A Silicon Valley startup hoping to become "the Google of audio and video" introduced software this week that trolls the Internet for podcasts, music and videos, then sorts the clips into categories such as "fashionista," "hip hop" and "gossip snoop."
Divvio Inc. — whose 12 employees occupy a squat office next to a highway onramp — came out of stealth mode Tuesday. Hossein Eslambolchi resigned as chief technology officer and chief information officer of AT&T Inc. in January 2006 to become founder and CEO.
Divvio's Web-crawling software is available in a "beta" test version at divvio.com, with an official version expected within several months.
Users of the free, advertiser-supported site may create unique "channels" on any subject — from weddings to epidemiology — and share them with others. Content is streamed to any device with a Web browser.
Divvio, which doesn't own or license any content, is initially focusing on recruiting 18- to 25-year-old users.
"This is truly targeted advertising, the holy grail of advertising," said Eslambolchi, who holds several hundred worldwide patents. "It offers a targeted blast, not all this junk from financial services companies."
Blinkx, Joost, MyWaves, Podshow and other startups aggregate different types of multimedia content from YouTube, MTV, ESPN, National Public Radio and thousands of other outlets. Yahoo Inc.; Google Inc., which owns YouTube; and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, which purchased video search company Truveo Inc. last year, also want to refine multimedia searches.
Eslambolchi says Divvio tries to set itself apart by offering a platform for letting users create profiles and rank content. Software monitors user behavior and rankings, then recommends additional content.
Eslambolchi acknowledged that Divvio's scope is far smaller than AT&T's — but he's enjoying startup culture after two decades at Ma Bell.
"In the big corporate world, if you have a small idea it's difficult to get traction. At a startup, everyone is rallying around your small idea," said Eslambolchi.