Can Amplify.com Help You Find Great Content?

social media reviewsMost of us use the Internet every day. Whether for work, school or play, the Internet is woven into the very fabric of our lives. Although we spend so much of our time online, we rarely give much thought to what actually makes up the content of the Internet.

Let’s be clear, the Internet is really divided into three types of stuff: (1) terribly addictive, uncomfortably funny or tremendously valuable content, (2) average, run-of-the-mill, “I already knew that” -type content and finally (3) utter crap.

As a marketer, you’ve created content in all three buckets before (nobody bats 1.000…), and as a web surfer, you know that the Internet is almost 99.999% composed of bucket #3.

No, seriously, the Internet is almost completely filled with useless, boring content that probably only appealed to the one person that made it.

Not to be a downer, but I only harp on this fact to say that I had a dream. I had a dream that I lived in a world where the Internet was only filled with interesting, valuable and funny content.

Things that would make me look 100 times smarter than I am, and content that would make my potential customers flock to my accounts and talk to me for days about whatever I had shared.

Then one day, I was asked to review Amplify.com, and I thought my dreams had come true…

amplify front page

Yes… that is a water cooler.

Ampli-Who Dot What?

On the surface, Amplify.com just seems like another site that wants you to share what you like (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) and connects you with friends who do the same. The front page graphic gives off a music site feel. I even thought it was a bit rock-star (like myself)… until I saw the water cooler in the middle of the crowd.

Amplify.com is as simple as the graphic on the front page suggests. They want you to share interesting things from the Internet with your peers, but only “water cooler-worthy” stuff. More on that in a second…

What Can It Do?

Like Twitter, But Longer

Amplify.com lets you microblog just like Twitter, but your limit is 500 characters. The days of showing restraint online are numbered.

Blog Via Email

You can post content (blogs, snippets, photos, etc.) to your Amplify stream via email. Amplify.com gives you a personal email address to send content to, which will automatically add that content to your stream. Unlike other sites with this feature, Amplify.com doesn’t make you memorize a 6,000-character email address. You have a short convenient address customized to your username. I consider that a victory for the little guy.

email posting

Don’t try to post to my blog. I’m keeping my eye on you guys…

Find Content Based On Subject

Want to find all of the best content for social media? Easy. Just click “social media” and browse the best stuff. There are several categories to choose from and the content is sorted chronologically.

What’s The Main Event?

Ok, I’ll be honest; none of these features by themselves are impressive. You can do all of these things on Facebook without ditching your friends and setting up another profile (which we all LOVE to do… right?). Fortunately, Amplify.com redeems itself from a life of redundancy by adding one simple feature that can save the entire Internet. Interested? Let me explain.

Remember when I said that the Internet is 99% utter crap? That’s true, but if we’re really being honest, even the really good articles that we read are at least 30% filler (not this one, though J). It reminds me of a lesson I learned when I took a speed-reading class:

“There are plenty of good books to read, but more importantly, there are plenty of good chapters to read.”

Think about that. What if you could share a fantastic article without having to share the part that isn’t amazing? Amplify.com has the answer. They allow you to clip any section of any site and share only that section on Amplify.com, or one of the several social networks that you can post to automatically.

clip tool

Amplify.com’s clip tool in action.

Find a great couple of paragraphs in a New York Times article? Great, only share that section. Find a blog with three great tips? Take the tips, leave the rest.

Amplify.com has given us a chance to trim the fat off of the Internet. Yes, my heart just fluttered.

clipped article

This is a TechCrunch article clipped for Amplify.com, all fluff removed (no offense, TechCrunch).

Why I’m Not Doing A Cartwheel Right Now

Unfortunately, it’s not all butterflies and candy corn with Amplify.com. While bringing us one of the greatest tools online, they’ve also allowed some of the tools that kinda make the Internet suck in the first place.

The site needs a filtering option. I click on a popular topic and about half of the options are in a language that I can’t understand, and that’s bad news. Chronological order is OK, but if the section is called “popular topics,” I expect the links to be… you know… popular. That leads me to my real point.

Amplify.com is a great site, but it would be amazing with a ranking system. The problem with the Internet is that anyone can post anything on it and you have to sift through the junk to get to the goods. Amplify.com’s clip functionality is useless if I still have to sort through everyone’s junk to get to the best clips.

Allowing the site’s users not only to comment (they allow this already) but also to rank content would really “Amplify” the best clips and move the site to the “water cooler-talk” level that the front page suggests.

Final Thoughts

As with most dreams, my love affair with Amplify.com was slightly soured by having to sift through so many posts. As with any new site, there will be kinks along the way. And while there is a “Recommend” feature, it works more like a retweet than a content judgment system, which is what it would take for me to really like it.

