By Harry McCracken | Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:42 am
SendLove.to, which launched this week, wants to get people talking about politicians, entertainment figures, and other celebrities–and to do so, it’s launching an intriguing service that feels a little like a Facebook Like button and a little like a commenting system. It hopes that vast quantities of blogs will start using it, creating a giant community of people across the Web assessing famous personages.
SendLove is available as a plugin for WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and other blogging platforms. Its technology scans the words in an article, identifies public figures mentioned in them, and turns their names into hyperlinks. Click on one of the links, and you can vote the person in question up or down, and (optionally) add a comment about him or her.
At the bottom of the page, SendLove rejiggers the comments section so that there are tabs for the personages mentioned in the post. The tabs graph the person’s popularity over time, both at the specific site and across the Web.
You can see how it works at this post on a political blog called The Moderate Voice, one of SendLove’s test partners:
SendLove isn’t charging blogs for the service. It also hasn’t entirely nailed down how it’s going to make money with this, but some sort of advertising seems likely.
Everybody who gets voted on via SendLove has a SendLove page–a summary that looks a bit like an About.me page. Here’s President Obama, who’s popular on SendLove. And here’s Justin Bieber, who’s even more popular. A couple of million people are in the system.
Oh, and I just discovered that I have a SendLove page. Nobody’s voted on me yet, pro or con.
That brings up a challenge for SendLove: it’ll only take off if lots and lots of people vote. And it’ll help if the results are interesting, rather than painfully obvious, and if the comments aren’t al from fanboys and/haters. It’s a bit too early to judge the quality of the conversation.
Overall, I like the idea. I’d even consider using SendLove on Technologizer, if it weren’t for the fact that the vast majority of our posts don’t mention people at all. SendLove’s founders told me that they might add other topics besides people at some point–and if they ever start letting people rate products, I’ll take a look.