I spoke with its CEO Nathan Richardson yesterday, and he gave me a bit of insight into what #waywire is all about and why it’s different. Richardson, who was previously GM of Yahoo! Finance and president of Gilt City, tells me that the platform hopes to bring millennials together around important news and subjects.
When I was on TWiT this week, Jeff Jarvis called #waywire “CurrentTV done right”, and I think that’s an interesting statement to make, since #waywire is totally focused on video, completely on the web.
Richardson says that those on the site who are checking out unique content that is curated both manually and algorithmically will be “rewarded for sharing” with their own networks. This is a pretty unique premise for the younger crowd, as older folks like me are used to things like badges on foursquare.
The key to all of this is that Richardson says the goal of #waywire is to “help you guide your life”, providing both content and context for tough situations like finance and education reform.
It’s obvious as to why Newark Mayor Cory Booker is involved, as his work on Twitter has inspired quite a few people. His connection to Silicon Valley runs deep, which many don’t know about. Through former Yahoo!, TechCrunch, and Katalyst marketing pro Sarah Ross, Booker has been introduced to some of the most powerful people in the valley.
Have a look at this meeting in 2009, chronicled by Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur:
In addition to these connections, Richardson tells me that #waywire is moving in the direction that makes sense: a place where younger crowds don’t have cable TV. So far, #waywire has backing from Eric Schmidt, Oprah Winfrey, First Round Capital and more. If anyone has a shot at cornering the market on a social news network for this audience, it’s this team.
While the site is nothing more than a signup page right now, I’m told that it should officially launch sometime this Summer.
Give this video a watch to see what type of content you can expect: