When it comes to web, here is a man that understands how to create the perfect foundation to build a great future upon. I am pleased to introduce to you one of my personal entrepreneurial inspirations – Eric Goldstein. Coming from a legal background, Eric sees the big picture while always remaining grounded as a family man. Eric is the founder and CEO of Amplify, the company that created Clipmarks.com. He is a man of generosity, creativity and passion for Amplify.
Connect with Eric!
Shortly after graduating law school in 1999 I became enamored by the web’s ability to connect people from all over the world who were reading the same thing at the same time. I desperately wanted to create an environment on the web where news and ideas could serendipitously be shared, discovered and talked about. Through another project I had worked on I met a great developer and we started working on it. The first site we created, Clipmarks.com, went live in 2004. Then, in 2009, taking into consideration the fast changing nature of the social web and everything we had learned from Clipmarks we decided to start from scratch on a new site aimed at connecting people around news, ideas or anything else they wanted to talk about. That’s when Amplify.com was born.
Eric Goldstein Offline
I’m a happily married father of 2 young girls. Aside from spending time with my family, a few of my favorite things to do are playing sports, drinking red wine, making fires in the winter, taking naps, engaging in deep conversation and reading books. I also love the change of seasons you get in the Northeast… constantly keeps you on your toes.
“I especially love when my kids are at the games. I get such a kick from seeing them on the sidelines rooting for me.” – Eric
The Beginning of Amplify
The core idea of providing people an environment to connect around things they want to talk about has been on my mind for a decade now. Working out all the specific nuances that go into getting it right is something I’m still working on. Prior to going live with Amplify, me and the team that created Clipmarks spent weeks in a room with a white board plotting out our ideas. In the Spring of 2009 we made Amplify live in a very nascent stage and decided we would take a very iterative approach to developing it while people were using it. Since then we’ve worked hard to get the end product to match the vision we have for it and recently I’ve become very excited about how its coming along.
One of the first elements of Amplify I notice is the clean design, easy interface and great content. How did the Amplify team going about design and interface for Amplify?
A clean design is something I’m very committed to. We try hard to let our users and the content they post be the dominant presence on the site, so when we think of design, we prioritize the ease and simplicity of the user interface over the aesthetic qualities of the page. By doing so, I think we end up with a clean design that doesn’t compete for attention with the content and conversation on the page.
The community seems intelligent and extremely passionate about what they’re sharing as well as eager to hear what other people have to say. On many social media sites you see a lot of trivial communication taking place. I don’t have a problem with that, but I don’t think the web needs another one of those. So we’ve tried to position Amplify as an environment for people to talk about things that are on their mind. As a result, you don’t typically get location updates, personal photos and other trivialities in your feed. The result, in my opinion, is a pretty high signal to noise ratio that is sort of its own self-filtering mechanism because people are inspired to think about and communicate intelligently in response the what’s being shared.
Add-on for Firefox, synchronization to Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Delicious and Tumblr and more!
Well, we’ve recently enabled full blogging on Amplify as well as something we refer to as Thought Updates (500 character messages that contain no titles or formatting). I hope the combination of Thought Updates, Blogging and the ability to share URLs and web snippets using our browser add-on gives users a one-stop-shop for expressing themselves across the social web. We haven’t really done anything to encourage submissions, but hopefully once people start using Amplify, they won’t need much encouragement.
Businesses Benefit from Amplify
Well, in any business it’s imperative to get the word out and react to whatever is being said about you or related to your business. I think Amplify gives businesses a great way to curate news, add their perspective and share it throughout the social web. A lot is written about the importance of businesses getting involved in the conversation on the web. I think Amplify provides a natural way for businesses to not only get involved, but to spark conversation as well.
Are there any thoughts about integrating with additional social media venues like Foursquare or Sphinn?
Well, we already integrate with Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr, Ping.fm and several others. And I’m sure we’ll continue to add more as we go. I’m not too inclined to integrate with FourSquare at this time because I don’t think location updates fall under the umbrella of things people would typically think about or want to talk about. I don’t know Sphinn too well, so rather than give an answer about that one, let me reserve judgment and look into it.
People That Inspire
Connect with Eric!
A big thank you to Eric for sharing his insights into Amplify, an awesome tool that I personally highly value. Have additional questions for Eric? Contact him directly or post them in the comments below.
Read More Interviews
Justin Talerico – CEO of ion interactive
Kyle Lacy – CEO of Brandswag
Mack Collier – Social Media Consultant
Nadine – Owner of Curious Light
Raven Pratt – Search Marketing Expert with Raven Tools
Joanna Lord – Director at SEOmoz