Amplify.com has a bright future ahead of it, and the issues I see now seem more of the “growing pain” variety than the “death knell” variety. As of today, Amplify.com scores a 7 out of 10.

Have you used Amplify.com yet? What did you think about it? Do you know of another site with the “clip” functionality? Have a site that you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know in the box below!

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About the Author, Elijah Young

Elijah R. Young is the lead strategist and owner of Social Talk Live. He's also a business strategist who helps existing and new companies promote and grow their business. Other posts by »




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  • Benda4733

    AF dont realy fit me well, but I think that its in basics good idea, but practicly…

  • http://egoldstein.amplify.com egoldstein

    Elijah, thank you for your positive review of Amplify. You hit on some very important aspects, including a weakness that absolutely needs improving upon. Ironically, your timing couldn’t be better as we are in the process of working on Amplify’s search capabilities right now. We aren’t yet focusing ranking the results, but that will likely follow. We’ll be making several announcements in the coming days (perhaps as soon as tomorrow) as we roll out the changes. FYI… we just announced support for hash tags on friday and just yesterday we rolled out a new home page (for logged out users) that doesn’t include the watercooler imagery and has a new tagline. Take a look when you get a minute. Thanks again.

  • DonnaGilliland

    Elizah, I only recently started to use Amplify. As we all do we sign up for something and then the busy work of life and biz draw us away. However, your article has drawn me back to looking at and using Amplify in more depth. Thanks Elizah for “Amplify”ing this tool.

    ~ Donna

  • Juledtech

    I can do the same and more with Posterous. What’s the advantage here?

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    I LOVE Amplify. It has literally changed my online posting life. When I find something I need to share – I clip it – and post with my take on it to Amplify – then it goes and posts to my blog, Twitter, Facebook Page, Ping – which then posts to LinkedIn. Done! One stop posting – love it. Hands down the best tool I use right now.

  • http://silentwhisperss.wordpress.com Mritunjay

    Just a day or two back, I saw Amplify extension in chrome and tried experimenting with it. Yet to use it properly but looks cool as of now.

    Thanks for the useful review.

  • http://www.sarkemedia.com/ Sarah Arrow

    Hi, I recently started using amplify and find it very useful for posting to my often forgotten outposts :)

    Regarding you comment on language and popularity, if something is popular in another language that’s not a bad thing, hit google translate of you wish to read, whilst that isn’t the perfect solution for you it is better than the content only being in English.

    Many people are bi lingual or speakers of other languages and they have just as much right to use the internet and the tools available as us English language speakers.

    With a ranking system, it is in danger of turning into a popularity contest, those with many friends will always have the ‘best’ content in these scenarios. Do we need a another Digg? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573232415 Palak Gandhi

    Coming up with a new social media platform is meaningful only if it adds differentiated positive value above what is already being offered by other platforms.I feel that amplify has brought such differentiation,however not sure, to what extent it would satisfy any untapped need of an individual.

  • http://easysocialmediamanagement.com Lauren McMullen

    I have been using Amplify for over a month and I love it!!! it allows me to review posts with great content and then pushes it out to all the sites I have pre-programed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522604744 Dianne Rigdon

    I just recently discovered it via a firefox plug in. I have yet to realize how it can work for me, but I’ll play with it some more. Meanwhile, I have to say that I disagree with the idea that users should rank the content. That would ruin it for me. Rather, I would prefer for it to rank itself based on visits and relevance. If language is a barrier in some cases, it seems like it would be a simple toggle box to add to the search paramenters “english only” etc. Interesting article and I enjoyed the way you wrote it. I’d be interested in additional articles that outline specific tips in using the service for marketing.

  • alexes

    Thanks for what I feel is a balanced and good review on Amplify, you have hit both the positive as well as negatives in a way that lets people decide for themselves, that is very important.

    There are indeed many platform and finding ones that adds that “differentiated positive value” as Palk Gandhi mentioned can indeed be a daunting one and lets face it everyone has their own preferences.

    For me, I find that Amplify fits my needs.. not only to “spark a conversation” but also it is my “social lounge” ( a term that I discovered by a friend on Amplify), where I can pursue interests away from my professional leanings.

    Since I joined this community there have been many changes… a work in progress and for me it is happening at a stable but progressive manner that is easy for people such as myself ( translate.. not very technical) to learn about the added features and then apply them as is my choice.

    My last point to the positive aspect to Amplify is the support that is given on a daily basis by Eric and his team. As we all know or are learning, customer support is a very large component to running a successful business. Having the CEO being so active and personally involved in such a transparent manner makes Amplify a leading edge community, which I just know will go far in the days and months ahead.

