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Southerners’ social platform out to spark global conversations

The team that won last September’s Dunedin Startup Weekend is back with a new venture that aims to bring together online audiences with similar interests.

Otago University student Geordi Dearns and alumni Ben Wigley, a developer, marketer and entrepreneur Nick Cleaver and designer Rebekah McNutt are working on Linkerly.

It’s currently a social feed for web links, but the team members hope to create a browser plugin that would let users bookmark and discuss content from anywhere around the internet, on any site.

“We got sick of those Gen Y type sites like Elite Daily that are quite restricted in what they give you,” says Dearns. “They have writers that are all quite selective.”

The team’s concept is similar to the social bookmarking functionality used by Delicious, he says. “The ultimate aim would be if something happened like the Japanese tsunami, you could discuss it and donate using Paypal and send messages of support.

We want people right across the world who might have the same interests to be able to bookmark something and discuss it on any site.”

Cleaver, Wigley and McNutt won the Dunedin Startup Weekend with Skrmsh, a venture designed to gamify debating.

Wigley helped develop the Delicious front end while working for Avos Systems from December 2012 until January. Avos, started by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, bought Delicious in 2011.

Linkerly has signed more than 100 beta users after offering a $500 incentive during the Otago University orientation week.

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Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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