No one needs another Facebook or Twitter so any social networking site had better have something new. Serial entrepreneur Vince Broady, who has experience in knowing what people like through his background with games and entertainment, is convinced he has one. It launched this week as thisMoment.com.Broady’s idea is to let people create what he calls “moments,” which I would call electronic scrapbooks. ThisMoment is designed to work in lots of places — on the thisMoment website, within Facebook (some security issues are still being resolved, he says, but you can use your Facebook ID to sign up), or on an iPhone.Content can come from anywhere so long as it’s digital: text, YouTube, a video camera, your digital camera, Flickr, Picassa or Facebook. OK, all that might be tough in your old high school scrapbook.Broady doesn’t exactly mind the word scrapbook (my word, not his), but he thinks that doesn’t really capture what his new product does.”A scrapbook is solitary and this is collaborative,” he says, because a group of friends can all pour content into a single “moment,” and they can do it from anywhere. “A scrapbook looks backward, but a ‘moment’ can look forward to a trip I’m going to take, not just one I’ve taken,” he said.In addition to individual moments, Broady has tapped The New York Times, Time Inc , and Hachett Filipacchi Media U.S.’s Road and Track, which are putting together pre-packaged moments of their own. He showed off a New York Times “moment” f Barcelona, which combines pictures, text and restaurant suggestions.In this tight economy, Broady is funding the project himself and with a little help from his friends — other Silicon Valley denizens who know his work. He has raised $3 million and won’t seek funding from venture capitalists for awhile yet.Broady envisions the 25-to-45-year-old crowd starting first. But teen-agers could be the first to discover it for dates, parties and trips.
U.S. citizens need as much information as they can get to make the best decisions about their political system and the companies they invest in, believes Kim Cranston. The son of late California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston is using the Internet to do that.
Americans are more likely to face tough issues head on, such as climate change, if they have more information, Cranston says. For that reason, he, Jeff Manning, and some Stanford students have started a website to put an easy voting guide on the Web. The idea behind the website, transparentdemocracy.org, is to give people guideposts.