Former CNET exec Vince Broady launched on Tuesday ThisMoment, a new social publishing service designed to collect and save personal and family memories, or "moments." I found it an attractive and enjoyable service to use. But its feature set is ambitious, and there's a big question of whether it can succeed in a market already flooded with social publishing services.
ThisMoment creates little self-contained items made up of text, media files, people, places, and links. I've seen other tools that do similar things, but ThisMoment is slicker than most sites, both in the creation and the viewing.
To make a moment, you just type in a little emotional impression and how it made you feel (e.g., "happy"), then you add your media. You can upload images from your computer or pull them over from sharing sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Picasa Web. You can add places, people, and Web links too. Adding content to a moment is easy and intuitive, and ThisMoment doesn't make an artificial distinction between photos and video.
You can also invite people into a moment so they can work on it with you. This could be good for vacation moments, family events, and so on. Moments can be created for future events, too. You could create a moment for an upcoming trip and invite people to contribute locations and links for things to do. There's an iPhone app for "momenting" from the field. However, you can't snap a picture from a laptop's Web cam, which is a shame.
Each moment gets its own privacy level. You can share with everyone, just your family or friends, only the other people mentioned in the moment, or nobody. I like this granular sharing control--it's reminiscent of Vox, which also does this well.
ThisMoment content looks great. Broady told me, "I want life to come through," and his design achieves that. Items are engaging and fun to read. The moments get very attractive headers where all the media goes, and then a page underneath with map links, people, related stories, and comments. Broady says the page design is very search engine-friendly, and that his moments are already indexed well on Google and Bing. Moments can also be embedded in Web pages and blogs. (See an example after the jump.)