Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Yoono: A Standout in the Web 2.0 Crowd

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 16, 2007

One of the most impressive of the companies in San Francisco for the Web 2.0 show this week is Yoono, a French 10-person startup.

Yoono combines many features of many Web 2.0 companies. It is a browser toolbar that is part StumbleUpon.com, it is part web clipping service,  it is part Eurekster, and it is part many other web services combined into one.

The Yoono toolbar learns about its user, and offers related sites, and identifies "Yoosers" who share similar interests, allowing social networks to be formed around anything. 

This week it launches Yoono Memo, which offers users a way to research anything on the Web. Users can combine many forms of media from anywhere it can be found, add text, etc, and then publish to just friends,  or to the entire Internet.

Yoono Memo is an excellent tool to quickly pull together research notes about a topic. And what makes it really interesting is that those collections of notes can be published as web pages which means it is an excellent web publishing tool too.

Unlike other “highlighter” tools that are out there,
Memo is a rich media applet that becomes the
all-in-one resource for whatever the application –
accessible from any PC, and also friends can access
updates via RSS. They reside in the Yoono toolbar.

It's ability to collect and republish images, video, text, along with new content in a variety of ways is intriguing in terms of the types of web pages that can be created. And combining Yoono Memo with Yoono's web site recommendation service takes the company into a new space and distinguishes it from other Web 2.0 startups.

I recently spoke with Pascal Josselin, CEO of Yoono. Mr Josselin says that the service already has 600K users. "We are signing up 3,000 people per day, half of them in the US," he says. And that is with no marketing dollars, just word of mouth and recommendations from such groups as Mozilla.

The company has received $7m in funding from European VCs and the software has been developed in France, with plans to open US offices. "We're adding developers and salespeople in the US," says Mr Josselin.

The Yoono Memo service can integrate Amazon.com products, along with affiliate ID information. People can put together specialist stores very easily. And future capabilities will integrate other online stores, says Mr Josselin.

Foremski's Take: Yoono Memo extends Yoono as a unique service--at least unique for now. It is a logical extension of the trend to mashup many different consumer Web 2.0 services into one, and its "yoosers" can mashup (nearly) anything they find on the Web--and publish it back out to the Web.

Yoono offers an intriguing web publishing tool and I'd certainly like to try it out for some future projects. It also signals a future Web where content, in many forms, and in many snippets, will be reused and republished in novel ways.

These types of technologies will accelerate debates over content ownership and reuse. And it will usher in new types of services such as validation services for some content, so that the source of content can be validated. Validation is also where content owners can assert their copyrights, should they choose too.

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