Content discovery meets powerful recommendation engine at Pugmarks.me

There is quite a bit of ‘content noise’ on the web – i.e. very few original content and a lot of rehash with little value add (plus, the attack of SEO). For those who value content and need more rhythm over random, Pugmarks.me is meant for you.

Launched by Dhiti, which earlier raised funding from Ojas Ventures Pugmarks.me takes a very fundamental approach to content consumption on the web – i.e. of trusting the social web.  Available as a browser plugin for Chrome (and bookmarklet for other browsers), Pugmarks lets you ‘pugmark’ an article making it discoverable to those who follow you.

pugmarks_screenshot

There are 4 main call to actions:

  • Pugmarking: When you are reading an article that seems useful, just Pugmark it. Pugmarking makes this article discoverable for people who follow you (which includes yourself). Users who follow you on Pugmarks will be recommended this article if they are on a similar one.
  • Recommendations: When you are on an article, the service will recommend similar and relevant ones from your web of trust.
  • Suggestions: If you have a friend on Pugmarks who has marked similar articles, the service will recommend that you suggest the article to him.
  • Grow: If we know there are sources or people that typically write or mark articles similar to the one you are on, we’ll ask you to follow them. This is a great way to grow your web of trust – contextually.

The product is aimed at a segment which needs to consume information (for their professional needs), filtered by the social web (i.e. sans chatter). Typical target segment for Pugmarks include entrepreneurs to venture capitalists, journalists, curators, market researchers, investment analysts, entrepreneurs, developers, designers etc.

pugmarks

In short, Pugmarks.me curates the web, as per your social connections and shares relevant content under a context.  That is, you and I need not share a lot of content taste, but maybe there could be a few contexts where we can help each other discover relevant content.

What about Privacy?

After all, the plugin is mining your web pugmarks! Here is what the team has to share:

Will your reading history be public?

No. Your reading history is private to you, and kept protected in our servers. Your reading history is not stored for ever. Only the articles you have read in the recent past are stored.

Will your data be mined?

Yes! Pugmarks.me is a recommender system. It analyses your marks, indexes them and helps you get better articles. However, only articles that you explicitly “mark” will be used to know what you like. Not your reading history.

Will your followers see a list of my marks?

Marking makes an article discoverable. These articles are shown as recommendations if your followers are on a related one. The list of your marks is only accessible to you. So, do not be worried about your marks spamming your friends.

The biggest challenge, in my opinion for Pugmarks is to get users to pugmark articles. Unlike services like Facebook/Twitter, where there is a tangible benefit of sharing content (shares/likes/retweets), Pugmarks still doesn’t give an instant gratification to the user. Having said that, Pugmarks.me is one of those promising products that will find its own niche of users.

For sure, the product fits right into the current noise of content rehashed web and is strongly recommended for those who need to dive deeper into content topics, without getting into the pain of navigating through otherwise mediocre Google search.

Do give the service (though invite only, the team has opened up invites to 200 members) a spin and share your comments/feedback with the team.

[This startup coverage is part of Pluggd.in’s 65 startup special series, which is supported by Nexus Venture Partners. If you are a product startup, submit your details here.]

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