Posted October 6, 2008 5:47 pm by with 18 comments

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Tokoni, is social network started last year by former Skype President Alex Kazim and former eBay execs including Mary Lou Song and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. It’s also backed by eBay. The site has been picking up content, building up to a formal launch this week.

The social network gathers people’s stories. Tokoni is a Tongan word for “help,” and the founders hope that reading other people’s life will help enhance your life. There are 19 categories and you can add a photo or video to your story. You can comment on stories, link to them, and even reward people for their stories.

The site has added new features (from Tokoni):

  • Collections – like a personal “play list”, members can create a collection of their favorite Tokoni stories, grouping “life episode” stories together (e.g., wedding stories, pet stories or travel stories). This would be great for families to tell stories about a beloved relative or to share memories about people in your family.
  • Bubble Browser – a visual search tool that enables community members to view the multiple ways in which stories, users and categories are interconnected within the Tokoni Universe. Each time a user “connects” a story, a new link is created in the story web. Users can serendipitously explore new topics and stories by following where each link leads
  • Fan Pages – to follow story postings of favorite community members, users can become members of their fan club. You can get an email when your favorite author posts a new story.
  • Tokens – are emotional responses that you can send to an author. They are pre-selected, such as “Thanks for sharing” or “One of my favorites”

Tokoni has partnered with, the non-profit arm of the organization’s PAC, and is working with them on their new “I’m a woman. I have issues.” campaign. The campaign encourages women to share their opinions on the political issues that matter most to them at

WomenCount plans to collect the individual stories shared on the site and deliver those messages to the McCain and Obama campaigns, the media and party leaders.

NPR has collected stories – interviews on specific pieces of people’s lives – through interviews at Story Corps.  I’d love to see them partner with Tokoni to add the community piece to what they’re doing.

  • It sounds like an interesting concept, but it’s not ready to even compete with the other social networks yet. The design doesn’t even look like a Web 2.0 type of design, and it really needs to be improved upon.

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  • This looks like an interesting idea but there are so many out there, I wonder how they will market it

  • qwak

    Former LinkedIn president or former Skype president?

  • I have always said that if someone ever read my lifes story, they would think it was a script for a soap opera and not real life. I think it’s a great idea for someone else to put their stories on but not mine. Good luck with it.

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  • Wow, so when is this service going to be launched?

  • WOW! A social networking site focusing on storytelling…love the angle. Three cheers for the creation of the ultimate campfire to sit around and share stories!

  • It appears to be addressing to women and though from that angle appealing, I wonder what one more site will do to the already over crowded space!

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  • Not a bad idea. I think other people find fascination in that. Should be itneresting.

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  • mmo

    So cool, when is this service going to be launched?

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  • PS3

    Whenever I have asked eBay for Tokoni it has been like knocking my head against a brick wall. I hope this is a truly more “social” experience.

  • Hmmm. It’s a neat idea but the truth is that it’ll have a hard time competing against Facebook and Myspace.


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  • I’m sure they’ll have a lot to say for themselves!

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  • I prefer to shop at, because I am sure that I buying products from the best known companies, which have deal with this site\store. Moreover comparing prices what they offer, and bids on eBay, I found that much cheaper!

  • First time, I heard of tokoni and checked it out right away. I liked it actually, but I think competition is tough in the social networking sites market. I don’t think it will be easy to compete against facebook, myspace.

  • It should be quite interesting to see how this is marketed.

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  • Interesting to know this. Bubble Browser is a cool concept!

  • when is this service going to be launched?