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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Bellevue startup Strings launches “social tracking” service

A former Microsoft engineer’s longtime vision for a user-centered Web service is launching today at Strings.com.

Strings creates “personalized activity streams” by tracking users’ Web activity so they can share and organize their online media consumption. A key difference with similar services is that Strings isn’t advertising funded and won’t disclose user activity to advertisers, the company said.

Founder Edward Balassanian left Microsoft in 1995 to start BeComm, a predecessor company focused on digital media. A year ago he restarted the self-funded venture in earnest and now employs 15 people working on Strings.

“The whole premise was the Web is so noisy,” he said. “The best way to filter all the noise is for some automated system to understand ‘me’ intimately.”

The service is free to end-users. Strings will make money from product purchases made through the site and later may monetize the service by helping commerce sites tailor product recommendations.

Balassanian hopes to have 100,000 Strings users within a year, and plans to open up the service for application developers to build upon.

(But first he’ll have to beef up the site, which was overwhelmed by traffic on its debut …)

Comments | More in | Topics: Startups, startups, strings

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