Ziki launches and I like it

It has been a loooooooong time since I was really impressed by a social networking site. Ziki.com launched this week and I took a look at it today. It is an aggregator that currently aggregates people and their interests and content around the web, and supposedly will aggregate a lot more in the future:

“Soon we’ll release two useful services: Ziki Groups and Ziki Businesses. Further down the line, look out for the Ziki content search engine, which will make it easy to search through the content you produce. At a later stage will come Ziki Marketplace. Ultimately we want Ziki to be a platform connecting people, groups and businesses, whatever their needs may be.” (From the Ziki blog)

The site relies on tags to connect people with shared interests, or gender, or profession. I remember in high school I was a heavy letter writer, I had penpals all over the world. To connect with new penpals, we had little FBs, or Friendship Booklets going around, traveling the world. When you started one, you added your address and a little bit of info about yourself, then sent it to a penpal of yours, who then sent it to one of theirs and so on, until the booklet filled up with addresses of people all over the world and the last person sent it back to you. In these FBs put lists of interests and “likes”. Mine probably read: “16, Hungarian, ice skating, traveling, going out with friends, internet, ABBA, REM, Madonna, Adrian Mole” (yikes, it’s surprisingly hard to remember what I liked at 16 years of age). In a way, it was an early attempt at tagging myself, with my likes, interests, favourite things, location etc. I had real nostalgia to this process when I was tagging myself (how weird does that sound) today on Ziki.

Besides the tagging ourselves activity, you can tell Ziki where the content you create on the web is located and Ziki will pull it together into one page. Flickr Photos, blog posts, delicious links, maps, videos, audio, whatever it is, if it has an RSS feed it can go into your ziki page.

Why did Ziki impress me? Hard to say, I am not entirely sure myself. I have seen similar aggregators before, but the tagging ourselves and connecting people based on common tags makes the social aspect more interesting. The design is cool, clean, responsive, and fun. Social candy.

Usefulness? Currently it’s more fun than useful. In the future, based on what I quoted above, it sounds really exciting, especially Ziki Business and Ziki Marketplace.

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