Blekko, not content with revolutionizing the search market, is now getting ready to revolutionize the Pinterest(!?) market. The company behind the spam adverse search engine has launched ROCKzi that it characterizes as a cross between Pinterest and Flipboard.The "like x but with y" formula is tried and tested, so perhaps Blekko is onto something here. Then again, nobody is really in need of yet another "social" news platform. Under the hood though, it may have more in common with Reddit than with either Pinterest and Flipboard.
News stories and sources are surfaced by Blekko power users, guaranteeing a certain quality threshold, and articles are grouped into subreddits, erm, "boards" like "Geekery," "Glitterati," "JetZet" and so on.
There are some 33 boards now but Blekko hopes to add more in the future, thousands more, and it's relying on users to do this, just like it does for its search engine.
Readers can vote on the articles, another Reddit cue, and, of course, share them with their Facebook and Twitter friends who are eagerly waiting more content to be pushed through the "social sharing" machines.
Users will also be able to submit content to the boards and, eventually to create their own custom boards. Coincidentally, that's how Reddit works too. The users that submit the most liked content get "karma points" (yes, really) which acts as a badge of sorts of their skills at curating and recommending interesting stuff.
The only thing about this that is like Pinterest is the design. Granted, Pinterest struck gold with its minimal, aesthetic yet highly functional layout and there have been plenty of sites that copied it wholesale. Which is actually a good thing, good ideas should propagate.
Underneath the skin, Rockzi seems very much like a Reddit clone. One in Pinterest clothes. Which doesn't actually sound so bad if you think about it. One thing that Reddit's missing is major redesign and perhaps a bigger emphasis on the visual aspects, i.e. putting the photos on the actual site rather than always sending people away to other places.