Posted by Tom Foremski - July 29, 2010
The last couple of months I've been working with a very cool French startup called Pearltrees in an advisory capacity. It's part of my nascent consulting services business which helps me continue publishing and funding Silicon Valley Watcher.
I'm a big fan of Pearltrees because it is a fascinating media technology. It allows anyone to curate their own section of the web by using a visual metaphor that looks very much like mind maps: users create a Pearltree and attach pearls to it; each pearl represents a web page or site, a video, image, or even a Tweet.
With so much content on the Internet it is becoming very important to identify trusted sources of information and to have people curate sections of the Internet. Google tries to do it by looking at trusted sites and who links to who but it is constantly fighting spammers trying to game the sysem -- the Pearltrees approach is spam-proof.
Pearltrees are also very social, they are extremely easy to create and share. They can be Tweeted, emailed, or embedded in any web page or web document, creating a live window (see below).
One of my goals is to build a Pearltree about Silicon Valley so that people can quickly find the best information about this region. As part of that project I have put together a Pearltree that acts as a directory of Silicon Valley PR firms.
People looking for a PR firm can browse my Pearltree and hopefully find a compatible business partner. In the short space of time since I created the Silicon Valley PR firms Pearltree it has had nearly 2300 views.
But I'd like to improve it. I'd like each PR firm that does business in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area to create a Pearltree about their business and send it to me.
If you are in PR here are some reasons why you should make a Pearltree about your company:
- It puts you, rather than me, in control of the information about your firm.
- You are the one that receives notifications on who has shared it or picked it for their collection of Pearltrees.
- You can see and respond to comments on your Pearltree.
- You can be creative about how you build your Pearltree.
- By creating your own Pearltree it shows you as the author rather than me.
- You can use your Pearltree for communications with clients. Again, being in control of the information in your Pearltree is key.
- This is the important part: each Pearltree is dynamic. Any changes are updated in real-time everywhere that Pearltree is used. You won't have to wait for me, or rely on me, to update a Pearltree about your company.
Here are two examples:
I created a Pearltree for the Horn Group:
It shows clients, newsroom, blog, contact info etc.
Because each Pearltree is controlled by the author, each firm can be creative about how it organizes their Pearltree. For example, in this Pearltree about The Hoffman Agency, there are links to client web sites that Hoffman might like to highlight, rather than just a simple client list.
So please send me your Pearltree. It's the simplest way to get into my Silicon Valley PR directory. And also, send me the categories that you would like to be included in. Email foremski at Gmail or send it to me through Pearltrees.
And if you are an independent PR professional/consultant, send me your Pearltree too.
You can show who you work with, your past and current clients, and whatever else you'd like to include, such as your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, etc.
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It's a very flexible technology and I can think of a variety of ways of using it.
For example, using Pearltrees as a media kit. Here is a Pearltree about an Intel press event, containing links to media assets such as video, and also the resulting press coverage.
And Pearltrees has lots of great new features coming very soon, including a private version that controls who can view it; and a community version that enables teams to collaborate on a Pearltree.
It's also great as an organizational/research tool. I've used it for a book project, and I'm exploring other uses, including an online store.
I use it for business and for recreation, such as this Pearltree about the upcoming Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park so I can get to know some of the acts before the event.
So please send me your Pearltrees so I can include them in my PR firms Pearltree directory. And send me examples of any new uses you come up with.
Just click here to start: http://www.pearltrees.com/