The team behind Branch has launched Potluck, a new online platform where people can drop in links they find on the Internet and start conversations around them with friends and friends of friends. Potluck acts almost as a complement to Branch's existing product, which fosters conversations around specific topics.
Unlike Branch, which curates a myriad of discussions that anyone can see but only those invited can contribute to, Potluck de-emphasizes who's sharing the links you see. You can see who shares what to Potluck, but identity is not the main focus.
Branch cofounder Josh Miller's theory is that everyone finds cool links all over the Web every day, but only some of those people turn to very public channels like Twitter or Facebook to share their finds. But he says people who aren't posting publicly are still sharing—they're just using more intimate means, such as GChat, or copying and pasting a link into an email with no subject. The point of Potluck, in Miller's opinion, is to make the content that's being shared behind closed doors publicly available to more of your friends, and your friends' friends.
"We're trying to empower the people that don't feel comfortable publishing, the people that don't use Twitter and didn't want to start a Branch because it felt too much like you were on a stage," Miller says.
The Web version of Potluck is now live, and Miller says an iOS app is coming in a few weeks.