Twitter and Facebook will tell you to follow and friend--a celebrity with millions of followers or an acquaintance from high school, usually--but they can't figure out whose updates won't bore you out of your mind.
Prollie is a start-up that wants to help you find the most interesting people on the Web. The site's cofounders, brothers Mike and Red Fabbri, devised an algorithm for each network that grades users based on how well they use social media. Prollie leverages the interest graphs of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and now Instagram, to assign the grades.
How it works
Prollie is an opt-in platform, meaning you have to sign up on the free site to be graded. Though it's unclear exactly how grades are assigned, former social media strategist Mike Fabbri says one example of a top-notch Twitter user is someone who doesn't just post links.
"They have to have original thoughts, they reply to people, they use hashtags," he says.
Unlike similar social recommendation engines, like Klout, Prollie doesn't measure influence, so your retweets or friend counts don't matter.
"You may tweet about the Mets, but you also like the Mets on Facebook and you've been to Citi Field [on Foursquare]. We want to see those triangulations in an easy-to-search way," Fabbri says. "It's about how well they know social media and what they talk about when they're on it."
You don't have to sign up to be graded to check out Prollie's users. You can search by interest or proximity to find people who share your passions or who live nearby. Mike, who recently converted to the paleo diet, says he's used Prollie to find expert bloggers on the subject.
Prollie faces an interesting challenge: Because the site doesn't "hook up to the firehouse" and grade all public accounts, former NBC Universal social strategist Red Fabbri says, the brothers have to actively recruit early adopters. They started in tech, but are new searching for experts in gluten-free cooking, new movies, and other genres of interest. The site has added 5,000 active users since launching two months ago.