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Plinky, the secretive service that can right now only be vaguely described as a social content encouragement startup, is getting less secretive. It finally has a website. (Well, a place-holder for one anyway.) And now it’s making a high-profile hire.

Today the company brings on board Ryan Freitas as the director of product design. If you don’t know the name, you know the work. Freitas (pictured below) was the director of experience design at Adaptive Path up until today, his last day with the company. There, he just finished leading the MySpace redesign project and before that he helped build Plazes. Plazes was acquired by Nokia in a high-profile deal a few days ago.

MySpace was arguably the ugliest big time site on the internet. Freitas managed to make it look mildly presentable (its homepage anyway — he unfortunately can’t change user taste on their own pages), something which I never thought could be done. Plazes has looked great from the start; and so this hire intrigues me.

But then, we were already intrigued by Plinky; not only because of its secretive nature, but also because of its pedigree. One of its cofounders, Jason Shellen, was an original member of the Blogger team who went over to Google with its acquisition. There he helped start Google Reader, the service’s popular RSS feed reading program. The other cofounder, Simeon Simeonov, was formerly the chief architect of Macromedia and is now a partner at Polaris Ventures, which led Plinky’s recent $1.5 million first round of funding.

Most services tend to work on manipulating and presenting your content once you put it out there. As I understand it, Plinky wants to help you find motivation to create that content in the first place. I have no idea how it plans to do this, but that idea excites me.

We’ve been told we’ll get a preview when the service is ready in “a few months.”

[photo of Freitas from his blog]

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