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.
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.
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