Zude, Where’s My Social Network?

One of the more talked about companies at the Web 2.0 Expo is Zude, an interesting example of what’s possible in the realm of social computing.

The world maybe doesn’t need another social network, but what we sure could use is a platform that allows us to aggregate social elements from all over the web into one place – how we want, when we want.

Zude officially announced in beta and allows users to grab elements from any social networking site and integrate them into their own Zude page. It makes it easy for you to create, consolidate, communicate, and share “your” Web.

This concept takes the premise behind the Data Portability Workgroup and OpenSocial standard and empowers people to pull items, content, and contact, from other places to create their own online domain, quickly and easily. Using the company’s SocialMix technology anyone can automatically mashup (zudify) key elements from leading social networks including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, and honestly from any Web page, to integrate directly into their Zude page.


Hayden Panettiere

It’s much more scalable, customizable, and well, fun, than Ning, which is a customizable DIY social network builder. Essentially, Zude itself is a mashup of a WSIWYG Web site builder, DIY social network, and social media aggregator, strung together with drag and drop functionality. It is a digital/social canvas to build a customized one-page portal or profile, or if you’re creative and ambitious enough, you can create a multi-page, fully assembled Web destination that features your online brand or create a site dedicated to anything you find interesting. And, sites, pages, and individual components can also feature RSS feeds for visitors to subscribe to the content that specifically matters to them.

Sites can be simple, complex, and/or rich, limited only by your imagination. A full library of ready-to-go widgets are also available within Zude to help provide a compelling kick start to add everything from contact lists, self-contained content from popular networks, application widgets, video and image players, feeds, maps and a wildly long list of other options.

I see Zude earning tremendous traction from consumer-focused brands and products. Businesses looking to appeal to mass audiences and also specific market demographics, niche communities within the Long Tail, can use Zude to create a variety of destination portals that are mainstream and also highly targeted and personalized.


Anna Nalick

Zude is a deceptively powerful social computing platform that provides developers with almost unimaginable power, freedom and flexibility. And, here’s the most important part, visitors can also remix these pages to interact with your brand or content, their way. Since almost anything can be dragged and dropped, they can move or even add new objects to further customize the experience – or use it to build their own fan or related topic site.

Zude has just provided us with the ability to create highly engaging and interactive online destinations and communities that truly socialized media, amplifies and extends user generated content, and empowers users with true data portability.

Other relevant stories on PR 2.0:
- The Value of Online Conversations
- Distributed Conversations and Fragmented Attention
- The Art of Listening and Engagement
- The Social Media Manifesto
- Will the Real Social Media Expert Please Stand Up

Connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, LinkedIn, Pownce, Plaxo, FriendFeed, or Facebook.

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  • Duncan

    No no no no no!

    This is just like MySpace all over again – we’re going to end up with awful-looking pages full of spam and horrible images, if this gets popular.

    Facebook did it right in this space – you’re allowed a degree of customization, but everyone’s pages are still a pleasure to navigate. You can’t do anything too drastic, but whatever you put in looks professional and attractive.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a computer junkie or a ‘Net surfer, so this Zude idea is brand new to me but it seems to be something that could be really powerful. As a Facebook user, I love the idea of staying in touch with my friends and networking on a common site. Facebook has found a way to make everything look clean and professional on every person’s page. As for MySpace, I find that site to be childish. There are so many choices for creating a page and that just leads to crazy colors and a mess. Zude seems to fall into a limbo between the two sites.
    The idea of Zude allows for people to have a more personal touch to their website, like MySpace, but still gives a professional feel by allowing people to incorporate business information, like Facebook. As you said it does give people unimaginable power, freedom and flexibility but that could easily be abused. Just as Facebook was created as a college social networking site, it has now been open to high school students and the work force. I feel for Zude to be successful it needs to have standards and stick to them. Someone needs to be making sure they are a social media outlet and not just let them turn into another MySpace. All in all, this post really interested me and I’m glad I know about Zude. I’m definitely going to check it out and see what’s out there!

  • Patrick

    Ok!!! The idea is great! But where is zude? After beta was closed, I haven’t heard even a word about zude!!!

  • Chris

    Where is Zude? Does anyone know if they are gone forever or just gone? I need to know!!

  • http://www.easysitebuild.com/ website builder

    No offense but it seems like Zude is just a joke.

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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