Pluck Makes Its RSS Aggregator Official

Software startup Pluck released the commercial version of its organizer for Web and real simple syndication (RSS) content on Monday.

Pluck 1.0 comes in two versions: a plug-in for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser and a standalone Web-based tool. Pluck launched a beta in November 2004

The free tools, available for download, help users lose the hodgepodge of Web browsers, search engines, e-mail clients, RSS readers and file management systems. Instead, they can use what Pluck terms its “personalized Web information center” to sort and manage multiple file types — and, if they choose, access them via the Web from any computer.

“Broadband users now have more than one computer, and the issue they face is having their data follow them from computer to computer,” said Pluck CEO Dave Panos.

Both the Web and plug-in versions let users import bookmarks and RSS feed subscriptions, as well as organize, catalog and store Internet search results, Web pages and other information in a single, centralized view. The RSS reader includes an integrated feed directory and search.

The plug-in version also lets users create “perches,” which are live, topic-centric folders that persistently search eBay , Amazon , Google , and, via Google, the Web and blogs. Perches automatically retrieve and store information, sending alerts when new items are added.

Pluck plug-in users can opt to synchronize their bookmarks and folders between computers or other Web-enabled devices. They can publish and share their collections of bookmarks, research and RSS feeds via publicly available Web folders.

“It’s a lower commitment approach publishing to the Web,” Panos said, “just showing the world what I find interesting without having to pontificate for three or four paragraphs.”

Pluck Web Edition, a new browser-independent version of Pluck, lets users on any computer using any browser manage their online world. It also allows Pluck for Internet Explorer plug-in users to access their information when they are away from their computers.

For now, Pluck will maintain its affiliate marketing business model — it collects money when it sends users to sites where they make purchases.

In the short term, Panos has his eye fixed on gaining a user base, he said, not on building revenue. In the future, the company hopes to profit from contextual advertising.

“If you can get a million users using your application for an hour a day, it’s a license to print money,” he said. “Pluck is an application that people who buy a lot of merchandise on the Internet really like.”

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