Wordnik founders launch Reverb, a new company aimed at helping connect people with meaningful content

Wordnik founders launch Reverb, a new company aimed at helping connect people with meaningful content ...

The founders of online dictionary service Wordnik have shifted gears and today launched a new company called Reverb, which is helping people connect better with “meaningful, relevant content.” While the founders have started a new endeavor, Wordnik is not going to be affected — the company says that it will continue to operate as a standalone service.

With Reverb, the company says that it will help find and connect the rich associations between words, ideas, content, and people. It hopes that people will receive broader knowledge around their favorite topics through Reverb by uncovering information that might typically be hidden. Built on a much grander scale than Wordnik, which only focused on individual words, the new company says it will deliver applications and services for not only consumers, but publishers and developers as well.


The company says that its platform was built by a team of enterprise architecture, social networking, mobile, computational linguistics, and lexicography experts. Its products currently include Reverb for Publishers, Reverb for Developers, and the Wordnik online dictionary. Consumer applications are in development with Reverb saying they should be released in the first half of 2013.

One of the changes taking place involves a service for publishers. Formerly known as Related Content by Wordnik, Reverb renamed it under its new brand and has announced that it is no longer in beta, instead opening it up to the public. For publishers, it’s a content recommendation engine that will help identify connections between “related pieces of content” while recommending the relevant ones to readers. Today, anyone can use the product’s algorithms to analyze any part of a website and display any related pages with similar content. Tony Tam, Reverb’s CEO, and Erin McKean, its founder, tells us that there are more than 1,500 publishers currently on board.

For developers, Reverb says it is still supporting the open-source community. Through its Reverb for Developers program, it has released a Wordnik API that can be used to request definitions, example sentences, spelling suggestions, related words, and more. Additionally, Reverb offers up three frameworks for developers to consider:

  • Swagger: An interface specification for describing, producing, consuming, and visualizing RESTful web services
  • Atmosphere: Focused on simplifying the building of high-performance, asynchronous web applications with a mix of WebSocket, Comet, and RESTful behavior
  • Scalatra: An open-source framework combining JVM with Scala to help build high-performance websites and APIs.

Although Wordnik is being kept as a standalone product, it is being added under the Reverb umbrella. The company says that it will continue to be a contextually-relevant English dictionary, with more than 7.5 million unique words, 240,255 comments, 187,318 tags, 121,591 pronunciations, and 1,373,822 words in 37,322 lists — all created by 104,019 users.

Reverb has also announced that FLOODGATE managing partner Mike Maples is joining its board of directors.

Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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