  • http://www.ideatoopen.com/ Elijah R. Young

    While I like the site for what it is now, I’m really excited for what it could become in the future. I can see you guys making steps forward every day, and it reminds me of what one of my mentors said to me: “Always be in beta” keep t up my man…

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    No worries. I may start going by “Elizah”…it has a nice ring to it. :-) Thanks for taking the time to read my article Donna, I appreciate it.

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You do have a point, tons of these tools have crossover functionality, but we can’t assume that everyone is familiar with each tool. This may be a sign of a Posterous vs. Amplify.com conversation to come soon…

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    glad you found a tool that worked for you Phyllis :-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Sarah, I didn’t mean to sound elitist with that comment. Please forgive me if I did. It would be useful if a tool was integrated into the site to make that transition a bit smoother.

    I disagree with the ranking system idea. Maybe if it was more of a netflix system with predictive ratings based on what you as an individual had liked before, then maybe we could avoid the popularity contests. What do you think?

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’d LOVE to write that article *hint to SME Gods and Goddesses*. See my comment to Sarah above about some clarification of the ranking system…I had a different approach.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You make a great point, alot of web entrepreneurs tend to hide “behind the code” and i have to give props to Eric for reaching out to me, even though i was unable to connect with him personally. It gives you another anchor to tie you to the site even when it goes through some of it’s more painful “growing pains”.

    I like the term, “Social Lounge”, may i borrow it?

  • alexes

    I am very glad we are agreed :-)

    As for the term “Social Lounge” the kudos belongs to Mr. Joe Hackman ( On amplify) and he used it in reference to how he thinks of Facebook. I am pretty darn sure that he would not mind it being used and it is a great way to look at things…isn’t it?

  • DonnaGilliland

    Dear Elijah, I am so sorry I renamed you! The error was the result of what I like to call a “typing mishap.” I don’t like to pronounce a persons name wrong or mistype it. See I will never forget you now Elijah. :))

  • http://www.yourdigitalspace.com/ Swamykant

    Awesome Article. I have recently created a profile in Amplify . Not explored much

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    no harm no foul. Like you said, now we’re connected. :-)

  • http://coworkingon15th.com/ eric diaz

    I dont see the value in taking the time to set up a new account just so I can post snippets of an article, opposed to the whole thing. I would just mention the paragraph to read in my tweet in the first place. Dont see the long term value of this thing…

  • Jacqui

    Thank for this interesting post and all the valuable (mostly) comments. I had never heard of Amplify but am now signed up and eager to try it out. Will report back if anything worthy and not repetitive of what has already been commented on.

  • Cathy in OKC

    Great article! Thanks for sharing both positive and negative aspects. I’ve now checked into Amplify and am hopeful that it can streamline my posting to our various social media outlets. Thanks Elijah!

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    Very interesting!! I’ve been an active user of posterous but haven’t heard of amplify until now. I have to differ from the above comment about why clipping from an article. I have read many lengthy, wordy articles and often thought to myself, “I only really want to share this part with my network.” So I really like the clip feature! I will have to look into that! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://twitter.com/jonathan92591 Jonathan Thompson

    I found “Snippet” in Windows 7 as I never had Vista. Any who, the function has changed my life! Well, at least it has saved me time and makes me more effective in my day to day travels. So if Amplify.com has a similar feature, I’m going to be all for it.

    However, I’m at a point where I’m tapped out with social media services. I’ll make an account for the company that I work for but I probably won’t create a personal account.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    part of the deal is having other share the best parts of great content in a way that you can quickly digest. I can’t count how many times I’ve read an entire article for a snippet of info. But as always, YMMV :-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Happy to have you read my article Naomi, I’m a big fan. Thank you :-)

  • http://thecontrapuntist.com contrapuntist

    I created an Amplify account over the weekend, and my first thought was how similar this is to Posterous. SO yeah, why Amplify over Posterous, Tumblr, or…umm… creating a basic blog. Seems like another site to own an account on and then let the crickets take over?

  • http://coworkingon15th.com/ eric diaz

    @Elijah, the thing is that the people that post long articles just for one good paragraph are likely not the first adopter types that would use the new functionality provided by Amplify. I stand by my point.

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    Aww thanks! :)

  • http://www.meylah.com Courtney Dirks

    Elijah – let me start by saying that I love your writing style, so easy to read and entertaining, which I love since I spend so much time sifting through articles day after day trying to find content that is worthy of relaying to our community. It’s so great to read and learn about new things while giggling my way through…I’m definitely going to check out Amplify. I love the concept of pulling out snippets of the best content without weeding through the “rest”. It will be interesting to see how they progress with the search function!

