Shareaholic’s Jay Meattle on the Future of Content Discovery & the Social Graph

Any company that plays at the intersection of “big data” and “killing off Facebook” gets my attention.

OK, the latter part isn’t really what Shareaholic is about, but the startup is trying to create a new kind of social graph that will rival Facebook in its reach and relevance for consumers, publishers, and advertisers. With a lot of luck, it’ll find a way to make more money than the social network, too, once it achieves more scale.

Cambridge, MA-based Shareaholic has been in the news for raising a $3 million Series A round from Kepha Partners, General Catalyst, NextView Ventures, 500 Startups, and other investors. The company is interesting because it has deep ideas about social tech and the future of the Web—and it is implementing those ideas, piece by piece.

Shareaholic started in 2009 and makes software tools for sharing, discovery, and analytics around Web content. Its ultimate goal is to provide a new kind of content discovery platform that is beneficial for consumers, publishers, and advertisers alike. (You can check out my colleague Wade’s account of the company’s early days here.)

I reached out to the startup’s founder Jay Meattle (pictured above), a Tufts grad who previously worked at Lookery, Compete, and other companies. Over e-mail, Meattle—pronounced “Meat-tel,” doesn’t rhyme with Seattle—talked about the role of big data in social tech, how Shareaholic has already surpassed his previous companies in terms of data scale, and how the startup could help us all discover and consume what’s on the Web in a more elegant way than the status quo (hard to imagine—not).

Here are his thoughts:

On the social graph Shareaholic is building to rival Facebook:

“Data is core to what we do at Shareaholic. Sharing communicates interest and intent; we leverage aggregate viewing habits, what and who … Next Page »

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