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By RBA - June 22nd, 2007, 0:05, Category: General

I've had to present coRank a couple of times since we launched, and it's always presented with a "Do you want to create your own Digg clone?"

However many people are missing that coRank offers a lot more than that.

Take for example my own little showcase site Northern Lights.

It looks like Digg, someone may land there and feel they're on a "Digg clone", but you see? From my own point of view - and I'm the one who created that site - it is nothing like that.

I'm going to tell you why I created Northern Lights and why it's not a Digg clone at all...

I'm interested in many things. Auroras borealis (or Northern Lights) is not one that drives me nuts, but I like them enough to devote a site to them. Now, I wanted to have a site where I could share this hobby with others.

I could have created a Geocities-like page, or an email list for other enthusiasts to share stuff abut them, but that's just so last century.

I could have created a blog, but I didn't want a site where I could be the only one posting content about auroras. I wanted a space we all could share. Besides, a blog where most content is actually links to other sites isn't quite a blog if you ask me.

Ok, I could have created a wiki. But again, that was't it. If I find something on the web - a nice photo of an aurora, for example - I want to simply submit that to this "site", and yes, that would be my submission. No need for others to edit my link, description, etc.

With coRank however I could create in an instant a site that, whenever I find some good photo or article on the web about auroras - or whenever I feel like writing something about them - I could just "submit" it. And whenever anyone else who also likes this topic, finds something cool as well, they can send it too.

And we all could comment on whatever we send. And yes, we could vote them up or down if we like.

But the purpose here is not to make it to the front page, or even voting. And honestly, if nobody ever visits my Northern Lights site or nobody ever votes, I would still continue submitting whatever cool content I find, because after all, this is something I do because I like this topic, and slowly I'm building my own repository of content about northern lighths.

So what I've done with coRank is to create a site that somehow combines functions you can find in a blog, in Digg, in a wiki and in a bookmarking site. Except that it isn't any of them.

And after having been posting content to my Northern Lights site for a while, I must say I love it. And you know? Nobody has submitted anything else so far, but that's ok. There are just a few votes, but that's just fine, and I don't think I've read any comments, but that's cool too. Of course, it would be great if more people would participate, but right now I'm just happy contributing to a site I like, about something I like, and unlike if I had done this in a blog, the door is open for anyone else to participate, whether by sharing stuff they also find on the web, voting, commenting or however they like.

Yes, the site still looks like Digg, so you could call it a Digg clone for its appearance, but the way I'm using it has nothing to do with it. And in the end, I think that's what really matters. And the best thing is that this is just one way some people - including myself - are using coRank. Others decided to build a HotOrNot for the Orkut population. Others are experimenting as a tool to engage supporters of a presidential hopeful, others as a repository of cool pictures found in Google StreetView, and so on.

And that's why if you visit coRank today, you'll see the heading now goes "Create your own Social Content Network" instead of "Social News", because although it can certainly be about news (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that), it can be about anything.

How are you using coRank?

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