New Mahalo toolbar and user created stubs

We have two evolutionary announcements today from Mahalo that I decided to announce on Twitter. Yes, it’s a slightly different process than we normally do at Mahalo, but since these are evolutionary steps, and since we just had the big Mahalo Social launch, we thought we would just release them to the ~6,000 friends on my Twitter account.

The release is also related to Twitter in a major way so it makes more sense to do it that way.

Now, normally we announce things at a conference and do a series of press pre-briefings in the days up to that speaking gig with trusted, intelligent journalists and bloggers. We pick folks who really take the time to understand the space and who are willing to spend some time giving us feedback on what we’re building. For me these briefings are INVALUABLE since journalists and bloggers are super smart and ALWAYS give great feedback. Many of the best ideas we’ve had executed on have come from journalists and bloggers in fact!

This year we did four announcements in this fashion:

  1. Mahalo’s Launch at the Wall Street Journal’s D Conference on May 31st 2007.
  2. Mahalo Greenhouse launch at the NMK Forum in London on June 13th 2007.
  3. Mahalo Follow Toolbar launch at Gnomedex on August 10th 2007
  4. Mahalo Social launch at Le Web 3

Four launches in six months… not to shabby. I have to admit that the pace we are running at is burning me out. I’m thinking about slowing down and only doing two product releases/announcements in 2008.

Today’s two announcements

1. Mahalo Follow 3.0 has been released with two features:

  • a) Mahalo Follow now cross posts to Delicious, Magnolia, Mahalo Social, and Twitter–at the same time. So, if you’re bookmarking this TechCrunch story you can send it to your other services without having to do 3x the work.

b) Mahalo Follow now features help/quick tips when you’re on popular sites like Twitter and GMAIL.

2. User created stubs: Mahalo users have been able to submit links to existing pages on Mahalo since day one. Today we are taking a very big step in opening up our system by allowing users to create pages called “stubs” (just like on Wikipedia) for term we have not done yet. We are looking at every page created in order to remove spam and consolidate pages (i.e. if a user submits a link for the Four Seasons Hotels in Paris to a new stub called “Hotels I Love in Paris” we will move that over to “Paris Hotels”).

What does this mean? This means that instead of us picking the pages to work on the public can build pages together. Now, you’re of course saying “won’t this lead to tons of spam?” and the answer to that is “yes it would *if* we didn’t have 50 full-time people watching the incoming links.”

We look at every link coming in and if it’s spam we delete it, ban the domain, and consider banning the user. Participation in Mahalo is limited to those who want to help build a spam-free index. We have no problem banning the bad actors.

Here are two user stubs created today. One on FlickrFan and one on alternate history. You can go to these pages, or the other user created stubs, and help build them out. If they get to 3-10 links our full-time guides will get involved building them as well.

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