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2/25/2008
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Radar Networks Readies Hot 'Twine' For Public Beta

The company reports that 30,000 people have joined the waiting list for the information-management software, which may become available next week.

Saying that it has taken in $13 million in a second round of venture funding, Radar Networks is readying the public launch of Twine. The information-management software has been a hot topic of discussion in Web 2.0 circles since it was presented at the Web 2.0 Summit in October.

Twine, which has been in closed beta for the last few months, has 30,000 people on a waiting list signed up to be among the first users of the public beta when it appears, as early as next week, according to Radar Networks CEO Nova Spivack.

"It seems that we've hit a nerve," says Spivack. "There's a lot of pain out there -- especially people in information-intensive professions, they really need a better way to manage their information."

Twine uses semantic Web technologies to link disparate forms of information and content, including e-mails, documents, spreadsheets, press articles, photos, videos, Web links, and so on. The application also learns as it goes, collecting information about a user's interests to make recommendations and connections among information and with other people. Spivack calls it "a network that helps individuals and groups organize, share, and discover information around their interests."

Twine joins a growing subcategory of companies and technologies (several of which debuted at the Demo conference in Palm Desert last month) that are based around allowing individuals, small groups, and large enterprises to more easily organize themselves and their information and content, and enabling them to share, store, and manage that content more effectively.

Managing interactions and projects with dozens or hundreds of people is the goal of LiquidPlanner, a Seattle-based provider of Web-based project management software. Using "ranged" task-completion estimates (i.e., "three to five weeks"), coupled with probabilistic statistical analysis, Liquid Planner allows managers to determine the probability of completing a specific task, a larger project, or a portfolio of projects by a certain date. LiquidPlanner also provides workspaces in which users can collaborate and share information in different forms.

Sharing and managing many different types of content is also the concept behind Joggle, the new application from San Mateo, Calif.-based Fabrik.

Providing "aggregation through virtualization," Joggle allows users to store and access different forms of content -- documents, photos, video files, and so on -- in one place without requiring any consolidation of files. "We're providing a central location where you can see all your stuff, while leaving it where you want to," says Mike Williams, Fabrik senior VP and general manager.

Radar Networks, Spivack says, will use the additional $13 million funding round -- which was led by Velocity Interactive Group and includes Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Vulcan Capital -- to fine-tune Twine and build the back-end semantic logic engine to more powerfully organize and learn from users' information and habits.

"It's an overwhelming amount of information we're all dealing with," Spivack adds, "and what we're building is kind of a periodic table of information, trying to figure out for each person what are their core interests are and self-organize around that."

Twine will launch as a free ad-supported application, but Spivack says he's received "a tremendous amount of interest" from large enterprises and that a standalone, business-oriented version of the software is likely to appear eventually.

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