Forgive me, if you will, a brief derailment before I get to the news… Maybe it’s because this post is about sharing content that sparked this. But, remember those days—often too long ago—when I used to write about local products and companies that no one was talking about, yet? I mean, rather than talking about things about which you’d already heard?
Remember that? It’s a problem that it doesn’t happen so much anymore. And honestly, it’s a great problem to have.
Why? Because it means that more and more people are paying attention to the Portland startup scene. That traditional local media is paying attention to what’s happening—and covering it. It means that we’re getting recognition from outside of the region. That larger tech blogs are getting the exclusives on awesome Portland companies and their announcements. That we’re slowly but surely getting a few tech household names.
And I often feel an obligation to cover newsy news. Because I want to showcase those successful companies and give them their due.
But I also like telling you about new stuff. New stuff that you haven’t heard about yet. New companies and products that aren’t yet getting the headlines they deserve. That aren’t getting enough attention. You know, like we used to do with Shizzow and any number of other companies.
I miss that. So I’d like to get back to doing that from time to time. Or more often. And the onus is on me to make it happen. To find new stuff. And to help highlight interesting companies and products before they’re the next big thing.
So let’s do that.
Dart: A mobile app for sharing links privately
I’ll reboot with Dart.
I’ve been lucky enough to closely watch this app come to fruition. And I’ve had the opportunity to muck around with it since its early days. And now Dart is available in the App Store so you iOS device owners can muck with it too.
Dart wrestles with a really interesting problem.
In a world where broadcasting links and content are designed to garner likes and retweets, how do we have real conversations around content, these days? How can we share content in ways that we can manage that discussion and participate over time? Email and SMS don’t quite cut it. Twitter is only one-to-one privately. And Facebook group messaging is, well… let’s just move on.
Ahem. So Dart set out to change that.
Simply put, Dart allows you to share links with individuals or groups of friends. Privately. And then facilitates discussion around those links. It’s lightweight and simple. And that’s what makes it so compelling.
It takes me back to the days when “bookmarking” Web sites leapt from the browser to the Web with sites like Delicious and Magnolia. When links suddenly moved from being personal to social. And to where that sharing illuminated larger conversations about content.
And they’ve even got a Chrome extension so that you can share links with folks directly from your desktop.
It’s still early, but Dart seems to be stepping into an interesting new construct for how we share content. And how we discuss that content. And that’s pretty awesome.
[Full disclosure: Stublisher, the company that created Dart, is a PIE alum. I am the cofounder of PIE.]