Bighow beeps in
On October 21, I quietly launched my new startup Bighow.com. Bighow.com is based on a simple premise: what if there was one web service where you could share links, like digg.com or del.icio.us and could also publish original items, like a blog post? And wouldn't it be sweet if you could do that in not only news, but 21 others topics as well?
I like to call Bighow.com an all-in-one Community Publishing System (COPS, anyone? :-))
With Bighow, I have tried to do something of a structured database. As a result, there are some preset categories and sub categories when you submit your items. However, we have also incorporated tagging, thus ensuring a two-level categorization - the best of structured data and folksonomy.
Last year, when I left a comfortable job to pursue my dreams, like most startups before me, I faced challenges and I even wrote about it back then in a post titled Startup is hard in New Delhi.
Much of what I wrote is still valid. But developing Bighow has been the most exciting educational journey in my professional life so far.
We have tried to do something FUN with the 'Craigslist+Google Base+Digg/Del.icio.us' approach. Bighow is nothing great to look at and I think we have only archived 10% of what I hope to achieve with Bighow.com. Interesting things are in the works - Microformats, APIs, XML/Republishing, Edgeio type deportalization...
I started with $8000 in my bank and in fact, Joydeep who developed Bighow learnt php while we started coding.
Here are the topics that Bighow covers:
News - news, reviews, events, announcements, forums, community, polls
Classifieds - jobs, wanted, services, for sale, products, travel, vehicles, housing, vacation rentals, matrimonials, business for sale, coupons and
Listings - resume, personals and business profiles
I am particularly excited about Bighow Polls (http://bighow.com/poll) and about we have tried to display information submitted information across Countries, cities, localities and groups. Bighow has RSS feeds for everything, including advanced search. Even the Classifieds section has detailed flagging and comments.
I am taking it slow with Bighow and partly the reason is that Bighow is hosted on a shared server, my busted bank account partly the reason.
Bighow is about a new news foundation and I hope we don't get caught up in the Web 2.0 is dying rant cycle. In fact, I agree with PR Guru Steve Rubel's suggestion to question conventional web wisdom and I am looking forward to building a small news team to bolster, moderate and seed Bighow and and do interesting things with Bighow on a local basis.
I hope Bighow plays an important role in the news business of tomorrow and while I work at raising some funds to promote Bighow, build a team, I would like to hear what you think about Bighow, what I should do with it and so on...