One of the things that I do the most is to share what I’m reading. Sometimes it’s with a snarky comment, other times it’s just a link but I do love to share and get conversations going based around what I’ve just seen. Unfortunately, Twitter and Facebook (my #1 and #2 sharing places, respectively) are actually not very well suited for doing this. Google+ is better, but it’s still potentially very noisy.
Skmmr is the answer.
At its heart, Skmmr is just a bookmarklet. You place it up in your Bookmarks bar, then when you’re reading something that you’d like to share with your Skmmr circles, you hit the bookmarklet and choose the appropriate groups. The idea, according to Skmmer co-creator Zack Shapiro, is that Skmmr allows you to share content with only the people to whom you believe it will best resonate, thus spawning a reply and a conversation, instead of just yelling into a very crowded room.
“In the media climate that we’re in right now, it’s very easy to plaster Twitter and FB with ‘I’m reading this’ but there’s this intimate experience that gets lost. You’re sharing at the world versus sharing with the world.”
It’s with that close-knit sharing in mind that Skmmr is also limited to having 8 people in a circle, though you can have as many circles as you like. Shapiro tells me that it’s one of the smaller breakdowns of Dunbar’s Number, which is a theory that we have a finite amount of people with which we can have a relationship.
Oh, and a note on the circles – I’ve been talking to Shapiro about Skmmr since before Google+ was made public, so don’t go thinking that the name or the idea was a knock-off from Google. Though Shapiro does admit to having a great feeling of justification in seeing Google take the same methods for separating groups with whom you’d like to share.
As you’re reading and sharing, a digest of everything that your friends are reading and sharing is being built. Then daily, around dinner time, you’ll get that digest in an email. While you can log in to your Skmmr dashboard to see the shares at any time, the idea behind the digest and its time of delivery is to get the collection of shares to you at a point in your day when it’s convenient rather than burdensome.
I talked to Shapiro about integration for publishers, as well as the ability to share from Instapaper. For the time being, Skmmr is focusing its efforts on providing the best experience that it can in and of itself. But Shapiro tells me that, of course, the implementation can change if that’s what its users decide is best.
For now Skmmr is gathering signups for a grand opening on Sunday. While I don’t make it common practice to write about things prior to launch, I’m far too excited to see Skmmr take off to hold off on writing about it. Understandably, so is Shapiro. After spending the summer as an Associate for TechStars, along with his co-creator Eric Magnuson (a TechStars HackStar), the two are ready for the public to get a look at Skmmr and find out what the next step is.
Want to get involved with the launch? You can sign up for Skmmr right now to make sure that you’re in the first batch. Shapiro tells me that the team is finishing up some last-minute housekeeping and then, as I said, will flip the switch to take Skmmr live this Sunday.