Pluck, another Austin startup

What is Pluck? Well, I’m mainly sideline spectating, but it would appear they are a broad-based offering/solution company for brands on the Web that want to “do social media/web 2.0 stuff.” I believe Pluck started with a feed reader. In fact, my friend Ben had a hard time understanding why a company that was doing a feed reader deserved anything more than a blue ribbon at a science project fair.

Well, Pluck is obviously about more than a feed reader, as they have discontinued support for it. Rather, Pluck is about solutions. Reuters has a coinvestment in Pluck. And they have a customer roster of household names — USAToday, Fox News, Houston Chronicle are a few they feature.

So, I don’t know what all the solutions are and I don’t know which ones are “selling.” One that seems interesting is called BlogBurst. This service hooks up popular bloggers with bigtime site properties that want to increase their content to push traffic. In more geek-speak, it appears they are matching contextually relevant content from external properties with in-house content under the umbrella of the primary property (as in, the masthead still says Newsco.com and flies its colors). I’m sure they mix in services and utilities to grease the skids to make this work. Sounds a little like Reuters for blogs, but I don’t know enough about either Pluck or Reuters “under the hood” to say.

I like the BlogBurst concept. It gets me thinking. Long term, I still think there is an editorial function to the big media properties (like USAToday.com). This is even with the spread of feedreaders, del.icio.us, blah, blah, blah. The editorial function will probably become increasingly about finding, sorting, and organizing content but still will include actual editing. In B.G. times (Before Google), the reliance on these sources for content origination was much larger. Now content is everywhere. A.G., the value is being the best at presenting me with the perfect mix of content, perfectly presented.

Keeping up with the times is tough. So a solutions company like Pluck makes a lot of sense for the big properties. This is a true case of “my success is your success.” Chances are very good that if Pluck is very successful, that will have a lot to do with their customers being very successful. And vice versa.

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