It was exciting to meet up with my first Manchester startup recently when I went to their offices in Spinningfields. Wakelet is a small team of people creating the latest technology in content curation.
The size of the internet is estimated at 4.76 billion pages and it’s growing every day. We’ve all had had the experience of bookmarking endless websites in a desperate attempt to save the content that matters. But generally, you read or watch something – and then it’s lost forever.
This was the problem of Wakelet founder and University of Salford graduate, Jamil Khalil, when telling friends and family about his trip travelling across New Zealand. It was similar to keeping track of all the articles he needed when studying for his degree, or sharing links with clients during his day job at Airbus.
People tend to hack their own solutions, with word documents full of links, or using the bookmarks in their browser. But these hacks leave much to be desired and aren’t great for sharing.
Organising the internet is a grand aim – but that’s what Wakelet is doing.
Contrary to using search engines, which are brilliant at helping us locate information that we already know we want to find, Wakelet enables you collect and organise that content, as well as receive recommendations.
Its visual drag-and-drop platform allows users to easily arrange and organize their favourite content into ‘wakes’. You can choose whether to keep them public, private or unlisted. If, like me, your mind works in a visual and associative way, Wakelet is a godsend.
Wakelet allows you to represent your ideas and trains of the thought with the content you collect. The platform is fast and responsive, and you can move your content around easily.
It’s addictive in a similar way to Pinterest, and uses a similar visual style in its interface.
Who can use Wakelet
I find it particularly useful for my business. If you want to make a portfolio for your work, then Wakelet has the answer. Previously, I was using Contently, but I was limited to a one-page scrolling list. Wakelet allows you to create different ‘wakes’ that essentially represent different projects.
It’s informal and easy to learn and master for your everyday social media user. Its flexibility means that it suits customization, and it also looks professional enough for business. Wakelet can even be embedded if you want to keep visitors on your own website.
I like how it helps me to explore particular technology topics that I find interesting, and to curate the articles I want to come back to. Wakelet is also good for content discovery.
Northern tech and women in tech
Since moving to Manchester, I have been impressed with the level of enthusiasm in the tech industry. We all know that London is a tech capital of Europe, but that’s not at the expense of thriving industries elsewhere in the UK.
It makes sense that Manchester should be a center of technological innovation, considering its foundational role in the Industrial Revolution.
Manchester was the site of the invention of the Spinning Jenny, a revolutionary technology that enabled textile production on an industrial scale. This innovative technology and subsequent growth of the textile industry spurred the Industrial Revolution forwards.
The problem can often be one of PR. Businesses are reluctant to shout about their efforts. They toil away diligently while more flashy locales get all the attention.
But the only way to get more funding in the tech startup industry in the north is by building up an image of success and growth. It’s a virtuous circle.
Naomi Timperley, Digital, Startup & Growth Consultant for Wakelet, says, “Manchester has a vibrant community of tech entrepreneurs. This includes many women who champion diversity in tech and promote themselves as female role models for the young tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
“I’m pleased to be part of Tech North Advocates and also championing digital skills within schools, colleges and universities through Wakelet and the Duke of Yorks iDEA.
“The northern tech industry is one that I’m personally proud to be part of. I love the people, the ideas and the tenacity of entrepreneurs from the north.”
Companies like Wakelet have the confidence to stride ahead of the pack to showcase their efforts. They will then attract more businesses and investment for everyone.
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Main image: Bdaily