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Sunday, December 17, 2006

TrailFire Annotations Anywhere Distribution Via Organic SEO

So most of the coolest stuff I learned about TrailFire is under embargo until Jan. 30. I mean, this is stuff that, conceptually at least, should pretty well blow your mind if you're a regular MShift reader and have just had a few cups of coffee.

There are still some interesting bits of information I found for those to whom TrailFire is a forgotten summer's visit to TechCrunch, R/W Web or Mashable. If TrailFire IS new to you, let me briefly explain the company's intentions:

TrailFire is one of those sites created for the 5-10% of internet users who are annotators, bloggers, social searchers, bookmarkers, Diggers, forum participants or folks who otherwise are willing to spend their time in making information easier for others to access, digest and consume.

These are the folks that Yahoo's betting the bank on right now, the folks that social media marketers are trying to figure out how to harness.

So TrailFire enables installers of its software - of whom there are over 1,000 currently - to leave "marks" on any webpage they're on. Marks can include audio/video/text as well as links to other related pages. Marks are sewn up into a "trail" of marks that encompass a unit of knowledge.

Others with the TrailFire software installed can see these marks as they are on the page - sort of like graffiti. Or post it notes.

TrailFire also aggregates its marks/trails on its site,, and trail creators can both email and Digg them.

Adoption through Search Distribution?
Great idea, right? Enable members to weave their own personal web on top of the one that's already out there... NICE! Now... about adoption...

Interestingly TrailFire's starting to get some decent organic search traffic - around 17,000 pageviews a month through search right now.

Their members' pages are ranking well for terms like conservative blogs and a couple others I failed to write down. This distribution should attract more users who happen to discover them in SERPs (and especially from the SEO link building community ;) as well as more clicks for their *cough cough* AdSense ads, which is their key monetization point besides investors right now.

These trails will make for some highly targeted advertising opportunities once TrailFire gets to scale, which is primarily how the CEO pitched the monetary value of the company to me.

There are some strong forces at play over at TrailFire, which makes them a company worth watching. Their collective resume boasts companies like MSN, Sun, and Amazon. The CEO and founder John O’Halloran did his homework in assembling his team, and it shows in how they're pushing annotation and bookmarking out of the "silo" of a single site.

Watch for innovations to launch in late January that should put them even farther past competitors (who the CEO named) like Diigo, Fleck, and Stickis and high up on Yahoo's shopping list.

By Jason Dowdell at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

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