It’s been a while, how does this thing work again? Oh yeah, I ramble on about something pointless, then I continue to ramble on about a startup idea, and follow up with rambling written in italics for no apparent reason.
Today’s idea spawns from a realization I had last week about the incredible wealth of information that I get out of the Email list I subscribed to from the Seattle Tech Startups group. Local entrepreneurs post questions about typical startup stuff, and the community then throws back all kinds of valuable information and ideas. Over time the collective wisdom of the group has created a lot of value that is lost in the depths of countless Email inboxes. Multiply that across all of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of public Email lists that are out there on every niche topic imaginable. There’s so much untapped, unindexed, undervalued information out there – why not unlock it?
My idea is a site that takes the best information from public Email lists and organizes it by topic, location, and relevance. Users could submit their favorite lists and tag it by topic and location, and the site would take the Emails from the list and convert them into a web-ready (and SEO-friendly) format. Other users looking for information could either browse the content from the lists, or search for a specific topic.
Additionally, users could rate the Emails and correlate rankings back to the authors of the mails. This could then be used to build up an “authority ranking” for each author. Over time, the site could incorporate semantic-web style natural language processing to pull all of the free-form data from the highest authority authors to create a structured site full of high-quality content.
If you’re in the area, come check out the Seattle Facebook Developers Garage on Monday May 5th. My “A Startup A Week” team and I got chosen to present our little Facebook app we put together for the pilot episode! Should be a great event.