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Summary:

I’ve been using ShareThis on my blogs and recommending it to my clients for a while now. I explain to my clients that ShareThis is a “passive broadcaster” of their content, giving their blog and web site visitors handy tools to email posts or articles to […]

grouptivity-home-social-bookmarking-sharing-button-and-toolbar-share-via-email-social-networks-and-social-bookmarking-on-delicious-digg-facebookI’ve been using ShareThis on my blogs and recommending it to my clients for a while now. I explain to my clients that ShareThis is a “passive broadcaster” of their content, giving their blog and web site visitors handy tools to email posts or articles to others, to easily blog about the content they are reading or to link to the content via any of over 30 social media and networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Mixx and del.icio.us.

For a while now, ShareThis had only one direct competitor – AddThis.

When I first went to sign up for one of these services, it seemed pretty much six of one and half a dozen of the other when comparing the two. I went with ShareThis because I liked their button, not a very strategic decision-making process, but when two services are quite comparable, it really boils down to going with either other people’s recommendations or with your gut.

There’s a new kid in town, however, giving both ShareThis and AddThis a run for their money.

A vision of Grouptivity, according to the company’s founder Ankesh Kumar, is to make sharing web content more powerful than ever. Kumar says that while sharing via bookmarking sites and social networks is important, his company has found that so far 80% of site visitors still opt to share content via email. So Grouptivity facilitates emailing content – integrating with users’ email account address books – rather than trying to change their more common behavior. ShareThis offers similar email integration while AddThis focuses more on the publisher.

Besides being an application that resides on the blogs and sites of content producers, Grouptivity is also a tool for the site visitor who can finally save all of the things they’ve forwarded on to others or linked to on their social networking sites in a single place. Grouptivity becomes the repository for the content that you’ve found interesting enough to share so you can find it again and share it in other ways. ShareThis has a similar functionality (ShareBox) while AddThis again focuses on the publisher versus the user.

welcome-to-grouptivityGrouptivity let’s you connect with “friends” in a social networking way and view your friends’ recent activity to see what content they have shared. And yes, you can also add content privately to your account in case it is something you want to refer to later but don’t want to share publicly. Grouptivity also adds private discussion forums to start a dialogue around shared content.

Another aspect of Grouptivity that sets it apart from similar services is the exploration of monetization and revenue sharing between the company and content publishers. This model will need time to prove out, however, it is an interesting addition to content sharing services. Grouptivity also allows content publishers to “own” their user data so you can build relationships with the people who are sharing your content. ShareThis, for example, provides you with stats but not with detailed user information. You can export user data as CSV, Excel or PDF files.

Companies like Grouptivity may be the third or fourth to market but get the benefit of expanding on existing services. First or second to markets like AddThis and ShareThis have to work twice as hard to hold their positions.

Do you think Grouptivity has a real chance to overturn the market hold that ShareThis and AddThis currently has? Is monetizing and sharing revenues with publishers the winning ticket?

  1. I like the fact that they are trying something new… “email a friend” is pre web 1.0. It’s time for something different wheatear it’s this or something else.

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  2. This post is right on. I’ve been using Grouptivity for a few months now and love that it lets me save my articles for later reading, so i dont clutter up my bookmarks.
    One thing this article missed out on is that grouptivty also lets you see what your friends are sharing in the same place. Keep it up!

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  3. Aliza, Thanks for the article. We have a big announcement next week, I look forward to sharing that with you and your readers.

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  4. I just signed up for Grouptivity and find the UI and experience very challenging. Not sure I see many people adopting to this. It’s hard to argue that ShareThis and AddThis are going to be knocked off the top 2 spots – their user experience is right on.

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  5. Peter, I appreciate the feedback, UI is something we are constantly working on and with sincere efforts we will get there.
    We do bring a lot more to the table than either of the other competitors in the sense there is no formal relationship,between them and the publishers, it’s cut and past HTML code to switch services.
    Our objective is to monetize content sharing for the publisher which implies a more tighter relationship.

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  6. [...] Grouptivity Takes on ShareThis and AddThis [...]

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  7. I have to disagree with Peter – I found the interface super easy to use, and I love being able to search my bookmarks by keyword. Plus it’s fun to see what my friends are reading.

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  8. This is a much needed service. Sharing has to be as easy as email.

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  9. Interesting, and thanks!

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  10. Sorry but bloggers do not need another bookmarking tool on their site, and this one accomplishes nothing more. By the way they will have to “beat” AddToAny too, which I am surprised you did not mention: addtoany.com – I use their (also very popular) Share/Save button on my blog.

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  11. Mike, this is not another bookmarking tool. It’s a replacement of the current tool.

    Why is this different?

    80% of the internet population use email to share content. i.e. “email a friend” It’s the elephant in the room.

    Name me one service apart from grouptivity that allows you to bookmark an email?

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  12. You need to check out http://tellafriend.socialtwist.com

    not only it supports bookmarking, it also has Email, IM, Blog, CMS and Social connectors!

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  13. It would be good to see detailed comparison of Social Sharing services.

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  14. Diigo offers sharing email sharing / integration quite well. Sometimes people mistaken Diigo for being just another social bookmarking service. It’s more than that. I found its rich functionality are great for sharing and collaboration (private, public or group).

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  15. Why don’t many bloggers share examples of where they are using the products they recommend?

    Sometimes I wonder too if there isn’t some sort of partnership between the blogger and the product they are recommending.

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