A couple weeks ago, somebody left a comment on my blog with the URL of zuggu.com, and I just had to click on it. The name sounded intriguing. There’s a lot of websites out there with really silly names but this one didn’t seem silly in that trying-too-
Zuggu is a social voting site based on the Pligg platform specifically aimed at pro bloggers and online money makers — Digg for metabloggers and internet marketers (Digg itself is notorious for hating on the metabloggers and the make money online bloggers). I had the idea myself a while ago to doing this very thing. Every time I read about how diggers and redditors hated bloggers, I thought: we need a “Digg” for bloggers, where submitting your own stories would be encouraged. Creating something like that was a great idea, but actually doing it and working it wasn’t something I really wanted to do. So when I saw that’s exactly what Zuggu was, I was pretty tickled about it.
But the site is very new and barely has any registered users. I think it has potential so I wanted to feature it here on remarkablogger.com. People who get in on the ground floor of something like this usually become the top users later, and for bloggers that means backlinks and traffic. So I contacted Ariel, Zuggu’s creator for an interview.
MM: How do you pronounce Zuggu? Is it like Zug-ooh, or like Zoo-goo?
Ariel: Hello Mike, first of all I have to thank you for your interest in my new project. I started toying around with the idea a couple of months ago prior to the release of what is now the beta release of Zuggu.
About the pronunciation, in my head it is Zoo-goo, the problem was that zoogoo.com was already taken, so I had to come up with a different name that reflects the same concept. Thats how Zuggu was born.
MM: Where did the name come from; what does it mean?
Ariel: Well the final name probably has nothing to do with the first sketches. The whole concept was to find a name that was able to reflect this jungle that it is how I see the blogosphere, in which everyone is looking for a way to improve their blogs and attract more visitors, and the idea of offering a better and more democratic way to search for all that productivity related content that is out there.
The final name has something from the jungle… (although in a more controlled environment :-p ), thats the ZOO part. And something related to being able to search and find for all this content, and that would be the GOO part.
In fact I was really close to get Junggoo.com, but I really liked the fact that Zuggu.com is just a 5 letter word.
MM: What made you decide to start Zuggu?
Ariel: Being a frustrated blogger myself, I realized that there is a massive amount of great content out there that doesn’t get the credit it deserves or remains almost unknown.
Each time I thought I had a great story it didn’t take me long to find someone who already had written an incredible post about it. But for me, that was not the frustrating part. The frustration came when I found out that what I thought was an incredible idea for a post, and an amazing article written by some blogger, did not get much traffic or attention, while weeks later some ‘well known blogger writes a post about the same topic but much less interesting, and gets a huge amount of traffic, comments, and credit for it.
I realized that there where 2 main problems with this:
- There are lots of great bloggers writing incredible articles and not getting any credit or exposure for their content
- People will benefit a lot from all these blogs that are beneath the surface and creating valuable content
My idea is not to take traffic out of ‘big bloggers’ but to give the chance to everyone in the most democratic way I could think of, and at the same time give new bloggers a good place were to find the best articles they will need to improve their blogs.
MM: What kinds of projects have you worked on before Zuggu?
Ariel: I been traveling the world since I was a child due to my fathers job as an ambassador so I never was able to stick with a project because I knew I was leaving soon. Right now I plan to stay in Argentina, where I was born, for about a year or so, so Zuggu is a project I know I will be able to handle. I am also working on some other sites related to nightclubs, and the event scene, a magazine, advertising, and some real estate related internet services.
What are some of the new features that you’re working on?
Ariel: Right now I am focusing primarily on marketing and all that has to do with publicity, but there are big plans for Zuggu in the short term. I first need people to know about the site in order to get feedback and keep improving.
I have some ideas in my mind regarding community cooperation and new ways of sharing content, but I prefer to go one step at a time.
MM: Where do you see Zuggu going in the longer term?
Ariel: Well, what we see right now will become to be just one of the many tools Zuggu will offer, so you have to expect big changes in the near future. The idea is to implement new tools that will give readers and publishers a better place to share and learn. The concept of every tool that will be launched is that if your content is worth noticing then it will get the exposure it deserves, no matter who you are or how well known is your blog. After all it’s all about giving great content the exposure it deserves.
MM: Thanks, Ariel!
If a group of people register at Zuggu, submit stories, and vote each other up, that will help give the site a bit of momentum. And just like Zuggu’s all about giving the “little” bloggers a chance, we can give Zuggu a chance.