I met Richard Giles while I was in California last year. I knew of him through the G’day World podcast where he was co-hosting with Cam for some time. It was through the podcast that I’d heard he was going to be in San Fran while I was in CA – a couple of emails later and we’d planned a meetup and geek dinner.
Kinda funny really: Rich is from Perth, I’m from Melbourne and, naturally, we meet in San Francisco.
Only a couple of people came to the geek dinner – mostly because Rich was disorganized and neglected to send out reminders or book a restaurant (is that right or just how I remember it Rich?) – but strolling around San Fran with Rich, taking the odd photo and talking tech and startups was a great way to spend a day.
He kept hedging around this idea that he was working on. “It’s in stealth mode at the moment” he’d say, “so I can’t tell you much…” but it was obvious he was excited about his pet project. He promised to keep me posted…
A few months ago I received an email from Rich asking me if I’d be interested in beta testing (how web 2.0!) Scouta. Finally I could play with his project! Unfortunately I was intensely busy with work during that period and I suspect I was the worst beta tester he could ask for. Scouta progressed nonetheless.
Scouta has since been released publicly and is getting it’s fair share of interest (Tech Crunch covered them recently).
So what is it? It’s a service that recommends media for you to watch based on what you like and what people like you like. The idea is that since online content is growing exponentially it’s going to get increasingly difficult to find the stuff you like. Scouta will help find media of interest to you.
Initially I didn’t think I’d need such a service (I subscribe to many blog feeds and so have my ear fairly close to the ground) but since playing with it again recently I think it’s something that will grow on me. A killer feature for me was to use iTunes to subscribe to feeds, say of comedy or tech content, that the system will recommend to you. iTunes will then download the content and deliver it to your iPod. Nice.
The ‘mascot’ kinda reminds me of Rich. 🙂