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Dorthy.com Opens Doors to New Dream Achievement Service with Alpha Launch

Saber Seven today announced the Alpha launch of Dorthy.com, a new kind of online achievement service that provides people with the content, tools, and introductions they need to achieve their dreams.

The free online service reverses the traditional search process, continuously filtering and focusing the universe of online content, to connect people to the best stuff around their interests and aspirations — whether that’s running a marathon, visiting the pyramids in Egypt, winning the battle against an illness, or anything else.

People are looking for a way to turn dreams like these into reality and, according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by Dorthy.com, not only do almost all people have dreams, but they’re now turning to technology as a way to achieve them. In fact, the survey also showed the highly-connected category of young adults remains motivated to achieve their dreams but often perceive obstacles to doing so. Dorthy.com aims to rectify that.

News Facts

  • Central to the Dorthy.com experience, the site reverses the traditional search experience in which a person searches repeatedly on a topic and then hunts for relevant content in a linear process (see Graphic 1). Instead Dorthy.com allows everyday people to set-up ‘dreampages’ – or sharable, self-sustaining ‘living search’ pages on the topics they care about most. These pages each have custom spiders that constantly filter and focus all the stuff available online (e.g. professionally produced articles, user-generated videos, etc.) around what the user really wants to achieve (see Graphic 3). Dreampages continually bring new content to the user so he or she doesn’t need to repeat their search.
  • Dorthy.com utilizes the social power of the web by allowing users to subscribe to like-minded dreamers. Each dreampage essentially creates a support network where users can leverage other people’s progress for their own discovery and achievement (see video here).
  • The service utilizes proprietary semantic reasoning, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies to power its search capability to better understand a user’s real interests and to help them achieve their goals. For advertisers, Dorthy.com allows branded content to be integrated into the experience. This integration utilizes “concepts” rather than key words. For example, a user seeking advice on running their first marathon could benefit from sponsored content from an apparel or footwear brand.
  • Dorthy.com is not limited to the web; future releases will integrate mobility and distribution to a variety of platforms.
  • Dorthy.com has raised $4 million in total funding from various angel investors since the company’s inception, including major investments from The Coyne Group.
  • The company is led by an all-star team of executives including co-founder and COO Jordan English Gross, the youngest-ever winner of the National ADDY award for Interactive Communication among many other ad industry accolades; CTO Jim Anderson, a co-founder of About.com and an expert in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies with hundreds of patents to his credit; and EVP of Public Affairs Will Burrington, founder of AOL’s public affairs office and a delegate to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Survey Data

The survey commissioned by Dorthy.com and conducted by Harris Interactive polled more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. ages 18+, asking how the U.S. population sets and achieves their goals and dreams. Key findings include:

  • 95% of women have dreams as compared to 91% for men.
  • Of people aged 55+ with dreams, 77% of them use resources to achieve them with 31% turning to the Internet for help. When looking at younger adults (18-34), 83% use resources with 50% of that activity occurring online.
  • Approximately 20% of younger adults (18-34) have increased motivation to achieve their dreams given the current state of the economy.
  • 89% of younger adults report having obstacles preventing them from achieving their dreams while 12% of that group saying the primary obstacle is not knowing where to start.
  • 62% of younger adults want to talk to and connect with other people with whom they share similar dreams but 36% find it difficult to find them.

Quotations

  • “Everyone has dreams but many of us don’t know where to start or how to make them happen. Dorthy.com was created as a starting point to make achieving or learning about the stuff that’s important to you easier. The first result includes our ‘living search’ which is unlike anything on the web. We’re doing everything we can to speed the process between discovery and achievement.” -– Jordan English-Gross (@jordanenglish), Chief Operating Officer and Founder, Dorthy.com and Saber Seven, Inc.
  • “Even in times of economic difficulty – especially in times of economic uncertainty – dreams are necessary both for individuals to re-imagine their future and for the economy as a whole to rebound. Dorthy.com is all about helping people achieve those dreams.” – Will Burrington, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Dorthy.com and Saber Seven, Inc.

  • “Part of what makes Dorthy.com so simple to the user is the sophistication of the underlying technology, which unites natural language processing, machine learning and semantic understanding as it’s never been done before. In short, we’ve achieved something really challenging to make the user experience refreshingly easy.” – Jim Anderson, CTO, Dorthy.com and Saber Seven, Inc.
  • “Even the best search technology shows a disconnect in consideration between the publishers that create content and the audience that consumes it. And social networks largely promote shared connections to those we already know. Dorthy.com overcomes both shortcomings by mining individual behaviors from exogenous populations and applying those insights to deliver the most relevant and compelling content. By connecting us with people outside our existing circles, Dorthy.com can share perspectives and wisdom that drive our own explorations in new and interesting ways.” – Randy Schwartz, VP, National Search Director, Carat
  • “The magic of Dorthy.com is bringing the right brand content to the right people, at a moment when people are emotionally invested in their pursuit. That’s a powerful connection for both the brands and the users.” – Alison Provost, Chairman & CEO, TouchStorm (creators of Howdini)
  • “The Internet has enabled us to find all sorts of things from rare books to the nearest dry cleaner. The next step is to find, connect with and pursue the things we're truly passionate about. Dorthy.com does that. It’s a great mission and a great business.” – Jon Bond,Co Founder / Co Chairman, kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners
  • “Harnessing computing and Internet technologies to really understand a person’s goals and ambitions is a massive challenge. It’s also one that Dorthy.com does better than any other web-based service out there. Not only does Dorthy.com understand human beings, it delivers what human beings need to achieve those goals. It’s a major leap forward.” – David Brandt, Chief Innovation Officer, OTX Research

Resources

Tags

Search, Social Search, User-Enhanced Search, Natural Language Processing, Content Aggregation, Social Bookmarking, Achievement Service

ABOUT THE SURVEY

The Harris Interactive survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Dorthy.com between October 31 and November 4, 2008 among 2,256 U.S. adults ages 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].

ABOUT DORTHY.COM

Dorthy.com is a new kind of achievement service that provides people with the content, tools, and introductions they need to achieve their dreams. The free online service reverses the traditional search process, continuously filtering and focusing the universe of online content, to connect you to the best stuff around your interest and aspirations. Incorporating social features like following other’s dreams and resource sharing, Dorthy.com’s living search pages are unlike anything else on the web. Visit www.dorthy.com to sign up for the public alpha.

ABOUT SABER SEVEN, INC.

Saber Seven, Inc. is a media and technology company that’s dedicated to paving a new paradigm in discovery and placing the tools for that discovery in the fabric of everyday life. Visit www.saberseven.com for more information.

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