|Activeweave's BlogRovR running on Firefox|
Activeweave's BlogRovR running on Firefox
|Initial release||November 2006|
|Type||Firefox Extension, IE Plugin|
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Activeweave, Inc. was a Silicon Valley-based startup, operating in the attention management and social web arenas. It was acquired in April 2008 by Buzzlogic, Inc.
Activeweave's original positioning, through the Stickis service, revolved around and extended the notion of social annotation for web sites. Web annotations were pioneered in 1999 by the company Third Voice, with a service allowing its users to:
- Author comments and tie those comments to any web page.
- Have their own comments as well as others' be automatically retrieved for display (in a fashion similar to Post-it notes) and reading, whenever visiting any annotated page.
Lacking the filtering mechanism which would allow users to select whose annotations they would see, Third Voice came to be perceived as intrusive, spam-like graffiti, and consequently was fought by site owners, and largely ignored by users who tried it, who became overwhelmed by the amount of public commentary on popular sites. It ceased operation in 2001.
- No screen space was reserved or used by the service's browser add-on on pages with no annotations.
- When annotations from connected users were present, only a small (and re-sizable) tray showing annotation abstracts was shown.
- The full annotations were only shown when the user selected an abstract.
Subsequently, Activeweave released BlogRovR, that built on the same technology but made the system read-only, with annotations being supplied implicitly by blog posts relevant to the web page being viewed by users.
Activeweave was co-founded in late 2005 by software entrepreneurs Jean Sini and Marc A. Meyer. In early 2006, the company raised a round of seed investment funding from business angels, including Esther Dyson and Eric Di Benedetto.
In conjunction with a traditional web service, Activeweave leveraged the add-on it built for the Firefox, Flock and Internet Explorer browsers to provide its users with always-on, in-place access to information relevant to the page they were currently viewing.
Activeweave offered consumers two distinct services:
Stickis, launched in November 2006, primarily focused on tight-knit communities, and let its users collaborate by annotating web pages as they browse. It also enabled users to discover, read and comment on their peers’ annotations, either in-place or through a searchable, centralized repository that exposed the shared accumulated knowledge to participants in a form equivalent to a multi-author blog.
BlogRovR, launched in April 2007, helped individuals manage the attention they pay to massive amounts of information hosted by blogs and mainstream media. Thus it was intended to participate in stemming the potential attention crisis caused by the accelerated growth in the quantity of content available for consumption online.
BlogRovR exploited the same underlying technology as Stickis to continuously overlay stories, contextually relevant to the web page currently being viewed, right into the browser. It allowed each individual user to select blogs and mainstream media sources they trusted, and automatically picked relevant stories from those sources, as well as closely related sources. This allowed users to reduce the time they spend systematically reading blog posts, while ensuring that those same posts would be delivered, precisely when they wer relevant to the material currently being viewed, thus being – so the theory went – more likely to be meaningful and useful.
In June 2007, BlogRovR gained the status of recommended Firefox add-on. BlogRovR was also nominated in 2007 as a finalist to the Webware 100 in the browsing category.
- Mozilla Firefox
- List of Firefox extensions
- Social Software
- Web annotation
- Mashable coverage of Activeweave purchase by Buzzlogic
- Third Voice slammed for defacing the web
- Third Voice shuts down
- Overview of Activeweave by Michael Arrington on Techcrunch
- Funding coverage from San Francisco Chronicle
- Techcrunch coverage of Stickis launch
- Webware review of Stickis service
- VentureBeat coverage of Stickis launch
- Overview of BlogRovR service on Techcrunch
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