags can be applied in multiple ways.
It’s possible to follow, link and build up these trees or pearls. Pearltrees is also pulling relevancy from them and ranking them not unlike Google’s PageRank
So the new Pearltrees Social System is not based on the social graph as Pearltrees users do not connect with “friends” or “people”. Instead they connect and follow the parts of other user’s account that interest them. For example you can follow what I add on “Social Media” or “Musique” or any other of my interest. This is not done through filtering but via the way the interface is built: it enables people to manipulate bits and pieces of other’s account and to put it into their own.
All of this is actually embedded in a “game play”, that a user progressively discovers when using Pearltrees
So users create their pearls, get notified when someone’s pearl has the same content as them thus creating a viral loop inside their system. This is quite powerful.
Since all users are doing this, they progressively create a new kind of graph, which actually is the graph of their knowledge and interests. All together, it builds a human-powered curation of the Web.
Pearltrees has raised €2.5 million from angel investors.The revenue model is based on advertising on Pearltrees and premium accounts for publishers who embed Pearltrees in their content. That’s a tough call in a competing market but their visual approach is different enough to help.