Inscrit le: 02 Oct 2010
|Posté le: Mar 16 Nov 2010 - 04:01 Sujet du message: A Path the world isn't meant to see
|A Path the world isn't meant to see
Path.com has quite the vantage point from its San Francisco offices.
(Credit: Caroline McCarthy/CNET) SAN FRANCISCO--The offices of Path float 40 stories above the city in one of the upper
floors of a residential tower just a block away from the waterfront, where the hallmarks of a young start-up--fridges of Red
Bull, whiteboards awash in colorful scribbles, the glow of massive Mac desktop monitors--colonize what would normally be
coveted apartment space for one of San Francisco's most financially fortunate. There's a balcony with sweeping views of the
Bay Bridge and the waters underneath, where on this sunny fall afternoon a lone kayaker in a bright-orange craft flits around
uncomfortably close to industrial boat traffic.
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Safely tucked away from the chattering, eavesdropper-friendly office spaces, neighborhood coffee shops, and bars where most
San Francisco start-ups take root, Path's headquarters have a feel of forced remoteness and above-the-fray distancing. This
is appropriate for Path itself: launching tonight after a deliberate attempt to stay in "stealth mode," Path is a mobile
application that tries to carve a space for itself in the increasingly public world of share-everything social media by
offering a service that its founders say is intended to be thoroughly private and intimate.
Path co-founder Dave Morin is best-known for having orchestrated and marketed the launch of its developer platform.
(Credit: Dave Morin/Facebook) Before hearing about Path it helps to know a bit about its founders. One co-founder, Shawn
Fanning, became a poster child for the Digital Age well over a decade ago as the founder of Napster (no, not the co-founder
who was played by Justin Timberlake in "The Social Network") and the other, Dave Morin, was one of Facebook's most visible
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employees several years ago as he oversaw the launch of its groundbreaking developer platform. When Morin departed Facebook
in January, leaving behind a far bigger, more powerful company than the one he'd joined late in 2006, he said he'd be working
with Fanning on a new start-up. At the time, they didn't know what they'd be doing; they toyed with a few possible products
before settling on the final idea.
So this is Path: it's a sort of hybrid of the mobile photo-sharing apps that have generated such a craze lately, and the
private, on-the-fly group messaging services that promise an alternative to communicating in a huge social network. You share
photos in a stream called a "path," but you can only share your "path" with a total of 50 people, and those 50 people must be
pulled out of your iPhone's contact list. (Android and BlackBerry versions are on the way.)
You can tag each photo--with people, with a place, and with a "thing" in it. The entire item is what Path calls a "moment."
There are some unique quirks to the service: the list of contacts you see in Path isn't the people with whom you share your
"path," but the people who have opted to share with you, a marked (if potentially confusing) contrast to the voyeuristic
world of Twitter. When you tag a "thing" in a Path "moment," you can type in anything but are also offered a list of other
things that have been tagged nearby as well as at similar hours of the day.
On this mid-afternoon in early November in the offices of a start-up with some of the sweetest views that San Francisco has
to offer, Path tags that pop up include "epic sunset, hacking, Guy Fawkes, blue skies, launch night."