Spotery.com is a social news aggregation site based in New York City that’s aimed at “helping people find the nuggets of the Web,” said CEO Limor Elkayam. The site launched in Beta in December 2009 as iSpotaStory.com. With a streamlined name and a ladybug-free logo, the site relaunches today with upgrades suggested by readers. We spoke to Elkayam last week about how she came up with the idea and what her plans are for the future.
Elkayam, who is a former assignment editor/producer at Capital News 9, also has marketing experience at 360i, where she created digital campaigns for TV networks including MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central, as well as experience in e-commerce at her own marketing agency, Rogue Media LLC. She created iSpotaStory.com as a better way to cut through the clutter on the internet to find and share news. “If my friends aren’t posting it, how am I going to find it?” she said.
The social news site combines stories selected by editors with those submitted by readers. Members of the site can create their own profiles with vanity URLs and can follow other members. When they submit a story they can see who else spotted the same story, add related links and share articles with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
According to Elkayam, the new site has also “made the submission process easier.” Now when readers submit an article or video link, the site will auto-generate a title and a description of the story and automatically embed the videos, with no html code needed. These stories feed into an ever-evolving stream of user-generated content located on the right column of the home page. When readers see a story they like on Spotery, they can click the “spot” button, which is essentially a retweet.
In the left column, the editors have selected the best content of the day, either by what they think is interesting or by which stories have already gotten a lot of circulation. Just like a traditional newspaper, the stories are grouped into sections, which include entertainment, technology, sports, “funny,” “offbeat,” world, lifestyle, business and science. Elkayam herself likes to read stories about actress Lindsay Lohan. “It’s my guilty pleasure,” she admitted.
The other editors are mostly students and recent graduates of NYU who are between the ages of 22 and 25. “We wanted people who live and breathe social media,” Elkayam said.
The next step is to work on a business model to monetize the site, which Elkayam funded herself with help from friends and family. So far the results are encouraging. Last month the site had 52,000 visitors and Elkayam expects 60,000 more to reach the site this month. “It’s getting legs,” she said.