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Create & Publish a Web Page in Seconds with Pen.io

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The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

pen-paper.jpgName: Pen.io

Quick Pitch: Pen.io is the fastest way to publish content online.

Genius Idea: Create pages in seconds.

What started as a fun weekend project back in February has literally become the quickest way to publish on the web. No joke. I’m talking about Pen.io, the three-person San Francisco-based startup re-imagining what it means to create and publish content online.

“The original project and idea was simply to create the fastest way to put a piece of content online,” Pen.io founder Anthony Feint says. “I was looking at WordPress and thinking it was quite complicated just to put a recipe or quote online,” he adds. “I didn’t necessarily want to start a whole new blog just to quickly put up a single piece of content.”


The premise behind Pen.io is to allow anyone to publish on the web without having to create an account, go through a signup process or possess any technical skills, Feint explains.

And that’s exactly what it is. Navigate to Pen.io and you’ll find that your next webpage is just two fields — page name and page passwords — away from being live on the web. Just hit the “Create The Page” button, and you’ll get your own tabula rasa to fill in and use as you see fit.

That may not sound remarkable at first, but think about it for a second. You’ve just created a permanent webpage without having to register a domain, set up a new blog (which is far more arduous than it should be) or even sign up for an account. Better still, you can go on to create as many pages as you’d like and continue to avoid all those tedious steps in the process.


Okay, you say, but what the heck am I going to do with a blank web page? The answer, says Feint, is anything you’d like. Quickly publish a personal recipe, research project, essay, poem, song, diatribe or make a basic “About” page. You can even drag and drop photos and add YouTube video URLs to add a bit more personality to your pages.

Pen.io is proving to be quite popular. It already sees 300,000 visitors a day. Teachers use it, students love it and professional content creators are quite enamored with it, Feint says.

Part of Pen.io’s early appeal is that you can use it completely anonymously, which means the service is becoming a publishing tool and online outlet for those who are limited in what they can say on the web. Case in point: 40% of visitors to Pen.io come from China.

The simplicity and ease of Pen.io’s page publishing tool is like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s not a blog — in fact, it’s almost the anti-blog. Nor is it a social media platform. But Pen.io is a fast publishing platform, which puts it in the same category of services as WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr and Twitter.

So, where exactly does it sit and what could this become? Mashable put the question to Feint. It’s a rival to WordPress and Posterous in that it appeals to folks who don’t want to commit to starting a blog, he says, and it’s a compliment to Facebook and Twitter.

“WordPress and Posterous aren’t as relevant as they were before. People are definitely using Twitter and Facebook more, but they still want a place to put their content,” Feint says. “So used in conjunction with [Twitter and Facebook], Pen.io is great.”

The startup will work to better integrate with Twitter and Facebook to show off this greatness, he says. In the near future, users can also expect premium Pen.io packages with privacy, video hosting, analytics and themes for a fee.

Also coming soon is a new page editor. But, promises Feint, “we will never have a complex editor like you might find in WordPress or the other blog engines.”

Pen.io has raised $100,000 in seed funding and is actively working to raise another round.

Image courtesy of Flickr, sparkieblues

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, spark-of-genius, Startups

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