More money for NYC-based Web software startup AdaptiveBlue, and a neat new product:
- The company has raised a $4.5 million series B round led by RRE Ventures, whose James D. Robinson IV will join the board. Series A leader Union Square Ventures also participated.
- The company released Glue, a new Firefox add-on that adds a useful “social” feature to some — not all — Web pages you visit.
What does that mean?
- Once you install Glue to your Firefox browser, it shows up when you browse to some Web pages that AdaptiveBlue’s service recognises. This includes pages that it knows are about books, movies, stocks, wine, restaurants, and a few more categories.
- Without leaving the page, you can see which of your friends recently visited pages about the same books, movies, stocks, wine, or restaurants — even if it’s on a different site. So if you check out the Fandango listings for “Burn After Reading,” Glue will tell you if one of your friends went to the “Burn After Reading” Wikipedia page, IMDB listing, etc.
- It’ll also tell you if your friends “liked” the book, movie, stock, wine, or restaurant, or if they added a short, “two cents” review.
- This is like adding an Amazon.com reviews box to every product/service Web site without actually cluttering up the page. It’s clean and doesn’t get in the way. And in many cases — restaurants, movies, books — it’ll give you the useful benefit of knowing what your friends think about them without having to bother them.
- It hooks into services like Facebook and Twitter to automatically find your friends who have Glue set up so you don’t have to do it manually. Huge plus.
- And you can use Twitter or Tumblr to alert people that you’ve liked a book, movie, stock, wine, or restaurant — or commented on one.
Like all “social” services, it’s only as valuable as the people you know on it. And because this is mostly useful for stuff that’s not online, it’d be extra helpful if your offline friends used it. So like other social networks, Glue’s usefulness will mostly be a factor of how popular it can become, at least among the set of people whose habits/opinions mean something to you. But we like its idea and we like that it’s clean — after a few days’ testing, we recommend it if it’s something you find interesting.
And, like AdaptiveBlue’s investors, we like that it has a built-in revenue model: AdaptiveBlue collects commisions if you use it to navigate to sites like Amazon and buy stuff — even if it’s not the product you linked to. The money generated from schemes like this isn’t much to start — scale is crucial — but it’s a lot less obnoxious than loading up a new software tool with ads.
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