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Distributed CEO

Distributed CEO

My 3 weeks of being CEO will expire on Monday and I will pass the CEO hat to Mircea. It’s been a crazy and fun period for us! I had the chance to manage one “intimate” beta launch and one private beta launch. It all ended up with an awesome private beta party this Friday — 55 beers and 1…

Summify in private beta!

We have great news to share with you: Summify is now officially in private beta, starting today, 23rd March 2010! Woohoo!

After weeks of hard work we finally have something that we can share with more people!  It took us a full week of “intimate” beta to detect and squash all the major bugs (Thank you Bootup Labs crew for the awesome feedback!), but now we’re ready to go! 

We know there are still a lot of things to improve on but the process will be a lot more enjoyable from now on. It’s a whole new world when you have users that can give you feedback, so we really want you to try out Summify!

What’s Summify?

We know it’s been a long wait, so we wanted to remind you what we do. Currently, Summify is a plugin/widget for blogs and websites. If you have a site you can “summify it” and you instantly enable your readers (including those using an iPhone!) to preview any external link from your pages.

We help your readers quickly understand what lies behind a link by showing contextually relevant summaries. This means that Summify identifies that part of the target page that makes the most sense in the article that linked to it. 

We also do a bunch of custom previews. If it’s an Youtube, a picture or a Twitter username your readers can see it right away without having to leave the site. We’ll be releasing a lot more of these custom previews in the following weeks.

See it in action!

You can see how Summify works on this blog and our showcase sites.

Did you receive your invite?

We’ve sent invites to everyone on our private beta list. If you’ve subscribed but you didn’t get an email from us, please let us know

We need all the feedback we can get, so make sure you make your voice heard on our feedback page or send us an email if you need anything specific.

ReadFu becomes Summify

During the past few weeks we’ve been working very hard (13+ hours / day) to get our private beta out and we’re getting really close! 

Right now we’re in “intimate beta” mode. A few of our friends from Bootup Labs were crazy enough to test Summify on their blogs. Check it out (it should work from an iPhone too):

Oh, wait! What’s Summify? Well, Summify is the new ReadFu! Ever since we started pitching ReadFu to people we’ve soon noticed a few issues with that name:

  • People find it hard to understand. We were asked quite a few times how exactly do you spell it and it was always funny to say “It’s Read + Fu, like in Kung Fu”.
  • It’s deceiving. Our name is composed from a common word and something ambiguous. People get the impression that it’s descriptive (because of “read”) when it’s actually not.
  • Kung Fu theming was too edgy. There was no connection between us and Kung Fu.

So we decided to look for a better name. Luckily people around us were very supportive. We received a lot of great suggestions from Patrick, Jamie, NoahDaniel and others. We eventually picked Summify, which we believe fits perfectly in our pitch.

There is some hassle doing a renaming though:

  • Facebook doesn’t allow you to rename your fan page so we have to start over. Please make sure to become of fan of Summify on Facebook so that we can get a proper vanity URL (you have to get 100 Fans to do that).
  • We have to move our email and docs to the new domain. Our @summify.com emails don’t work yet but we’ll have them up until next week.
  • We have to print a new set of business cards.
  • Other small changes that add up

Luckily we hadn’t yet built a brand around ReadFu, our design was still fairly early on and we didn’t have a lot of incoming links. Later on it would have been much harder to do this change.

All in all we’re excited about our new name and we hope you like it too! Summify brings insightful summaries for any link on the web. Doesn’t it sound great?

Make sure to stay tuned, we are sending invites next week and if you’re on the private beta list (big “Sign up” button on the homepage) you’ll get one!

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