XYDO takes the social graph and turns it into a network of news that is automatically curated through users Twitter and Facebook streams. Think Digg and Reddit, add social news feeds automatically and you have XYDO.A new social network launched today around the sharing and engagement of news.
Digg and Reddit were two of the quintessential wave of Web 2.0 companies. They aggregated news thought user submission, allowed people to vote articles up or down and built large communities of engagement. XYDO is not that much different but adds the layer of the social graph, making its user base much wider. In its private beta it had around 7,000 users whose social graphs extended to 1.1 million people, giving XYDO an incredible reach of content.
XYDO is a smart step in the evolution of curated news on the Web. It is inherently a social network that revolves around news, a concept that has worked very well in the past with Digg, Reddit and Delicious. Those platforms may not be quite as popular (see: Decline of Digg) as they once were but there is still a decent demographic for a curated news ecosystem.
"XYDO is on the forefront of a major wave towards true personalization of the news that matters most to the people who consume and share it," said social networking author Jesse Stay in an XYDO press release. "Equipped with a powerful idea and great leadership, XYDO is poised to fill a major vacuum in the online social news space-and ultimately to change the way we discover, consume, and engage with news."
One of the problems that XYDO will have is that it is fundamentally battling the very networks it curates from. One of the reasons that Digg and Reddit are not as big as they once were is because users are getting more information from their news feeds in Twitter and Facebook.
Developing The Platform
The team behind XYDO has a lot of experience in the entrepreneurial world. Co-founder and CEO Eric Roach founded Lombard Brokerage, one of the first in Internet stock trading and was acquired by Morgan Stanley. Co-founder Cameron Brain was behind Open Box Technologies, a software-as-a-service platform to publish, store and manage video to the Web and mobile.
"Eric and I are both voracious news readers; we love news and would read dozes of blogs/news sites each day," Brain said. "After getting connected (via some mutual friends working on another project) we started talking about how we might improve news on the web, both for users and publishers; content discovery, social tools, organization, personalization, curation, etc. On the social side, we'd both been users of HN, Reddit, and Digg for many years, and believed that right now was the time to take what these sites had done to pioneer social news, and bring it into the era of the social graph, build a true social network around news."
XYDO has been self-funded to this point but Brain said they are looking to close a round of funding within the next couple of weeks.
There are nine people on the XYDO team spread across the country. Brain and Roach and a couple of developers are in Park City, Utah while the back end team is in Silicon Valley and the user interface team is in New York City. They spent a lot of time on the back end of the system to be able to accommodate the large volume of social data that they are pulling in.
As for the name, it is a steeped deep within the nerd lexicon.
"Bit of a play-off xylem and pholem; vascular structure that brings nutrients to the areas of a tree. Also x y being kind of a he said, she said, counterpoints," Brain said.