For the past few months, I’ve been closely following the activities of FFFFOUND!, a social bookmarking web site and one of my favorite finds of the past year. The technology and presentation are fairly straightforward. Site participants select images to bookmark and the images show up on the site along with the related URL. Users can also bookmark images that other users have already bookmarked, which creates connections between images and users, allowing FFFFOUND!’s software to build recommendation lists (e.g. if you like this image, you may also like…). And then people like me who aren’t participants can just sit back and view people’s image streams. Mike Migurski wrote a nice introduction to the site and its capabilities back in July.
But the thing that makes the site work is that the current participants have really good taste in imagery. The project appears to have been started by Yugo Nakamura, who old school web folks may remember as one of the first true Flash artist wizards (see Mona Lisa matrix, MONO*crafts, and Industrious Clock, for example), and has expanded slowly while in beta; each participant gets only a single invite to pass along. The site’s slow expansion from Nakamura and a small group of his art/design pals & associates has kept the quality high and focused. I hope the quality can remain high as the site gains in popularity and weathers the eventual opening up of participation to the web at large.
PS. I know you’re probably just supposed to pronounce it like “found” but I’ve been favoring “fuh-fuh-fuh-found”, even though that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
Update: I do not have any invitations for FFFFOUND! Sorry.