Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ziki: social networking lite

Interesting promotional model from new(ish) social networking site Ziki, which is offering the first 10,000 people who sign up (they've had 7,960 so far) $10 of free sponsorship on Google, Yahoo and MSN so when someone searches for your name, a link to your Ziki profile is displayed in the paid-for results. In addition to basic personal info (age, location etc.) and a photo, you can also state your reasons for having a Ziki profile from a set list (e.g. networking, job opportunities, friendship, dating) and input tags/keywords which describe your areas of knowledge/interest (which then operate as a navigational tool to find like-minded people). Once you've verified your registration you can also start adding links and feeds to reflect your wider web presence.

It's an interesting example of 'lite' social networking, where your profile is more of an aggregation page (à la claimID , Profilactic and Suprglu) than a MySpace-style content repository. As a result it's more likely to appeal to older, more web-savvy users than your average social networking site.

The free search engines links (presumably a precursor to a paid-for service) provide a nice incentive to sign up and will particularly appeal to those with common names (Google returns 180,000 matches for "Dan Taylor"), although may be of less value to high profile bloggers and the geek elite whose names already appear top of most web searches.

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