This is nothing new, and many would say the founders of YouTube are insane to think that making yet another Do-It-Yourself magazine site is going to go anywhere. However, YouTube was not the first of its kind either. Google was certainly not the first of its kind. There must exist far more naysayers than optimists in the world so that there might be the opportunities like this for these guys, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.
They have bet their money on the domain Zeen.com, emulating the term “zine”, which refers to an online magazine. If you were to sign up, your new magazine would have the address or some other creative name. Then they send you a confirmation email and tell you that nothing is running yet, but they will notify you as soon as it is. This is a polite way for saying, “Website under construction”.
A little hacking reveals a lot about Zeen. Check the domain registration, alternate suffixes, and the code on the site page and you will know more of what Zeen plans. They have registered Zeen,info, .me, and the naughty .xxx (wonder what that’s for – wink). Keep in mind that Chad and Steve are at AVOS, a product management company similar to Znovu or Google.
Zeen has its own Twitter and Facebook accounts that are mere skeletons at the moment. However, you may use your own Twitter or Facebook accounts to grab your Zeen names.
The “Information and Sharing Disclosure” contains nothing shocking. Whatever you post on Zeen.com will be made public on the site, except for your email address, unless you choose to make it so. All content you post is publicly associated with your username. When you share content with another user an email is sent to the other user, revealing your email address. Keep this in mind if you are trying to hide your email address from everyone.
Of course, they reserve the right to use aggregated information that does not personally identify you. That is a given nowadays. But after all this guarantee of hiding you, they admit that they might choose to make email addresses searchable on the site. This is the only hole in all of their comforting statements.
As for social networking services (SNS’) they only point out the obvious. If you link to your Facebook, then your Zeen info that is public on Zeen will be available through Facebook. Your publicly accessible information on Facebook will be accessible on Zeen. So mind your p’ s and q’s.
Can they pull it off? I mean, there are many e-zine publishing sites already. Many are quite cool too. What can they do to launch the niche ahead a hundred years? We cannot even imagine. Althought they did create YouTube, their attempts to revamp Delicious have fallen flat on their faces.
Their first Facebook and Twitter messages are certainly up, but nothing noteworthy. This is ironic, since they are developing a zine development site. You would think they would be better at writing than a simple “Hello world!” How pedantic!