Webjam Lets Users Be Copycats

webjam_logo.jpgA European company called Webjam launches this weekend at the LeWeb3 conference in Paris. It is a personal Web aggregation tool with a heavy social networking component.

At first, I thought Webjam was like a fancier Spokeo in that it allows you to customize your profile page with RSS feeds and your personal content from sites like Flickr. On both sites users can share their pages within their network but Webjam takes that function one step further. With Webjam, users can replicate other pages they find within the Webjam network. They can create a new page with someone else’s content and change it however they like.

For example, imagine you find a Webjam page promoting an upcoming movie. You decide you want to share it with your friends but think some of the content is offensive or lame or for some reason not worthy of sharing. If the page is public, you can duplicate that page and now the page becomes yours to change however you want. You can change the color, the layout, the content. You can add movie reviews from another site. It is a new page under your Webjam account with a new URL.

If you create a site you don’t want anyone to edit or duplicate, you can set it as private but Webjam thinks that most people will keep their pages public. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery.

For private use, Webjam is useful if you want to set your homepage to feed various social components such as your sister’s Flickr album or your friend’s recommended Web pages of the day in addition to the standard home page elements. You can easily duplicate those elements of others’ pages into your own home page. As soon as you push Edit, each component of the page becomes a module, or a widget, editable by drag and drop. The only component that is not movable or deletable is, of course, the advertising module.

The pages within Webjam are organized by tags. The founders said that they anticipate people will start to build communities within each tag.

“It’s very powerful because it’s bringing the power of communicating to the next level,” said Yann Motte, co-founder and managing director of Webjam. “Sharing is fine, but so what? We will make people better by allowing them to build on the communities of what Webjam is doing. If you have no clue on how to run a Web site, you can go to Webjam, pick one you like, and just replicated it.”

I didn’t find Webjam to be the easiest site to learn. There are so many tools and functions, which is not a bad thing but it did take longer than most social networking sites to figure out. But the tutorial is well written.

Webjam unofficially launched a week ago but they wouldn’t tell me how many users they’ve had sign up so far. “We want to keep that information to ourselves but we will say that we did not expect to see this many users from the beginning,” Motte said. The company is in the process of completing its first round of funding.

A video tour is below: