January 22, 2010

XING Closing The Door On Socialmedian by January 31st

Just over a year's time following Socialmedian's acquisition by XING, the social news site is going to fade away, as users will find themselves under the umbrella of the European online business network. This comes after the recent news that Socialmedian founder Jason Goldberg, who whipped the site into position for acquisition in just eight months as a public service, had left XING, headed back to the United States to start his new company, Fabulis.

Socialmedian, one of my favorite sites in all of 2008, became a go-to site for many Webheads, helping to surface breaking news on technology, politics and other topics, cultivated by your social graph. Content pulled into the site from Google Reader, blog posts and other Web sites could then be discussed in a centralized forum. One of the best things about the site was that it would scan the incoming data for its topics and automatically assign it to networks you chose to follow, such as Venture Capital, Apple, Mobile or anything else. While you could follow individuals, just like on most social networks, the ability to sign up to a news network on a specific topic meant you could find the best of the Web, cultivated by smart folks, on just the topics you liked.

Coming in a year that also saw tremendous growth in aggregation services like FriendFeed, it was not a surprise that Socialmedian was snapped up so quickly. In the last 12 months, Jason and his colleagues worked to combine the filtered news service with Xing's social network, popular in Europe, but less popular in the United States. In the meantime, traffic to Socialmedian itself dropped to about half where it was at the beginning of the year.

Existing Socialmedian.com users will get a month of XING premium membership, but I don't expect many to make the switch, having since moved to get their news elsewhere. Meanwhile, Jason, who discussed the transition in a blog post at the end of the year, is focused on building out Fabulis, described as "a place where gay men and their gay-friendly friends celebrate life," looking to "produce the ultimate gay guide to living -- all through user generated experiences." The site's blog, already getting updated, is a little sparse on the details, but with Jason's history, it is one worth watching, no matter your preferences.

For more history on Socialmedian.com, check out some of our archives: