Universal annotation system DotSpots, created by BizRate and Shopzilla founder Farhad Mohit, made quite a splash at the TechCrunch50 conference last week. Wired’s Besty Schiffman blogged that she had it pegged as the probable TechCrunch50 winner.
DotSpots wants to bring a Wikipedia-like annotation system to every meme on the web, but is currently focusing on the news, COO Navid Aslani told me in an interview last Monday. Bloggers and citizen journalists can contribute to text content–like an AP news story–by posting corrections, opinions, links, YouTube videos, and Flickr photos and the Dotspots semantic matching system will distribute the annotation to wherever else the story appears.
Google’s Marissa Mayer, one of the judges for the presentation, said it was a "beautiful idea," according to a report by Clint Boulton at eWeek.
Boulton thinks DotSpots would be "fantastic as part of a larger portfolio in the arms of Google, Yahoo, MySpace or Facebook" to help it gets the reach it needs, and we agree. Aslani told me the company’s main focus at this point is ubiquity and that monetization is on "the backburner"; achieving that ubiquity would certainly be easier if the system were incorporated into Google News.
DotSpots long-term business model is to have publishers attach "commercial dots" from advertisers into the DotSpots code, according to Boulton.
—Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer