Happy Appiversary, Lanyrd

Often in tech reporting, you’ll hear a lot about launches, acquisitions and failures. What you don’t hear enough about are the makers who iterate in relative silence. For all of the hyped startups of this world (Coloranyone?), there are a lot of startups that chug away without the fanfare. So to celebrate those startups building solid and useful products, we’re starting a new series called Happy Appiversary. As the perhaps clunky name suggests, we’ll focus on startups that are celebrating an anniversary and review their progress.

Lanyrd has been described as a “Wikipedia for conferences,” because it aggregates digital content from conferences – such as slideshows and videos. It’s also a social network of sorts for conference attendees and enables non-attendees to track events virtually. Lanyrd celebrated its first anniversary last week, according to a blog post by co-founder Natalie Downe. Let’s check out how Lanyrd has developed over the past year and why you should use this excellent service.

We first wrote about Lanyrd in March this year, as part of a how-to post entitled How to Track Conferences Virtually. Lanyrd pulls together notes, blog posts, slideshows, video, audio, Twitter hashtags and more for events like SXSW earlier this year and the upcoming Web 2.0 Summit.

According to a blog post last month,
Lanyrd now has 2,500 videos and 3,000 slide decks from events all around the world.

Lanyrd has continued to iterate on features. For example, it recently added a “super coverage widget,” which highlights recently added coverage on an event.

Like many of the best web services these days, Lanyrd taps into and supports a variety of third party applications. SlideShare, YouTube and Scribd are just a few of those. In particular, Lanyrd uses Twitter as its core identity system. As Wade Roush from Xconomy described it in an excellent company profile:

“If you’re creating an event listing on Lanyrd, you add speakers according to their Twitter handles, and if you’re a user searching Lanyrd, the first events you see are those that the people you follow on Twitter are speaking at or attending.”

Lanyrd was created by married couple Simon Willison and Natalie Downe, who are based in the UK. It was nurtured in the popular Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator. This is an inspiring story of two makers who have created a unique service packed with useful data. I recommend you check it out.

Meanwhile I’m off to explore some slideshows and videos from the August conference OggCamp 11

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