Buzzfuse - Cutting through the Peer Review Clutter (Full Review Part 1)

The Internet is a mess. Let’s face it.

Between the 5 social networks, blogs, forums, comments, mailing lists and actual real world social connections (we do still have those don’t we?) – getting quality content to tide one over is tricky – to say the least.

It’s the greatest irony of the modern media-consuming age. The 15 – 35’s digest media and content at a frightening rate – but are forced to wade through reams of digital crap. All the gear. No idea.

Enter the latest local startup that attempts to put some mathematical and social arms around a network of peer reviewed content. Buzzfuse.

How does it all work?
Like any social network these days, a vist to Buzzfuse presents a summary home page which groups together like-minded and highly rated content. Quick, easy signup, automatic import and you’ve got the start of your “inner circle” – a group of contacts that you choose (they choose?!) to receive PUSH notifications every time you release an item. PUSH items out by pasting some HTML code on the bottom, giving each post its own dynamic Buzzfuse widget that offers comments, rating, questionnaires and a couple of other goodies.

Heard it all before? Maybe... But remember this notion of an “inner circle”– it’s where Buzzfuse lands some of its major differentiators.

Back a step, though.

How to PUSH and PULL...
The idea of BuzzFuse, in my humble opinion, is two fold.

One, it’s a content marketing tool (I’m talking the written word, spoken word, sung word and photo’d word). You can use it to PUSH content out to an ever widening circle of friends – hoping that the RATE, REVIEW, SHARE psychology of today’s net surfers will begin to broaden your reach, introducing new fans into your content world.

This “inner circle” is definitely one of the sticky points for me. It took a while to wrap my head around the notion – but what it’s done in my 2 month trial – is open my content up to an audience of people who probably never would have happened across it in the first place.

Yip. Wake up and smell the XML. The WORLD IS NOT ON RSS. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that it’s still only techies and bloggers that use a Feed Reader and mass subscribe to syndicated content. There are a lot of influential, content consuming Netizens out there that still like to operate on the email platform (remember that?).

So, by opting in as my inner circle (and perhaps learning to only read the content rated highly by the Buzzfuse algorithm), I’ve doubled my circulation and broadened by reader demographic. I’ll take that for free.

I must say, it wasn’t immediately apparent. But what Buzzfuse lacks in smack-you-in-the-face simplicity – they make up for in subtle return on time invested.

Making money out of Peer Review
Two, it’s a content aggregation tool that is one part peer review and one part monetisation. Yip, a pool of lovely VC cash gets divvied up each month to the highest, peer rated content on the BuzzFuse network. You've got to get a premium account, but at $14.99 / month - it's not going to break the bank. Release some fairish content and (theoretically) you should get that back.

In fact, if you fall into that segment (that 99% of bloggers segment) whose traffic is only enough to make $100 worth of Google Ads every 8 – 12 months, this promises to be comparatively lucrative. First payments are out shortly I’m told.

So. Register, upload friends, start your inner circle and publish some content. Rate, review, share, discover and track other citizen journalists / musos on the network. Cool.

Why you should pay attention...
It’s different. While every Web 2.0 startup is trying to lay their paws on more grubby funding for single-minded cutey pie ideas with a silly name – here’s one that’s trying to make sense of the mess. Cutting through the clutter will probably be the single most important strategic consideration for online media and online content in the next decade. I’m Poke Fatigued. So are the rest of us.

Present my world to me on a silver platter, endorsed by people I trust – and I’m a happy content consumer.

Buzzfuse also has a couple of unique tools that you can layer around your content. Tools, that do take some extra time to setup (see suggestions below), but are useful enough to warrant it.

Take for instance, the instant survey clip-on. Once you’ve embedded your BuzzFuse widget on the piece of content you’d like to start marketing – you can set up a series of questions, with different answer sets (yes/no etc.) that will be presented to each person who clicks through to the ranking functions.

Now, imagine the application of such content-rating and reponse tools inside closed communities – be those your friends, co-workers or even actual organisations. If the “new Web” is all about user-generated content and the ability to broadcast your views o the aggregated masses – this certainly is a novel approach.

To be continued...

Read Part 2 here!

Try out the Buzzfuse widget below:

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item


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