Redanyway is a young startup out of India that aims to provide an alternate way to manage your ‘centralized me’ where your personal website or blog is your profile page outside of any walled gardens. The founders dubbed the application a ‘distributed social network’, but I look at it more like MyBlogLog on steroids, since it’s basically a way to get to know and interact more with your readers.
Signing up is invitation-only for now, but we’ve got some invite codes for the first 1000 TechCrunch readers that register for beta testing the application. You don’t need to comment on this post to get an invite, simply use ‘techcrunch’ upon registering or click here for a shortcut.
The essential idea behind Redanyway is that it should be easier for content publishers to build a social network around blog posts, photos, videos etc. and also enable users to follow / befriend on this centralized location, enhancing traffic, interactivity and reader engagement. In a sense, it also acts like a feed reader, by aggregating content from various sources and bringing it together in a single feed in the Redanyway dashboard. In a blog post, co-founder Kuldeep Kapade says they want to cut out RSS as the middle-man for subscribing to online content. If they’d add tabs and futher categorization capabilities, it would be even more useful, I think.
The setup is a bit tedious, though, as publishers are required to install a plugin / widget on their personal blog or website, which is still quite a challenge for many mainstream bloggers (i.e. Redanyway’s target audience). The startup integrated Gigya to make the whole process a bit less complicated, but I still feel this might be a hindrance for the company’s growth. I’m also having trouble looking at it from a different perspective than recent initiatives like Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect. Furthermore, I ran into a couple of bugs when adding contacts in the initial setup process, and someone should really take a look at the design and usability of the application as well.
That said, Redanyway is still in private beta and has only been going for a couple of months, so maybe we’ll see some improvements in the future. All in all, I’m not really impressed, but maybe I’m missing something here. The startup was short-listed for the Techstars Summer program out of hundreds of applications, even though they eventually didn’t participate due to external circumstances.