  • NancyM

    Hi Elijah. I thank you for writing the article on Amplify. I, too, thought it was balanced and fair. I wrote about it on my Amplify — here is the link http://tiny.cc/wribo I just had to spark a conversation….right?

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hi Elijah, I’m a huge fan of Amplify. I’ve been using Posterous for almost a year and it pales in comparison to Amplify. The clipping feature is quite simply “off the hook”. It took some time to dig into the functionality so I experimented with it for a few days, clipping different types of content (videos, flash, images, captions, retweet buttons and more) before I really came to appreciate it. You cannot accomplish the same result with Posterous. For example, by selectively clipping the “highlights” of a great article, I can reorder the layout of the original – maybe I want the video to appear at the top followed by some text from middle, then the title – but I don’t need to go into a post editor and move things around (like I would with Posterous) I simply clip things in the order I want them to appear.
    In terms of finding the best content, it doesn’t take long to realize that once you follow the right people they will lead you to the good stuff. My favorite power user when it comes to tech is @svartling (who I met on Google Buzz btw) and Amplify does a good job of pointing out recommended users.

    Thanks for this review; it’s always good to look at both sides of the coin. I’ll take a look at your Amps ;)

  • http://brandyousocial.com Karl Sly

    Elijah, great post. I’m glad you turned up the buzz on amplify or I might’ve never gotten a chance to learn about such a cool new platform. I also actively enjoyed your writing style, far from the third category mentioned in the post :)

  • hackmanj

    Hi Elijah, I am a huge fan of Amplify. I really have been able to narrow my “peripheral” service use (Tumblr, Plurk, Posterous, etc) via Amplify and it also filled holes I didn’t fully realize I had in my toolset. We’re still learning daily new and creative ways to take advantage of this well designed, supported, and evolving service.

    Are you still using Amplify?

  • http://www.sixfigurerenegade.com Peter dunin

    Thanks for suggesting Amplify really cool!cheers for sharing.

  • http://insatiabletechknowledgy.com Jeff

    Think you answered the Why Amplify over Posterous/Tumblr/etc. – if the tool works for you then use it!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ll let you in on a secret: Flattery will get you everywhere with me! :-) Seriously, thank you for reading my articles, my friends prefer other terms to describe me, but i’ll take “easy to read” and “entertaining” every time.

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    thanks for giving some perspective on the two. I’m not a posterous user, so that’s a blind spot for me. Right now, Amplify is on my second tier of platforms due to my goals shifting from finding content to creating more of my own. But I stand by what it can do, and be for the future of the web.

    Glad you liked the review, i’ll have to log in again specifically to connect with you :-)

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    BTW, what is your amplify username?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks Karl. Glad you enjoy my pontificating, like I mentioned to you on FB, what you do is WAAAAAY more important.

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Not really, right now I’m in a phase where I want to create great content, and network within specific circles. Before I was more of a content-hunter, and I will still do that from time to time. I’d like to take the last quarter and try to prove that I can be a consistent high-quality content provider…maybe be the subject of some Amplify’s myself

    Although, if any of you snip my articles to pieces, it’s gonna be war! lol, I kid

    I briefly thought about posting and “living” on Amplify, but there seems to be a trend of people leasing space on third party platforms instead of creating their own ecosystem on their blogs, or personal sites. I think (maybe egotistically so) that I can create content that warrants it’s own ecosystem.

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    More importantly, thanks for reading :-)

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hi Elijah You can find my Amps at ileane.amplify.com
    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/GreatFishingRH Joe

    Especially joined amplify.сom and tried it. Indeed, great service! Thank you!

  • TrueEarth

    Totally new to Social Media. Just got an Android smartphone with internet & am learning Fbook and all the rest. I found this blog by getting a sample subscription on my Kindle DX. Then I decided I’d better see this blog online on my trusty MacBook Pro. Wow! This is just the place I was looking for to get a handle on the bewildering maze that I’m wading through!

    I signed up for Amplify immediately. Haven’t used it yet (I’m going to bed and watch Netflix). But I can tell that THIS is the program/social site I was looking for for a long time – without necessarily even knowing it!

    Thanks so much for this professional blog and all the invaluable information. I owe you!

  • http://www.barbsbooks.com/ Barbara Radisavljevic

    A number of my friends are using this. They already post most of what they want to share on FB and Twitter and on other groups we belong to, as well as Stumble upon, Best Reviewer, RedGage, Gather and other such social networks. I’m asking why I need one more, since most people mostly post links to their own stuff anyway, hoping someone will read it. I admit my friends all think it’s great, but my pw file almost needs a second rolodex already. 









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