Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


favequest to take over the world

In due time.

I promised a couple of blogs ago that I would tell you a bit more about where we are headed here at favequest. So why did I then get into twitter on my last post? I've realized that, although some people have heard the name, they don't know what it is and why they should care. This also goes for major brands and publishers (i.e. Media companies). There is just so much going on in the social space that it is nearly impossible to keep up. It is really wild out there to put it mildly. Twitter, friend feed, openid, data portability, friend connect, open social and on and on.

Media companies,major brands, sports franchises are extremely busy doing what they do ... Create content, promotion and advertising. They often just don't have the time, resources and the background to keep up with all this stuff on a daily basis and then capitalize on it.

And yet, people are spending more and more of their time in social networks, communicating with each other, watching youtube, reading blogs and so on. People want to be in control of their time, what they consume and what they do with the content. This is extremely clear. I personally consume about ten times more media on my laptop or smartphone (which is what I'm using to write this blog) than tv or print.

Our mission at favequest is therefore to build a bridge between media companies and consumers. We will do this by giving the publishers the tools (essentially a new video platform) to reach consumers where they hang out. They hand us an RSS feed of all the content they want to make available and we do everything else. Consumers benefit because they can get at great relevant content on their terms, finally breaking down the walled garden. They will be able to create their own channels and shows which get filled automatically by our engine making their experience truly personal. They will even be able to embed the portal into their blogs. Imagine being able to create you own CNN news portal, or have a place to follow just the sports and teams you are interested in. That's the idea.

Because we'll be hanging out in all the major social networks and utilities, you'll be able to reach all of your friends on your terms. You want to share a channel you created with friends on MySpace, Facebook, the people that follow you on twitter, have it show up in Friend Feed and your Facebook news feed? Go right ahead ... a one click experience.

Ok ... so I have told you a bit more about the "why" and not that much about "how". That will come.

In the meantime, we're about to launch our latest facebook video app and we'll be making this one public. Let me know if you want to get in on the beta test list. We've also started working on a branded facebook app for a great media company in the sports space. More on that later.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008


why twitter is better than facebook

Ok ... so that is not completely true. I enjoy both but I have found twitter surprisingly powerful. The two features I enjoy most on facebook are the picture and status updates. I find those two apps give the best sense for who an individual is. Twitter does a great job of both of those features without a pile of other garbage.

Twitter is like facebook status updates on steroids. Message are limited to 140 characters and allow you to very quickly send messages to a group of people that follow you. You can use it from a computer using many different programs. I use Twhirl which is a light desktop app based on Adobe Air. There's also a facebook app. When I send something on twitter, it shows up in my facebook status. You can also receive and send tweets from a mobile device.

If you've ever seen a friend's facebook status and would like to reply to it ... and can't ... well ... you can do that in twitter. You can even send pictures using twitpic.

What I find cool is the stuff that people are building on top of twitter (which is extremely open). For example, a venture capital guy in NYC called Fred Wilson kicked off "lyric of the day". When you hear a lyric that you like, you post a message with @lotd at the front and everyone that follows @lotd gets the lyric. Pretty cool but just an early example.

I follow a few people on twitter and I have found that it is a much better way to get to know people than facebook. If you are looking for a way to connect to others and have others connect with you, you might want to give twitter a try. Of course , the issue is that you have to get your friends on twitter first and right now it is mostly used by propeller heads but that will change. So go ahead ... sign up. I'm @isfan.



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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Pangea Day ... why such a big deal?

Hey Everyone,

As some of you may have heard, I'm hosting a major event at my place for Pangea Day this coming Saturday May 10 (pls arrive at 1:30 so we're ready for 2pm start). People sometimes look at me like I have a third eye. What the heck is Pangea Day? I try to explain and some get it while others go blank.

If you really want to get the lowdown, go to and flip through the site to see what it is all about. Here is a quote from the site:

"The Pangea Day Mission & Purpose

Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.

Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film."

As an individual, I've always believed in people's equality and treat people as such, no matter what background, education level, skin color or gender. I also have a propensity to organize big parties to bring people together. I hope to connect with people individually and learn from them (a bit selfish), share stories and have fun. I also hope that people that come to these events connect with each other and Pangea Day is an especially good opportunity to do that since there will be lots to talk about.

I truly and deeply believe the world becomes a better place when people get to know and understand each other. This leads to compassion. From wikipedia:

"Compassion is an understanding of the emotional state of another or oneself. Not to be confused with empathy, compassion is often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another or to show special kindness to those who suffer. However, compassion may lead an individual to feel empathy with another person."

Compassion can lead to action because if you are truly compassionate, you do not have the choice but to act. Someone else's suffering is your own suffering.

What does this have to do with FaveQuest? Like the Pangea Day events and films, my secret dream and goal is for FaveQuest to connect people, have them share and collaborate and thereby make the world a smaller place. We will use the platform ourselves and make it available to others to achieve this. Of course, we're shooting to build a thriving business and I believe we will but there is something bigger in it for me.

I hope you come out to our event or catch Pangea Day elsewhere.

PS. I'll be twittering during our event. You can follow me on Twitter ... I'm @isfan.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008


social video

In case you are new to this blog, the easiest way to get updates is to register your email on the right and you'll get updates in your email inbox automatically.

Favequest is playing in the 'social video' space and I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what that means to me. It might give you a sense for why we are building what we are building.

I have to come to realize that I get a much bigger kick out of media when I have a chance to use that media to interact with others. I write this blog to interact with you, even if people don't leave comments. I run into many of you through my travels and the blog often comes up which helps connect us. Why does that matter? I think it matters because the only way for us to evolve is to understand each other and work together to achieve greater things. This is one reason I'm supporting Pangea day in a big way (reminder about event at my place on May 10 at 1:30). We're all much too isolated and busy living our lives to care or worry about others and that simply must change.

Why did I start this train?

One way media like tv is feeling increasingly empty to me. I only watch it occasionally when I'm relaxing with my wife but would NEVER just sit down to watch anything on tv. It feels like having dinner alone in a strange town or traveling and seeing something exciting and having no one to share it with. It's like watching a hockey game alone in the basement vs being with friends and screaming together. Enough with the analogies, I hope you get the idea.

Just watching video on-line is also empty if all I can do is watch it in isolation. Let me share with others, tell them what I think, have them do the same and start a conversation (can't really do that on YouTube). Let me discover exciting topics and meet new people with whom I can exchange ideas and create action. Let me reconnect with my Romanian friends and family all over the world by collaborating and sharing on Romanian topics.

I'm willing to bet a lot of money (done) and my reputation (done) that there are many others like me. If I'm the only one, were kinda screwed ... But I don't think so.

So we are building a platform that is totally about social interaction around video. So you should ask .... why does this matter? What are you really trying to do? What's the big picture? If you know me, you know there's always a big picture even it doesn't seem like it.

Look for the next blog for answers to some of these questions.



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