Interviewing Adegga

Adegga [1] is a new Web 2.0 social network, made by a team of three Portuguese guys, and - as the name says - it is all about Wine.

Currently in private beta, I'm lucky to have an account there, and am already a regular user. Remember when I said that I wish there was a Last.fm for books [2]? Well, Adegga is Last.fm for wines.

So, instead of reviewing it, I did something different: here's an interview I made to one of Adegga's folks, André, and if you feel like trying it out, just leave a comment here and I'll send you an invite! :-)

First and foremost, please tell us what Adegga is, in your own words.

Adegga is an online service that help people discover and choose wine by sharing their wine opinions with other people they trust. By creating a personalized watchlist people can "follow" what their friends, favorite producers and wine shops are doing. Adegga also helps people organize their wines by keeping track of wines they taste, make a wishlist or organize your home cellar. For searching for wines and checking prices no account is needed.

What gave you the idea of creating this service?

A few years ago the three founders, André R, André C. and Emídio, started enjoying wine together and sharing their opinions. A few months later André R. while reading the the book The Long Tail designed the idea that would become the project Adegga and invited his 2 friends to build it.

There are other wine (or more generic beaverages) social networks... Why should someone use Adegga instead of one of the alternatives?

There are 3 main reasons that can make people choose Adegga and not other social network:
  • Watchlist. Adegga lets you build a personalized watchlist so that you can keep track of what people on your list are choosing and tasting. You can add friends, wine bloggers, producers and just about anyone else. You can also add wine producers and wine shops to your personalized watch list so that you keep track of when a producer releases a new wine or a wine shop makes a promotion.
  • Wine prices: Adegga gets wine prices from shops around the world and puts them directly on each wine page. This makes it easy to check availabilty and price for any wine.
  • Profiles: Being a social network Adegga build a profile page for each producers. Besides all the information about a producer you can also add this producer to your Watchlist and follow what he is doing. Wine shops get their profile too.

What's the revenue model planned for Adegga?

Wine shops pays us to have all their wine prices appear on each wine page with a link to the direct wine page in the shop. Moreover, they can be featured on some pages like the homepage. We will have more special stuff for producers and wine shops in the future.

You also created AVIN, an "ISBN for wine". First of all, congratulations for such a nice idea, I really liked it. Yet... What are the plans you have to turn AVIN widely used, and thus making it useful?

It's very easy to search for books online. You can search by name but also by the ISBN. The same is not true for wines. There's no code to use when you want to search for a wine. Another problem is that each time a wine shop wants to setup a new shop they need to build by hand their own catalog. With the AVIN we want this database to be open so that anyone can use it. We'll publish it under a creative commons license over at www.avin.cc. When this type of data is available and an API is in place all types of creativity can surface. We haven't officially launched the project. So there's not much more that I can say for now.

There's, at the moment, no API to access and munch over Adegga's data... Are you planning to do one in the future?

There's already API working. It's a REST API. The next few weeks we will release it with basic capability to support the launch of our blog / site widgets.

Adegga is at the moment in a closed beta. When do you think the website will be open to everyone?

We decided to do a public beta for 2 reasons. We want to be able to provide a good quality of service and that 's is only possible when all servers are in place and all code is bug free. That's not the case for now. Another things is that we want to grow organically and try to listen to what people using Adegga are asking. We currently have no date to open the registration to everyone.

You decided to do Adegga using PHP... Can you please tell us why that choice?

When the team started Adegga we discussed 3 possibilities. Perl, PHP and Ruby. We had previously worked together in other projects using PHP. That fact together with the fact that PHP5 is a very flexible language and with a powerful community made us decide to use PHP. Moreover, PHP5 supports object oriented programming and works brilliantly with Smarty, out templating system.

Adegga is Copyright (c) 2007 LifeStreet... I know that you left your previous job to create Adegga. Is LifeStreet the company you've founded to have Addega as a product? Do you intend to have more LifeStreet products other then Addega?

Adegga is owned by 3 people and it is in part legally supported by LifeStreet. LifeStreet was founded by me (André Ribeirinho) to support all the projects I'm involved.

Which other public projects are there on LifeStreet?

LifeStreet focus is now on Adegga, nevethless there are 2 other projects that are in the works but still only as proof-of-concepts. No date yet for them to become public.

Do you have any final words to our readers?

Adegga is only starting. There are many things we want to do. We have some very interesting and useful features coming out in the next couple of months. If you love wine join Adegga and enjoy the ride.

Thanks for the interview.


[1] - http://adegga.com
[2] - http://tinyurl.com/2bzmgc