London Startup: EmbedTree Gives You A Bird’s Eye View Of Web Content INTERVIEW

We live in a world of social media.  Nowadays sifting through all the tweets, instagrams, YouTube videos and other social content can take hours if not days. Many people have turned to one social media dashboard or another in hopes of procuring the content you actually want to see.  A London startup called EmbedTree is hoping to make that process easier for you.

EmbedTree says they give users a bird’s eye view of the web. Their unique platform serves as a filter for social media sites like Twitter. They liken themselves to a hybrid between an aggregated content blog and a “handsome Twitter feed”.  The EmbedTree platform takes the cluttered mess of tweets and sorts them out in a way that makes more sense.

The startup is still in it’s early stages, but they offer a great demo of what EmbedTree will look like, here. For their demo they’ve aggregated content from TED,Mixcloud,Instagram and YouTube and made it much more visually appealing and easier to interact with.  In fact the two co-founders, Richard Morgan and Matt Rawson met while working at Mixcloud.

We got a chance to interview the team from EmbedTree. Check out the interview below:

What is embedtree?

Embed tree is a media filter for twitter. Imagine a cross between an aggregated blog dedicated to inspiring, creative, and thought-provoking content, and a handsome twitter feed. Whatever videos, images, music, or news the best and most inspiring people on twitter are sharing; we embed it to help you visualise it!

 In layman’s terms, how does it work?
We aggregate and embed content in pages on our site sourced from feeds provided by Twitter. The demo on our homepage features new content via @mixcloud @youtube @vimeo and @tedtalks. Check it out
 Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Richard Morgan and Matt Rawson met while working at Mixcloud. Matt writes the back-end code for EmbedTree – he is a quintessential english gentleman and software engineer, dabbling in a multitude of technologies. Born in the home counties, educated in Bournemouth, flourished in advertising agencies but finally found his creative niche as a lead developer for the little London startup Mixcloud.

Richard Morgan is our creative breakdancing leader hailing from the Vale of Glamorgan with a masters in statistics, mathematics, operational research and economics from the University of Warwick University. He has been involved in a multitude of projects from game development to presiding as community manager at Mixcloud. He’s now at the helm of the front-end design and development at EmbedTree and works on other projects on a freelance basis.
Where are you based?
All around London Town
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

London is fast becoming a friendly hub for startups. The scene seems to revolve around the Silicon Roundabout area, here in east London, where hundreds of other talented and creative technologists are giving the Bay Area boys a run for their money. The scene is strong, particularly in the music and media space – Last FM, Songkick and Mixcloud for example are all based here. Many of the larger tech firms have offices here too, providing great support and attracting more talent (e.g. Googles Campus). There are regular, meet-ups, hack-a-thons and social events amongst the start-up community.

How did you come up with the idea for embedtree?

We were inspired by the simple communication platform Twitter have developed and all the great rich content from other sites, services and publishers – such as TED, Mixcloud and Vimeo. We thought there must be a better way to view, discover, and curate this content while solving the problem of information overload online. We like to think of EmbedTree as an evolving digital magazine.

How did you come up with the name?

We liked the word Tree as it conveys the image of growth and sowing seeds while organically dividing and creating new branches. It is quite similar in regards to how media is discovered on the web. It’s  shared, and goes viral all the while inspiring more people. Our idea was to facilitate this. Embed – well it’s really a technical term and refers to the action of embedding media content within the page. This is how all the Youtube, Vimeo and Soundcloud widgets work. We wanted to incorporate the tree concept as part of the brand identity and EmbedTree made sense with how we see the site working.

Then it was a case of finding an available web domain / social media domain that was roughly related.  We read a few good articles about how to name sites and start-ups, how to find available urls with the right number of syllables etc.

 What problem does embedtree solve?

We’re trying to solve the problem of how to find really inspiring content online – across a plethora of amazing sites, publishers and platforms. We’re also hopefully dealing with the problem of digital fatigueand information overload online, by acting as a content focussed filter and delivering something in a clean, simple and fresh way.

What’s your secret sauce?

HP Brown Sauce, craft beer, and the saying “”A little bit of what you fancy does you good.”

What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
Naming the site, it took us a while come come up with something we both liked and we still weren’t sure. Hey, what’s is in a name?
 What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Starting was the biggest challenge. Then building a strong identity, a feel for the page, a logo, and an icon took quite a while.  We’ve made a good start, but it’s early days and there’s lots more challenges ahead, which are now coming thick and fast.
What’s the first thing you would do  with a one million dollar investment?

We’d hire another developer to help take the burden off Matt.  We’d also like an office with enough space to dance, and the obligatory table tennis table / pool table. We’d definitely like to get a wise old honcho, some “grey hair” to help guide the way a bit. Then maybe even treat ourselves to a lunch. We are simple men with simple tastes.

What’s next for embedtree?

We’ve worked out a lot of kinks and developed an identity for the site. The next steps involve investing more time reaching out to the world to build up our user base and show everyone the potential that Embed tree has. Personal profile pages will be coming out soon for individual users along with our categories pages (think lists dedicated to photography, architecture, tech, science, dance, news, politics, film and much more) and features that showcase the curatorial aspects of the site.

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