Back in August, my colleague Lisa DeCanio wrote about Spindle, a startup founded by two Microsoft NERD researchers working on a social newsfeed for your neighborhood. We both liked the idea, and it looks like we aren’t alone.
Spindle announced today that it has raised $2.3 million from Polaris Ventures, Greylock Partners, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Atlas Ventures, Broad Beach Ventures, Project 11 and two angels.
“We believe that social content represents the greatest untapped opportunity on the web today,” said Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO of Spindle, in a release. “The social web is now the most dynamic and authoritative source of news and information. While the typical person sees updates from their roughly 250 friends, Spindle goes beyond the friend list to uncover the most relevant and valuable updates from the billion other people, businesses and organizations sharing every day.”
The value here is in adding the right structure to the mess of social data and news we’re all constantly wading through. It’s taking noise and finding signal.
Interestingly enough, the company’s release positions the value as an alternative to search:
The premise and promise for Spindle is simple: The context now provided by our mobile devices and social networks can compose a far richer query than any keyword search ever could. By harvesting the social graph and leveraging signals such as location and time of day, Spindle has built a fundamentally new technology that knows what’s happening around you and delivers you great content.
And you don’t have to be bearish on keyword searches to appreciate the app. Sure, lots of people search for stuff. But lots of the time they don’t know what they’re looking for. You don’t do a keyword search to find the morning’s news, for instance, because you don’t yet know what you’re looking for. The same is often true for finding things to do in your city.