Erly is a new start-up led by Eric Feng, formerly founding CTO of Hulu, reportedly backed by Kleiner Perkins. Erly is a social media tool, aggregating media around the theme of ‘social experiences’, like a day at the beach, a trip to Japan, or a wedding.
The website’s Experiences page does the best job of making a pitch.
All sorts of media — photos, videos, text posts, Facebook check ins and status updates — can be associated with a given experience. And the experiences can be shared with others, as participants or just to view.
Erly is based on the premise that we conceive of our lives as a stream of experiences, and rather than just throwing everything into one undifferentiated stream of bits, it makes more sense to collate things into discrete piles, like a specific baseball game, or a movie night out with friends. This is a form of social curation, since the purpose is to pull together media related to an experience.
My read? Erly is integrated with Facebook for a number of reasons. First of all, Facebook has historically been a service geared to people’s personal networks of real-world friends (stay tuned for the new Facebook Subscribe, though, which opens the service up to Twitter-style open following).
Secondly, Facebook does not support Erly-style ‘experiences’ very well, although they can be emulated in various ways. This means that Erly will have a run at an underserved area, and could be very attractive for Facebook if they are successful.
I haven’t fooled with Erly at any length, but the experiences displayed by the company look to me like Tumblr blogs. Imagine if I created a special-purpose Tumblr blog and invited the three pals who are vacationing with me in St Kitts to co-author with me. We could post pictures, video, text, etc., and others, far away could keep up with our activities from afar, and after the vacation, we’d have that blog as a keepsake.
But the overhead of doing this with Tumblr is high: logins, passwords, telling friends to follow the blog, etc. So Erly gets rid of that social friction by integrating with Facebook.
I will have to take another look, once I am headed off for a weekend in the mountains with friends, but my early take on Erly is that it looks promising.
- Kleiner-Backed Erly Launches (blogs.wsj.com)
- Former Hulu CTO Aims to Reinvent the Photo Album (adweek.com)
- Former Hulu CTO launches multimedia calendar Erly.com (cbsnews.com)
- After Leaving Kleiner, Eric Feng Emerges With Start-Up Erly (blogs.wsj.com)