Feature: Describing Themselves

General language — how are they describing themselves?

Notes below about CheckThis, Marquee, Medium, Smore, and Tackk.

CheckThis

CheckThis is firming up its positioning, and that firm move is toward Tackk’s position. They call their pages “posters” and call what they do “digital posters for social media.” “Every poster has a story,” they say. On their about page they stress a “publish here, share anywhere” approach with a stress on easy, private (“on your terms”), and temporally flexible (“a day, a week, a month”). “Think of it this way. You don't have to buy a car to get to the airport – that's what taxis are for. You don't need to set up a blog to publish to the web – that's what checkthis is for. Instant web publishing without the clutter.”

It appears this messaging is quite new. On 9/20/12 I got a page published confirmation that was headlined “Share your page” and now on 9/27/12 there are no mentions of pages anywhere on the site, rather it is all “posters.” This indicates a positioning quite close to that of Tackk. While they still have not caught on to making this a verb and noun, as we can do with “tackk,” they have decided that calling these “pages” is too ambiguous.

Marquee

Marquee does not shy away from calling a web page a “page” or the task before its users “publishing.” It embraces traditional descriptors and focuses on improving the process. “Web publishing, reimagined. Your content deserves better.” On their about page they note: “Marquee is a new take on how to publish everything you make on the web in a way that's simple and fun to use. It works with all types of digital content — images, audio, videos, and text — and can be used to showcase just about anything you can imagine.”

An important signal is being sent through their URL, though. They use the Belarus country “top level domain” .by on their name instead of the more typical .com or .net. This results in a URL “marquee.by” which they follow with the username and page name in such a way that you get a meaningful semantic URL: “http://marquee.by/efctesting/minnesota-prairie/” for example. The signal is that Marquee puts its users front and center, not just their pages.

Marquee, of course, is a noun not easily “verbed,” but it is a useful noun. They don’t appear to be doing this yet, but they could easily decide to refer to Marquee-generated pages a “marquees” and it would work well grammatically. No evidence of this usage is on the site as of 9/30/12.

Marquee is still very much in startup mode. The language in their welcome email emphasizes this: “We're still in the early stages of development, so you should expect to see improvements to the site daily. We're also going to be making some big changes soon, and can't wait to show you what we've been working on.”

Medium

Manifesto
While Medium is striking in its presentation and zen in its design, it appears to be positioned in a way that its significantly different from Tackk. Where Tackk aims to satisfy the desire to communicate a single, focussed idea, Medium aims to provide a platform for ongoing conversation, curation and interaction.

“Medium is designed to allow people to choose the level of contribution they prefer. We know that most people, most of the time, will simply read and view content—and that’s great. If they choose, they can click to indicate whether they think something is good, giving feedback to the creator and increasing the likelihood others will see it.”

“Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into “collections,” which are defined by a theme and a template. (For example, this post is in the About Medium collection with a simple article template.)” “Collections are sometimes closed (like this one) but optionally open to contributions. ... Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.”

Smore

Homepage without account
Smore presents a landing page for folks without an account that called itself “beta” and calls their editor a “page builder.” This landing page includes a video promoting Smore, shares testimonials “Smore is the best page builder I’ve ever seen!” (anonymously), and presents key features, “Human readable analytics you can use,” and “Promote and share your page like a pro.”

Interestingly, Smore still has the remnant of a pitch that was much more aggressive in August, with a green top bar that states “New: Smore for Apps — Beautiful splash pages for your App Store apps.” This notion of serving app developers in their promotion of mobile apps is probably what drives some of the analytics and sharing feature set.

Smore has also been moving toward the word “flyer” to represent their pages, probably for reasons similar to Tackk’s use of “tackk” and CheckThis’ use of “poster,” to differentiate from a typical we page. Some remnants of pre-flyer days can still be found, such as the use of the slogan “beautiful pages instantly” in the top Smore bar and the HTML <title> of the homepage.

Note that after you have logged in you find a much more subdued and down-to-business home page greeting you. All the sales pitches are gone except for a headline “Use Smore flyers to get the word out.”

Tackk

Tackk is trying to invent a new word, “tackk,” through the careful emlimination of the words “page” and “web” from its site. The word can be both a noun (“finish your Tackk later”) or a verb (“Tackk it Up!”). They always capitalize it, except, oddly enough, in the logo itself.

The main pitch to be found is under the “starter” tab, and that pretty much refers to features (no login, no save, benefits of login).

From the about page: “No software or login is required. No design skill needed. No community to join. Just visit the Tackk home page and start typing. When you're done creating your Tackk, you can immediately share it with friends in your social networks or the internet at large. It's no more complicated than tacking a flier to the coffee shop bulletin board.”

Tackk refers to itself as “beta” in its logo.

Comments

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Santosh / 07 December 2012 / 03:10

I rellay rellay disagree with this piece and very strongly. I have known Danny and he is a sincere generous man, who is being accused of things he never intended. The guy rellay loves india, and he shot what he saw was cinematically a very powerful location.Manjha is a powerful piece and it could be true in any part of the world. All over the world films are made which talk about darker things which actually bring humanitarian attention to them, they impact you affect you. Manjha is one such film and so was A very very silent film by Manish which won the cannes award few years ago. Neither of them intended to sell indias poverty and yes even though I am putting Tumbaad together, it wouldnt have been possible without everyones attention being drawn to Manjha. Dannys generosity is unmatchable in this bollywood that we liveand work in and his dignity shows in the fact that he is silently taking all the accusations. This is a very narrow point of view that you state here and very distressing . It makes me angry that someone wrote this, without rellay knowing the man.

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org