August 12, 2008

Blogging Tip #8: Will Scoutle be the Next Big Thing?

I signed up for Scoutle after it was brought to my attention by A Division by Zer0. For those who have not heard of Scoutle, it is a new service promising to bring traffic to your blog and help you discover other blogs likely to be of interest to you. It has been noted on a number of reputable tech sites, and some are wondering if it could be the next big thing. I'll tell you about it here and give you my initial impressions.

In a nutshell, Scoutle involves registering for a free account on their website, installing a small bit of code on one's blog or website (see mine at the bottom on the right sidebar), and some patience. You see, Scoutle is different because it requires very little user interaction. Nobody has to click on the Scoutle "stage" that appears on your blog, and you can simply visit their website to check your account whenever you want.

So what does Scoutle do? When you sign up, you create a "scout" which is sort of like a personal webcrawler that scours the Internet for you looking for blogs or websites that might interest you. When your scout encounters scouts from sites with similar content, a "meeting" is recorded. The more overlap in content, the more meetings. Thus, when you sign in to your account to view your meetings, you are treated to a list of content you might want to explore. If you find a site you really like, you can create a "connection" with the site, boosting both users' status on the system.

There are also "networks" of bloggers or webmasters devoted to various topics. Yes, there is even one for we atheists.

I think that Scoutle has great potential as a way to discover other blogs and for other bloggers to discover mine. The limitation at present, and it is a big one, is that Scoutle's user base is so small that there simply haven't been many great new blogs to discover. Having said that, I must admit that I found two new atheist-oriented blogs I had never seen before after using the service for roughly 24 hours. Not too shabby.

If Scoutle does end up being the next big thing, it would be great if atheist bloggers were well represented from the beginning. If this sounds like it might be something you'd enjoy, check it out. It is very easy to uninstall if you decide it isn't for you.

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