PublicUI: An Opportunity to Share What You Know to Help Organize Our Online World
To those who have asked why I haven't been blogging for the past few months, here's my excuse: I have been fully occupied developing a new website called PublicUI (http://www.publicui.com/). This venture, now in beta and open to the general public, is my small contribution to Web 2.0. As a people-focussed place "about everyone, by everyone," PublicUI provides a freely accessible platform for collaborative profile-building and commentary. Anyone may initiate, contribute to and edit profiles of anyone else--all without having to register and log in beforehand.
A quick comparison to well-known websites helps characterize the uniqueness of PublicUI: Your PublicUI user experience begins with a search (like Google), but employs metasearch to generate both text and image results from the major search engines (currently, Google, Yahoo and MSN). After searching on a person's name, you may select relevant search results and go view the corresponding profile (profiles on PublicUI are as central as on MySpace, but favor real names over screen names). You may proceed to enter "tag" words or phrases (as on Flickr) to help describe and distinguish people, along with names of friends and acquaintances, pictures, and additional web links. You may also post comments, messages and opinions on the message board in anyone's profile. Because all users have unrestricted editorial privileges (similar to Wikipedia), PublicUI is 100% user-driven and self-policing (as is Craigslist).
To my knowledge, PublicUI is the first and only website that allows everyone to contribute information about everyone (i.e., not only about oneself), and anyone to edit anyone's (i.e., not only one's own) profile. A few ways you may find PublicUI useful are:
1. To Organize Information About People: Share public information about people you know (or know of) for the mutual benefit of everyone, and help edit people's profiles to organize the increasing abundance of information about all of us available across the Internet;
2. To Build Profiles of Yourself and Others: Creating a PublicUI profile is easy. Just search on your own name to get started. Select relevant text and images from among the search results that come up if you already have a web presence; upload a few pictures of yourself if you do not. Either way, be sure to add some distinguishing tags and names of friends to fill out your profile. After starting your own profile, you may wish to initiate profiles of your friends, acquaintances and anyone else you have heard about in the news or elsewhere;
3. To Communicate with Others: Once you and people you know have profiles, the power of the social network begins to reveal itself. As more people you know become active contributors of content, your PublicUI experience will become increasingly more interesting and rewarding. Encourage some friends to participate. Try leaving brief messages for people or posting general, publicly acceptable comments about people on their message boards.
Lest we stray too far afield in this investing blog, please rest assured that PublicUI pertains as well to the financial world as to any other social niche. To explore the site, you may wish to have a look at a few of the PublicUI profiles of prominent investors, entrepreneurs and financial gurus already in the database: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Peter Lynch, Jeremy Siegel, . . . . Please feel free to help edit these or any other profiles as you deem appropriate, and don't forget to add your own profile to the mix!
If you would like to share your thoughts about PublicUI, please post a brief comment in the message board section of my PublicUI profile page. Thanks.