Popego is a startup which was announced at the TechCrunch 50 conference this week, aiming to help you to ‘enjoy a more meaningful web’.
Popego plans to do this by joining up all the accounts and profiles you have created around web and using this information to bring you relevant content.
You first need to create a profile on Popego, then tell the site to connect with your various online profiles, from sites like YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn, Last.fm, Twitter and others; 17 in all, at the time of writing.
The site then checks your usernames, which is the annoying part. I entered my profile names for seven different sites, and the process of checking them took over ten minutes, which is far too long.
To be fair to Popego, this slowness may be due to the demand generated by the TechCrunch 50 appearance (thousands of new users signed up last week), although it is perhaps more likely to be the result of slow API processes when pulling in information from these third party sites.
At any rate, once you have uploaded your data from these sites you can fill out your profile by adding a brief bio, a website / blog address, as well as uploading a photo.
How does it work?
Having gathered some data from your profiles on other sites, Popego will use this information to build a picture of your interests and start to recommend appropriate content.
A tag cloud diagram will display your interests, based on information gathered from other profiles:
Underneath this tag cloud, Popego will start to recommend content to you, music, videos, pictures and blogs.
There are some useful tools that allow you to be more specific in tailoring the recommendations that Popego gives you:
The ‘feed filters’ box on the right of the page lets you specify the kind of content that Popego displays for you. You can choose to view content from all sources, just your friends on the site, or from those with related interests to you.
Popego will also show you particular types of content if you specify; either photos, videos, music, websites, blog posts, and so on. The site will normally display 200 items, but you can adjust this using the slider bar so you only have to see the top ten.
The ‘Interests Equaliser’ is another useful way of filtering and adjusting the kind of content you will see on Popego:
This shows you the different sites and profiles that Popego is using to learn your interests, and you can adjust the importance of each source using the slider tool.
The recommended content on Popego was a mixed bag; presumably using my profiles from Digg and Delicious, it did give me some relevant internet marketing related content, but the music and video recommendations were patchier.
You can either ‘ban’ or ‘love’ the recommendations you are given, so perhaps Popego will learn more and your interests over time and become more accurate.
Many web users now have profiles spread about over several sites, so Popego offers an interesting and potentially useful method of tying them all together in one place.
I found a few problems here and there when testing the site; some parts were slow to load, while some of the content recommended seemed to bear no relation to the interests shown in my tag cloud.
The site is still in beta though, and may need more time to make sense about my preferences, so I hope to see more relevant interest feeds in future.
It is unclear how Popego plans to monetise the site at the moment, but the kind of information the site will gain about its users’ interests could potentially be very attractive to advertisers.
A more semantic future is on offer too, as Popego is well-placed to go down the APML (Attention Profile Markup Language) route.