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Appeering, new site from Puretech Ventures, turns disjointed tweets into conversations you can follow

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 18, 2012 07:31 AM

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Ever wish the torrent of tweets was a little easier to comprehend? That a thousand fragments of Twitter commentary could be glued together into something approaching actual insight?

zohar-sm.jpgUnless you're immersed in Twitter all day long like certain Twitter obsessives (raising hand), the probable answer is "yes." A new site called Appeering wants to make it easier to identify hot topics on Twitter and follow sometimes lengthy exchanges among users — even if you don't have a Twitter account yourself. The site was developed by a team at Boston-based Puretech Ventures, which more typically builds new biotech and medical device businesses. Puretech is taking the wraps off Appeering this week, as the big BIO International Convention descends on Boston.

"If you sign up for Twitter and you're interested in biotech, figuring out who to follow is a huge task, and then you only see pieces of a conversation," says Puretech CEO Daphne Zohar, right. "It can be hard to figure out what people are saying." Appeering has created curated lists of 1000-2000 influential tweeters in politics, finance, tech, and biotech, and that allows it to surface the topics, companies, and hash tags that are trending in those industries.

Zohar says that two software developers at Puretech started working on Appeering earlier this year, and that the current site is a beta. "We'd like people to use it and give us feedback," she says. Eventually, the economic model will be to maintain a free site for individual users, but also create a premium version to help professionals track news in their fields — including conversations on Twitter about their employers and competitors.

One neat feature of Appeering: when you're viewing a conversation about Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer, for instance, you can easily tweet a link to that complete conversation (as opposed to just re-tweeing a single message.)

A screenshot from the site is below:

appeering.png

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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